- Hall of Shame
THIS SITE WILL NOT BE UPDATED FOR A LITTLE WHILE. The editor is working on a longer-term (and time-consuming) project. Here’s what the site is about. Old-style capitalism has been around for 150 years or more.
At its heart are conventional businesses—companies that are owned by investors and managed mostly for their benefit. That form of capitalism has been a powerful engine of economic development. It has lifted billions of people out of poverty and created a high standard of living for many. And some companies do a lot of good for everyone. While delivering solid returns to their owners, they also provide great products and services, treat customers and employees well, and act responsibly toward the community and the environment (see Pathbreakers).
But the structure of today’s capitalism encourages abuse. Concerned with creating value for shareholders or (often) riches for top management, many companies mislead their customers and mistreat or underpay their employees. They abuse the environment, try to avoid regulations and taxation, and threaten to move their operations elsewhere if they don’t get their way. Little wonder business has such a bad name these days.
Little wonder, too, that there’s so much research and experimentation aimed at developing better ways to organize and run a business. Which is what Retooling Capitalism is about.
So here’s what you’ll find:
This site is market friendly. We believe in free enterprise. But we think a free enterprise system has to work for the benefit of everyone, not just a few. We’re interested in alternatives, but we’re not beholden to any preconceived ideas or party platform. We’re pragmatists with (we think) values that are shared by a lot of people. Let us hear from you.
The sorriest economic statistic these days has to be this one: average household income for the lower four-fifths of the population has risen less than 15% in the last 40 years, while income at the top has soared. The next administration faces no greater economic challenge than boosting the fortunes of the poor and the vast middle class.
Unfortunately, most of the available tools are contentious and of uncertain effect. Boost the federal minimum wage and the earned income tax credit? Good luck getting those measures passed. Support collective bargaining? Fine—except that unions now represent only 7% of private-sector workers.
But one idea might make a big long-term difference, and it already has bipartisan support. It’s usually called employee ownership, but the term lacks a certain pizzazz. Think of it instead as capitalism for people. The incoming president has a chance to christen the idea, explain it, develop it, and throw the full weight of the federal government behind it.
Here are the facts. The United States—almost by accident, and almost alone among the world’s nations—has created an innovative, practical structure by which a company’s employees can own the business they work for. Today, according to the nonprofit National … Read more >