Monday, February 04, 2008

refining thoughts about capitalism

Been thinking more about post-capitalism. The fact is, I know very little about the elements of capitalism, and less about systems that may come after.
I think what I am really wondering about is not all of capitalism and other economic systems (though I want to know more, if I can make the time to read such.) it’s the issue of purpose in economic pursuit.
Capitalism does include concepts of private ownership, trade between private parties without restriction, non-regulated supply and demand. I like these ideas.
What I don't like is the idea of earning money for its own sake, becoming wealthy just to enjoy an expensive lifestyle. Also, the idea of a corporation being its own self serving entity, who’s only object is growth is -in my opinion- a dangerous creature; there needs to be humans with a moral agenda in control of a corporation. If it is guided only by appetite, it will be a monster, not a beneficial organism.
Likewise an individual (myself) should have objectives beyond earning and enjoyment.

With this in mind, there are many interesting corporate and personal goals that to consider beyond escalating consumption. Without profit as an objective, consider a company that spent its earnings on its employees. Improved health and benefits packages, nicer offices and perks such as a free employee restaurant.
Or a company with a finite lifespan, designed and chartered to close in 40 years. At that point all assets would be liquidated, the value divided between the influential employees. They would have an interest in providing continued service for customers, and would likely reform immediately, and that would be the point. Revised leadership and rules. Like the idea that if an individual moves every few years, they become efficient at packing and don't own extraneous stuff. A company that had to die an be reborn every ten years would likely have lively and competent office management skills. (A little like term limits for politicians. It would be wishful thinking to imagine such a system for bureaucratic offices.)

I do think there will be more to say about this!

Grady Houger ~ purpose beyond money

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