Tuesday, July 17, 2012
This Is The Most Important Thing You Can Read
This has troubled me for awhile. Probably since I saw Wall Street and Pretty Woman for the first time. The idea of predatory capitalism is based on the ruthless culling of the herd. It's an economic application of Social Darwinism. What Wall Street wants in a company is fundamentally different what EVERYONE ELSE WANTS IN A COMPANY.
And that cannot be stressed enough.
I had a friend, let's call him Bob, since that's his name. Bob was a Harvard grad and moved to LA to be a "producer". He was wired differently from me. And I remember him coming back from a factory and being impressed, even moved, by the idea that the guy who owned that company had people working for him that he was responsible for. That people's livelihood's were dependent on his running the company responsibly and everyone producing a good product.
And yet there is a preference on Wall Street to punish those companies. As Bernard puts it in his piece, there are powerful incentives to gut those companies.
Now, not every Wall Street firm acts that way. But I bet if you looked at the percentage of publicly traded companies that failed between 1950-1980 and those that failed from 1980-2010, you'd see a massive increase in businesses rising and falling dramatically. And that goes to a changed culture on Wall Street. Mitt Romney would say that's the vigor on the market, but I think it's a perversion of market economics.
And what's more, that culture spilled over in the MBA programs around the country. So even companies that don't get raided, still find themselves poisoned by this groupthink.
You want to know why America doesn't "make anything" anymore (despite the fact we do)?
It's because Wall Street doesn't give two shits in a flood about Main Street.
And the sooner we get that through to everyone, the better for America.
Put another way, "Why can't Mitt Romney be more American?"