Bernie Sanders Went to Rome to Discuss the Immorality of Unfettered Capitalism
For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue. Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Support Progressive Journalism The Nation is reader supported: Chip in $10 or more to help us continue to write about the issues that matter. Travel With The Nation Be the first to hear about Nation Travels destinations, and explore the world with kindred spirits. Did you know you can support The Nation by drinking wine? Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders met one another Saturday morning, before the pontiff flew to Greece to show solidarity with migrants and the senator flew to New York to renew his campaign for the presidency. “I told him that I was incredibly appreciative of the incredible role that he is playing in this planet in discussing issues about the need for an economy based on morality, not greed,” said Sanders, who, though he differs with the pope on a number of issues, has hailed the pontiff for repeatedly attempting to focus the global discourse on issues of economic injustice. What mattered more was the purpose that brought Sanders to the Vatican. The Democratic presidential contender took two days away from the campaign trail to speak at a Vatican conference that highlighted concerns about capitalism that have long occupied the church but that Pope Francis brought to the forefront by decrying “An economic system which leads to this tragedy; an economic system which has at its center an idol called money.” Sanders has made no secret of his regard for the pontiff’s economic analysis. Before leaving the Vatican, he told reporters: “I have been enormously impressed with Pope Francis speaking out and his visionary views about creating a moral economy, an economy that works for all people, not just the people on top.”
Passion for Justice
Financial Times recently offered an insert magazine on “The Future of Capitalism.” This debate brought in great economist such as Alan Greenspan, Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Gary Becker and others. These economist shared different perspectives with regards to where the emphasize for a new model of global Capitalism should be. First it is accepted that unregulated capitalism or Market Fundamentalism has failed us. Of primary importance now is the stabilization of the market and on this note I did notice that many economist did agree with a strategy for stabilizing the financial institutions. The market should be transparent and held to public accountability. Public regulations should be carefully developed so that they safeguard the public from market volatility but that they do not obstruct the flow of the market. One cannot of course look to the market alone to produce a virtues system since the market itself is value free. This is where our political and social institutions come in, to nudge the market in a way that it can bring financial growth and prosperity while making sure that it does so in a way that can compassionately address the needs of all who are affected by the market. As we are a religious community we do not attempt to offer actual economic policies, but in this blog we would like to highlight an economist who offers some interesting insight into policies that some of us feel may bring about a compassionate form of capitalism. Hernando De Soto is a famous Peruvian economist who promotes the cause of bringing capitalism to the poor by giving people in developing countries an actual opportunity to have access to capital and basic protection of rights to property as well as basic human services and needs.
Profits with a Purpose
To reintroduce myself and the purpose of this blog- my name is Katie and I’m a senior journalism student at UNC-CH. This semester, I’m studying Conscious Capitalism and how it’s been changing free-enterprise capitalism as a whole. I’ve begun reading the Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey and Raj Sisodia’s book Conscious Capitalism. What is Conscious Capitalism? In his book, Mackey states his vision for Conscious Capitalism: “Together, business leaders can liberate the extraordinary power of business and capitalism to create a world in which all people live lives full of purpose, love, and creativity – a world of compassion, freedom and prosperity.” Conscious businesses are businesses galvanized by higher purposes that serve and align the interests of all their major stakeholders, according to Mackey. These are businesses with conscious leaders who care about their people and the company’s purpose. Conscious businesses understand that stakeholders really matter. Mackey recalls the unexpected happening-dozens of customers and neighbors came to the store to help clean and fix the store. The support from other stakeholders was remarkable- even suppliers offered to resupply Whole Foods on credit. Mackey stated, “The flood demonstrated to us that all our stakeholders have the potential to form close relationships with us, to care and to commit intensely.” He then posed the question, “What more proof did we need that stakeholders matter, that they embody the heart, soul and lifeblood of an enterprise?”. Whole Foods is not alone as a conscious business that creates multiple kinds of value and well-being for all stakeholders. Next time, I’ll discuss what Conscious Capitalism is not.