Confronting Capitalism

Philip Kotler

with Philip Kotler

S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management

Confronting Capitalism

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Moe and Philip Kotler talk about today’s critical dilemmas and solutions for returning to a healthier, more sustainable capitalism (that works for all).

The Good and Bad of a Capitalist Society

We’re fortunate to be living in a capitalist society, especially here in North America.  While the dynamics of capitalism aren’t perfect, they trump the alternatives and have shaped our identities as Americans, entrepreneurs, and as a society that aspires for a greater sense of Freedom above all else.  I recently received a copy of legendary professor, Philip Kotler’s latest book – Confronting Capitalism:  Real Solutions For A Troubled Economic System, and not only did I find his point of view fascinating, but it was these fourteen shortcomings that he cites that put in context the true challenges our system is likely to face:

  • Proposes little or no solution to persisting poverty
  • Generates a growing level of income and wealth inequality 
  • Fails to pay a living wage to billions of workers
  • May not provide enough human jobs in the face of growing automation
  • Doesn’t charge businesses with 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 anticompetitive behavior 
  • Tends to focus narrowly on GDP growth 
  • Needs to bring social values and happiness into the market equation