Those looking for a big laugh can find one in Philip Kotler’s Huffington Post article entitled Fix Capitalism – Join Us!
Kotler says “The economic system is failing to deliver rising living standards for most Americans. Most of the gains from higher productivity are going to the rich. The middle class is getting smaller, the wages of the working class are lower in real terms than in the 1980s, and the really poor continue to constitute 15% of our citizens.”
On his website FixCaptalism.Com Kotler notes 14 shortcomings of capitalism but says “there may be more”.
14 Alleged Shortcomings
- Proposes little or no solution to persistent poverty
- Generates a growing level of income inequality
- Fails to pay a living wage to billions of workers
- Not enough human jobs in the face of growing automation
- Doesn’t charge businesses with the full social costs of their activities
- Exploits the environment and natural resources in the absence of regulation
- Creates business cycles and economic instability
- Emphasizes individualism and self-interest at the expense of community and the commons
- Encourages high consumer debt and leads to a growing financially-driven rather than producer-driven economy
- Lets politicians and business interests collaborate to subvert the economic interests of the majority of citizens
- Favors short-run profit planning over long-run investment planning
- Should have regulations regarding product quality, safety, truth in advertising, and anti-competitive behavior
- Tends to focus narrowly on GDP growth
- Needs to bring social values, well being and happiness into the market equation.
Kotler’s list is so preposterous, I hardly know where to start. So let’s just go down the list one by one.
Mish 14 Point Rebuttal
- It is capitalism that is responsible for improved standards of living over the decades.
- The Fed and government bureaucrats, not capitalism is behind growing income inequality. That said, some degree of inequality is not only a good thing but a very necessary thing. People need to be rewarded for bringing new ideas to the market. Successful new ideas raise the standards of living of everyone, and income inequality creates the very incentive to market new ideas.
- The inflationary policies of central bank planners is the primary reason people do not make a “living wage”.
- Throughout history people feared automation. Yet every technological advance created new jobs. One reason for the acceleration of job losses now are the very “living wage” proposals espoused by those like Kotler that price humans out of jobs.
- It’s not the role of businesses, nor should it be, to be concerned with undefinable “social costs”.
- It’s not capitalism that fails to charge businesses for pollution costs, but rather governments.
- It is beyond idiotic to propose capitalism causes economic instability. It is governments and central banks that cause economic instability.
- With his concern about “community commons”, one can easily see Kotler is a dyed-in-the-wool socialist. The problem with socialism is, it does not work and never will.
- Capitalism does not encourage high consumer debt. The Fed and central banks do, in the inane belief debt drives the economy.
- Capitalism does not let “politicians and business interests collaborate to subvert the economic interests of the majority of citizens”. Rather corrupt politicians willing to do anything to get reelected are the problem.
- Capitalism does not favor short-run profit planning, but tax laws might.
- In point 12, Kotler argues in favor of “anti-competition”. Competition is the very essence of improved products and rising standards of living.
- Capitalism does not focus on GDP at all. Misguided economists, politicians, and central banks do.
- Pray tell, whose “social values” do we need to consider? Mine? Yours, ISIS? Kotler’s? Personally, I do not want some jackass or set of government jackasses, deciding what is socially right or wrong.
Save Us from Socialists!
Philip Kotler is the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.
Having completed my 14 point rebuttal, it is pretty clear Kotler has no idea what capitalism really is or the advances it has created. He attributes problems to capitalism that are in reality caused by central banks and government bureaucrats.
Kotler wants to “save capitalism from itself.”
The irony is capitalism does indeed need to be saved, not from itself, but from economically illiterate socialists like Kotler.
Rather than fixing capitalism, I suggest we actually try capitalism in lieu of Fed foolishness, government foolishness, and socialist foolishness.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock