Reinventing Capitalism

Reinventing Capitalism
David Schlecht

I’ve written many times about the problems with and the need to reform our current financial system. Stepping back and taking a look at the bigger picture, the problem isn’t limited to our banks, but is a fundamental problem with our entire approach to commerce.

Just think for a moment about the American approach to business. In a dog-eat-dog market, only the greedy and unethical survive. Sooner or later you’ll either get big enough to control your part of the industry or you’ll get gobbled up by a bigger fish. And, the harder you drive your employees and the less you pay them, the better are the chances you’ll be one of the big fish. The more inferior products you’re able to sell, the better for you, sure, better for you, but worse for your community and worse for your workers and worse for America, well, basically worse for everyone else but you.

That’s the foundation for commerce in almost the entire world.

Today, in this economic tsunami, is the grandest of opportunities to fix this upside down situation. In fact, looking back at the past 30 years, it’s plain to see that it was our current economic/financial/commercial system that has caused this mess, AGAIN! Businesses and wealthy get stronger and richer over the years until they have undue influence over the government and then start breaking down the barriers society put up to control them.

We, earthlings, need a new set of rules on which we play this game of capitalism. Here is my list of recommended rules for the new game:

  1. Half of all boards of directors in any company must be representatives of the employees. Employees are guaranteed a certain percentage of the company’s stocks.
  2. Outlaw all personhood for corporations. This is a big deal and too big an issue to discuss here, but check it out. Google “corporate personhood”.
  3. No business can control more than 15% of a market. Any more and the corporation or business is broken up. Sure, we’ll all pay an extra buck-and-a-quata for a week’s groceries, but we’ll all get paid considerably better, even the owners.
  4. If the business is a natural monopoly, such as phone, energy, health insurance, water, sewer, fire, it is managed and provided by We the People.
  5. If the business controls the commons, it is managed and provided by We the People.
  6. Businesses are dissolved immediately when guilty of defrauding our governments. The same goes for donating even a single dime to politics. If your ad looks a little bit political, good by and good riddance.
  7. All businesses must function primarily for the purpose of providing benefit to society.
  8. All businesses must be evaluated annually by the community and the employees and any three years of failure to operate in the community’s best interest causes the business to be broken up and all assets sold off.

These simple changes will still make businesses profitable but they will want to share the wealth with the workers and will want to provide the best, not the cheapest, service to the community.