Are You A Capitalist?
It seems that in our country today this idea has been drummed into us that anything that even remotely curtails capitalism is immediately labeled to be socialist or communist. That means unless you are prepared to accept this label, you must be a supporter of unobstructed capitalism. When asked if I am a capitalist I usually respond that I am a liberal capitalist. Recently the idea of compassionate capitalism has struck me as more accurately describing my economic beliefs. While there is no single definition, compassionate capitalism is fair capitalism; it is conscious capitalism; it is against the cut throat corporatism that we’ve seen increasing over the past few decades that seeks to outsources jobs, and cut wages and benefits of workers regardless of the profits line.
Compassionate capitalism is for protecting worker’s rights to have fair and decent pay and benefits; it is for considering the environmental consequences of a business’ actions, and it is for a fair tax code that doesn’t allow those making the most money to pay a lower tax rate than those in the middle. The third element is conscious leadership, which is driven by purpose and by service to people, and not by power or by personal enrichment. Over the years, the thirst for greater and greater profits led many business leaders to put profits over people. So here we are, with CEOs making 400 hundred times the average worker when it used to be 10 or 20 times; we have workers taking pay and benefit cuts while CEOs get raises and even while profits increase. I just want to help offer the liberal capitalist an identity that isn’t between either extremes of communism and unobstructed capitalism.
So when asked if I’m a capitalist, I’d say yes. You can call me a compassionate capitalist.
Today’s young adults want to redesign capitalism. But into what?
There’s growing evidence that today’s young adults, ranging in age from 18 to 29 or so, are strongly dissatisfied with other fundamental aspects of our political and economic system. Specifically, growing numbers are rejecting capitalism. This led us-a sociologist and an economist-to wonder how would young people redesign the economic system if they could. We first wanted to better understand how young people feel about the current economic system. So we started by examining a troubling 2016 Harvard University surveythat found that 51 percent of American youth aged 18 to 29 no longer support capitalism.
A 2010 Gallup poll showed that only 38 percent of young people had a negative view of capitalism-and that was right after the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression, which hit young people especially hard. A separate poll conducted in 2015 by conservative-leaning Reason-Rupe found that young adults ages 18 to 24 have a slightly more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. Their views contrast markedly with their older peers, who consistently tell pollsters they prefer capitalism by wide margins-more so as their age climbs. All the same, the data suggest that today’s young people are part of a vanguard of Americans losing faith in capitalism and ready to embrace something new. To us, this suggests the critical reason young people have lost faith in capitalism is that it has lost its ability to be fair.
So these polls in a way suggest young people don’t want less capitalism, they want more of it. Just as lawmakers may want to rethink their views on gun rights, they may also want to begin re-examining their understanding of what capitalism is supposed to look like.
The Book of LifeThe Book of Life
On the other, self-flagellation, where we blame only ourselves, tear ourselves apart and constantly replay evidence of our waywardness and sheer stupidity. We have taken self-criticism too far when it no longer has any effect on our level of achievement, when it simply saps our morale and our will to get out of bed. We are aware that, by being kind to ourselves, we may over-indulge our undeserving characters, miss valuable insights and ruin our potential. Because depression and self-disgust are serious enemies too, we need to re-learn the value of calculated moments of self-compassion; we need to appreciate the role of self-care in a good, ambitious and fruitful life. We’re so in love with success, we fail to notice the scale of the challenges we routinely set ourselves.
We are robbing ourselves of genuine and fair consolation by believing that we are entirely in control – and therefore entirely to blame when we crash. Those who loved you in childhood knew this and, in their best moments, helped you to feel it. Adopt a maternal relationship with yourself: rehearse the internalised voices of all those who have been kind to you, bathe in an intrinsic absolute love independent of achievement. Let yourself listen to voices you haven’t given time for in years. Perhaps it isn’t unconditional love, it’s just that there are other conditions for love, which you happen to pass quite well.
You are kind, interesting, witty, sensitive, bold, imaginative Modern society has over-emphasised certain conditions for love, pegging them too neatly to a narrow range of victories. We have grown too good at giving the case to the prosecution.