Essay: A New Capitalism

I'm a businessman. I believe society should reward successful initiative with profit. At the same time, I know that profit-seeking activities have unhealthy side effects. They cause pollution, waste, inequality, anxiety, and confusion about the purpose of life.

I'm also a liberal, in the sense that I'm not averse to a role for government in society. Yet history has convinced me that representative government can't adequately protect the interests of ordinary citizens. Even less can it protect the interests of future generations, ecosystems, and nonhuman species because most (though not all) of the time, government puts the interests of private corporations first. This is a systemic problem, not just a matter of electing new leaders.

If capitalism as we know it is deeply flawed, and government is no savior, where lies hope? The Right says that government is flawed and that only privatization, deregulation, and tax cuts can save us. The Left insists that markets are flawed and that only government can save us. The trouble is that both sides are right that markets and state are flawed and wrong that salvation lies in either sphere. But if that's the case, what are we to do? Is there, perhaps, a missing set of institutions that can help us?

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