By Robert S. Becker
Nov. 3, 2009
Friends, skeptics, countrymen, lend me your ears – but not brickabats. I come not to praise vile, crony capitalism, that unholy offspring of influence peddling, corporate welfare, regulatory stupor, and oversized subsidies making big, bad banks even bigger and badder. “Too big to fail” is now “too big to lend,” thus too big to help millions of paying “customers.” If it weren’t tragic, it would be farce. Rarely have so many trillions done so much for so undeserving an elite – all by design, in support of the status quo. Feh!
Instead, I celebrate healthy, constructive capitalism, and the promising prospects of innovative, widespread, sustainable animal spirits anointed as “conscious capitalism.”
Conscious or karmic capitalism takes much longer term views of “profitability,” vs. rigged, quarterly charades, judging non-sustainable enterprise as bad for everyone, including investors. Obeying Warren Buffett’s dictum, plan to own companies for a century, these visionaries prize relationships (with customers, vendors, employees), brand loyalty, corporate culture, intellectual capital, and low environmental impact. Their motivation, whatever positives accrue, is not selflessness, but forging stronger links between the reality of self-interest and the mandate of community public interest.