This comment is from Collin on the post “NYT Author of ‘Capitalists and Other Psychopaths’ Responds to GMP Critique”.
To be fair, there are many capitalists that ARE sociopaths. Also, I think the bigger problem is not that most directors are sociopaths, but corporations themselves ARE sociopaths. The problem is that corporations face no punishment. A corporation does not fear the repercussions of its actions. Because of the limited liability nature of corporations and the refusal by government to prosecute directors for criminal conduct taken under their watch, we have a situation where corporations operate, essentially, as complete sociopaths. I think the biggest problem is limited liability and a refusal to prosecute. The entire C-suite at BP should be in prison. Thousands of executives at banks, mortgage companies, hedge funds, and the like should be in prison. Goldman Sachs should not be forced to pay a paltry fine for committing fraud; the people overseeing the deal all the way up the chain should be in federal prison. They aren’t. There are no consequences for corporate misbehavior and that is the biggest problem.
I’m a capitalist too. I am with you 100% that capitalism can be a massive force for good. With that said, we have a system in place that encourages evil and punishes good. Pointing fingers at rich guys does not solve any problems, no, but demanding that they stop using their wealth to buy our government, purchase favorable legislation, and have government grow their fortunes at the expense of everyone else WILL help solve those and many other problems.
photo by jakecaptive / flickr