Are Our Role Models too Crooked?
Examples of big corporation bad behavior is all to common.
- Wall St investment banks too bets with money that wasn’t theirs and created the 2008 global financial meltdown. To date not one Wall St investment banking executive has been charged with fraud in spite of the US Justice department stating they had evidence of fraud.
- Monsanto is leading the way to re-write rules of agriculture that have stood for 10,000 years in a way that is very profitable to them. It used to be that if you contaminated the fields of someone else, you were responsible to clean it up. Today if Monsanto GMO seeds blow onto your fields you are in patent infringement and owe them money.
- The chicken farming industry is run such that 4 larger corporations “own” the aspects of the industry that make money, while establishing rules where the costs are owned by numerous smaller chicken farmers and most chicken farmers live below the poverty level.
Is it any wonder then that most businesses focus on “show me the money” over and above other considerations.
Is it any wonder that ethical big businesses seems to be a contradiction in terms.
I recently moved from Silicon Valley to Austin. In Silicon Valley the focus of the startup scene is on money. Getting funded, growing revenue, and planning for that exit. While the startup scene in Austin is much smaller, the focus is similar. The big player in Austin is The Capital Factory, and when talking with the people there it feels very much like the Silicon Valley accelerators.
But isn’t capitalism focused on making money with capital?
Yes…. but…. Does it need to lead to the situation we have now, where very large and very rich corporations (and some unions) buy influence from federal and state legislatures to change the laws to favor them (such as the examples provided above). These very large and very rich corporations define the golden rule as “They who have the gold make the rules”.
Or is there a better way? Is there a better form of capitalism?
I for one believe there is. A capitalism focused on small business and the golden rule as it’s been known for centuries.
I just wish I knew how to get us from where we are to where we could be.
If you have any ideas, please share.