Give a man a fish, and he will stop worrying about learning to fish for today. Teach a man to fish, and he will get his self-esteem back plus a chance at living at more than a subsistence level. However, free fish will always be more popular than low-cost boats and nets.
Socialism refers to ownership of the means of production by the people, which translates to making them shareholders, forgetting how much “shareholder capitalism” is abusive because it encourages a profits-over-principles short term view toward maximizing share prices at the expense of long term values and goals:
Fifty years ago last month, economist and Nobel laureate Milton Friedman published his famous essay in The New York Times Magazine arguing that the social responsibility of businesses is to increase their own profits. This view has been controversial ever since. While campaigning back in July, Joe Biden said that the idea that a corporation’s sole or primary responsibility is to its shareholders is not only wrong, but “an absolute farce.”
Adding fuel to the debate, the U.S. Business Roundtable appears to have retreated from its earlier shareholder capitalism stance by issuing a statement about a year ago that embraced the idea that corporations and their managements have a responsibility to a broader group of stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, and workers.
Few people are willing to say the obvious: capitalism is an economic system, not a formula for civilization.
This means that it requires other forces to balance it. Traditionally, culture balanced capitalism, because that way people agreed on the goals of a society and were unwilling to invest in companies that went against them. Goodwill is defined by culture, and also the most powerful marketing force on Earth.
What has made “shareholder capitalism” so odious is that, with diversity and socialist policies, people no longer view society as theirs but as a competing force, therefore they want to take the money and run before it eats them up with conference call McJob wage slavery.
The Left, represented by the globalist organizations that represent the third world constituency most because it is the most numerous, wants instead to adopt stakeholder capitalism:
They led to rising inequalities of income, wealth, and opportunity; increased tensions between the haves and the have-nots; and above all, a mass degradation of the environment.
Given the shortcomings of both of these systems, we believe we need a new, better global system: stakeholder capitalism. In this system, the interests of all stakeholders in the economy and society are taken on board, companies optimize for more than just short-term profits, and governments are the guardians of equality of opportunity, a level-playing field in competition, and a fair contribution of and distribution to all stakeholders with regards to the sustainability and inclusivity of the system.
Look at that buzzword salad; like all Leftist proposals, this is another attempt to backdoor socialism. Stakeholder capitalism means that everyone becomes a shareholder in the company, sort of like mass economic democracy, which tells us the true nature of socialism.
In every socialist society ever attempted, “the people owning the means of production” translates into government commanding the means of production and paying the citizens as if they were shareholders with some kind of universal basic income.
Over time, that becomes untenable because if you pay people simply to exist, they will stop doing much of anything because they do not have to, so you end up with situations like the Soviet Union importing Western grain because it could not feed itself despite having ample farmland.
Stakeholder capitalism comes closer to socialism, but most “capitalist” economies have not been capitalist per se for a long time, since they are mixed economies or market socialist economies which include socialist-style programs called entitlements.
Entitlements refer to any government program that gives money or in-kind value directly to citizens. Public schooling, socialized medicine (Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare, EMTALA), welfare, and UBI are all socialist programs which take up three-quarters of our budget.
Arguably, America is more socialist than capitalist and has been so since the 1930s, although during the 1960s when the administrative state rose and management by regulation and fiat became normal, this shifted into a command economy mode.
At this point, business exists and thrives only because it is doing what government wants since otherwise it gets regulated out of existence, which is why businesses pay billions for all those lobbyists to go to Washington DC and try to talk Congress out of the latest insane trend.
Even more ominously, socialist policies have resulted in people seeing society as something to exploit. They no longer view themselves as having a duty to keep it functional. This self-centeredness, plus high costs from socialist taxes, cause people to have fewer kids.
Hence even “far-Right” leader Giorgia Meloni finds herself boxed in by demographic decline leading to a new for more warm bodies:
In addition, bowing to pressure from the business lobby, which is traditionally close to Meloni’s right-wing bloc, the government last week increased the number of migrants who can legally come to Italy for work as the population rapidly ages.
Looking to appease anti-immigrant supporters, the government suggested it was acting with restraint, saying companies and unions had called for 833,000 permits in the 2023-2025 period.
Business leaders welcomed the initial increase, but say more will be needed to tackle a longstanding demographic decline.
High taxes lead to high prices which lead to fewer people, and then the only solution is to import more so that they can be taxed to pay for the benefits already promised, with no thought toward the future. Meloni can no more escape this than gravity.
If she cuts the benefits, the voters will squall and wail, so instead she does the only thing she can: import those warm third world bodies and put them to work (if possible) so they can pay the taxes. Business, suffering from the same taxes, needs more cheap labor to stay in operation.
Ironically, it turns out being the things that voters love that doom them. They love free stuff from government, an inherently socialist proposal that leads to high taxes, and then the resulting socialist environment dooms them while making them passive like citizens under Communism.