January 25th, 2012
02:15 PM GMT
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Davos, Switzerland (CNN) – With the world still shaking from the global economic earthquake, and suffering daily aftershocks from Europe, it is not surprising that the topic at Davos is whether capitalism is dead.

On the opening day, the main debate focused on the question: "Is 20th century capitalism failing 21st century society?"

It’s not hard to see why. Former White House economist Nouriel Roubini reminded us that today we are "back to the inequality of 1929 and the Great Depression." High unemployment and the failure of wages to keep pace with living costs are resulting in widespread unrest against elites.

In the eyes of many workers, and especially young people, the business community "has lost its moral compass," trade union leader Sharan Burrow pointed out in today’s debate. "We must redesign the model. We must reset it,” she urged.

Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, is in no doubt that capitalism is "outdated," and that talent, not capital, should be the main driver of economies.

So far there seems to be a view that capitalism may be the worst form of economy - except for all the others.

Saying that the system needs fixing is the starting point. Leaders like Muhtar Kent, CEO and chairman of Coca Cola, are spending a lot of time here thinking about what might come next. He believes that a new model based around a triangle of government, companies and society is the way forward. But hang on. Didn't we used to call that the "stakeholder economy" in the 1980s? Wasn't the very idea of “stakeholder” designed to broaden the reach of those under the tent? Make more people feel included?

Many like Kent, who employs more than 700,000 people, believe that there has to be a more inclusive form of capitalism. But there are still far too many narrow-minded executives that don't truly want to make the fundamental changes.

As the failure of capitalism over the past decade shows us, it’s all lip service unless major action is implemented.

While the shift in economic power to the East is undeniable (OK, John Defterios, but that doesn't mean the West is down and out...) no-one should think these emerging markets are great paragons of new model capitalism, spreading wealth and benefits.

There may well be a rising middle class in the BRICS economies, but poverty, disease and a lack of social welfare still abound there. To say nothing of corruption, and a lack of corporate transparency in many cases.

Earlier in the week, I called this “Davos Do Little” because of the complexities faced in solving the pressing euro crises. I am coming to the view that this might be a good thing.

Since they can’t waste too much time trying to do what they can’t, they are at last willing to talk about what might come next. Now, can someone please tell me what a new model of capitalism might look like? And crucially, how we prevent it becoming just a re-fashioned version of the old?



soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Richard Katakuri

    I would like to see a shift from irresponsible capitalism that has hindered the world for the past 100+ years, to a more sustainable and fairer development model that will benefit all in the developing and developed world. Will this ever happen, I'm not sure, but I would like to see world leaders at Davos start thinking about a sustainable future and not just about lining their own pockets…

    January 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  2. Richard Katakuri

    Sorry Richard, but the West is down and the East is up, going to be like that for the next 30-40 years (at least).

    January 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  3. Nick

    I would believe that a system of socially responsible, innovative and sustainable businesses will come to rise. This can be marked by a fair distribution of pay within a company and fair trade up and down the chain. I already see it happening on a small, local scale in my home city and know for a fact there are many setting out to create larger companies that are socially and accomplishment driven instead of having profit as the bottom line.

    January 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  4. MS Choi

    If the East goes up, it should be in a different way, not such a way the West prevailed. If the same way is pursued by the East, it will not be sustainable again for the very same reason that we see the problems now. Whoever goes up in the future, we need a new, sustainable system.

    January 25, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  5. narfzort

    good article.
    the problem we're finally realizing is that making money from money doesn't benefit anyone but the "investor".

    January 25, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  6. Thartea

    Why should it not fail. The world needs one leader who can be trusted to save the world.

    January 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  7. John B

    "I would like to see a shift from irresponsible capitalism that has hindered the world for the past 100+ years"

    Forward to 1900? it's doable, but we would have to find a way to drastically cut literacy and life expectancy rates while at the same time increasing poverty and disease.

    January 25, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  8. Richard Katakuri

    What I find most bizarre is that all the comments from the above posts sound perfectly logical, it's a shame that all the great minds at Davos can't seem to get their act together…

    What will come of this meeting?

    January 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  9. James V

    Capitalism is the greatest and worst thing to have happen to the world. The pursuit of profit is a fundamental element that makes people want to better themselves. However at the same time, its also this drive that is destroying our civilization. The problem is that capitalism also drives the pursuit of profit, which drives the changes to lower costs which lead to income disparity between the working class and the share holders.
    The only thing worse that capitalism are share holders, investors and venture capitalists. These are the evil people who threaten companies with lose of financial support unless they increase the bottom line.
    For an investor the goal and product of the company are merely a after though, If a small startup company was working on a cure for cancer and another company already had a working drug that stops the spread of cancer but doesn’t cure it. You can beat they would invest in the company that can make money now, not the one that would make money later. No matter if they would actually change the world.
    You want a perfect example of what is wrong with capitalism; Watch the movie Extraordinary Measures, with Harrison Ford, Brendan Fraser. There is a Scene in that movie after they already started up the company and have started working on a enzyme to cure pope’s disease. One of the Venture capitalists comes up to Brendan Fraser and says “if you don’t have a working enzyme in 3 months we’re pulling the plug and going to sell off whatever we can to recoup the costs”
    That right there is the perfect example of what is wrong with capitalism, you “invest” in a company not because of what they are doing but because of what your p/e is going to be at the end of the quarter, Share holders and investors are the reason capitalism is failing. They are basically legalized loan sharks, with the power to take the money directly out of your company at anytime because they don’t like you.
    All Stock/share ownership should be illegal.

    The other issue is it takes money to make money, people that have money can use that same money to make more money. Companies can spin off a startup and throw some smuck in charge if it fails they just write it off the books as a loss. little people like joe smo could have a million dollar idea, but with no capital you can't get off the ground. companies have a team of lawyers that find loopholes in laws so their company can screw america out of paying taxes, and in some cases come up with ways that the country owes them.

    Capitalism is the reason america is falling into a wirlwind of debt.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
  10. Johan

    There is a relatively simple solution to this problem but it will never be accepted because it requires much smaller governments.... and lets face it, the government will never agree to fire itself. Here is how I see it; the problem with capitalism is that the more omney you have (as an individual or company) the more influence you have on the legislation and general structure of society. The reason this is so is because the people in the government ultimately have the same goals as the companies, to maximise their own bottom line. That is where lobbying and all sorts of other shinanigans come into play.

    So, in order to minimise the influence of capital you cut out a big chunk of the thing they influence. (The government) How....very easily. With modern technology it is realistic to have a true government of the people where everybody votes on everything. (There are obviously some things which should not be decided by the masses as they will decide wrong but we know what these things are. So it would be the governments job to take care of the few things that the public should not take care of and to put forth to the vote all the necessary issues.)

    Comments?

    January 25, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  11. keith

    It seems more likely that CNN is outdated in the 21st century. I suggest Richard refocus on that.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  12. Sue-helen

    There will always be "big people" and "little people"...that is human nature. It is when the big people start squeezing the little ones so that they can have more for themselves, that the problems arise.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  13. Peter T. Wilson

    Congratulations! This is exactly the type of discussion we should be having today as we endure a certain depression. It has touched the core issues of the problem. I have suggested that the economic problem is due to its sovereign and nationalism. It is why a universal monetary or world government will never work. This is the power driving national tradition and in some pats the market. It is the reason why North and South Korea are incompatible, like Israel and Palestine, China and Taipei. Internal sectors also share the same conflicts between religions and individual or one government parties.
    Capitalism has to move away from the pure material itself for it's corrupted nature and transcend into an integrated whole.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  14. Simon

    We have to go back to a more traditional model of profit out of product. Banking and betting on the value of companies has become more important that the sustainability and productivity of the companies themselves. at some point companies started worrying about providing better value to their shareholders than their customers, and that's where a solid economy began to turn into a house of cards.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  15. Just a guy

    We are in the dark ages of economy and new thinking. Greed, irresponsibility and the neglect and lack of sympathy for the common man are hindering progress.

    Capitalism is utter bullocks, its just a piece of paper, or a number on a computer. But its the only system that works, and the alternatives are bad. We are not yet ready as a society for a new way of doing business, and we are too greedy and scared.

    But there are some that have the guts to make jobs and wants to grow big; a Norwegian flight carrier called Norwegian, is essentially a small company, but today they set the largest order for airplanes in Europe, and will be a huge airliner in the future. They ordered 100 A320neo and 100 100 Boeing MAX8, the largest order in Europe.

    We're in the dark ages of inventions, innovation and investments and we need to be more positive and think large and think far ahead.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  16. Caj

    Commie News Network.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  17. JimJerry

    is this a joke? its too early for april fools day.

    capitalism has raised the standard of living of more people around the world than any other system. the "poor" people in america are rich when you compare them to the poor in china or cuba or north korea or any other state that doesn't adopt capitalist principles. this article is insane

    January 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  18. Mike

    Capitalism will always be around.it is not a system but a desire or a drive to be better and to have success in work and life better than most,and it is those capitalists that create companyes that create jobs,in which turn create a ladder to climb to reach improvement in life and work.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
  19. Nicholas

    The only reason capitalism has survived till now is that, one, it borrowed hugely from scocialism and communism (all the social progammes we find in the West) and two, because there was no system fighting tooth and nail to destroy it as Capitalism did and still do to socialism. Also the idea that when companies are wealthy, the wealth will rob off employees and the rest of us died when national boundaries were obliterated and capital moved without bounds. The insanity of one person living on millions and millions of dollar a year and another on a few thousands is mindboggling. Unfortunately the politicians everywhere, I mean in Africa, Asia, Europe and America, get paid for allowing this to happen. New system is required as a matter of urgency.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
  20. Richard Katakuri

    JimJerry – capitalism may have raised the living standards of people in America (for a period), but according to national statistics – the poverty level in America is rising, right? The objectives of the big corporations is to max their profits and they will lay off workers when they want and how they want. HSBC recorded huge profits this year, but are still laying off loads of staff living in capitalist societies. Capitalism is going to squeeze more of us every day. ever played a game called monopoly?

    Strange to think that after the Berlin Wall came down the life expectancy in Russia fell…

    January 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  21. Josia Nakash

    Will be glad to Richard. Here is a blueprint for our neo-capitalistic world:

    The toolbox of classic economics is inadequate for our time. Our antiquated thinking is driving us deeper into the crisis and must now be changed. In that regard, Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize laureate in economics, said in a lecture at the 4th Meeting of Economic Sciences at Lindau, “The standard macroeconomic models have failed by all the most important tests of scientific theory. They did not predict that the financial crisis would happen; and when it did, they understated its effects.”

    We need to adapt ourselves and the nature of our relations to the characteristics of connections in the global-integral system. In that regard, continuing to develop behavioral economics is a step in the right direction because just as the economy has become global, so have our social relations. This is why egoistic relations do not work anymore. We must learn the qualities required of relationships in the new world. This will not only bring us into balance with the global-integral world, but will enable us to understand and welcome the changes that social and economic systems must undergo.

    The change is inevitable; it cannot be stopped. The more we deny it, the more we will experience the change as a crisis. But if instead we will come to grasp the meaning of the change and make the necessary changes, the sensation of distress will give way to hope and prosperity, to harmony and peace among people, and between humanity and Nature.

    Therefore, all that needs to change is the nature of our interrelations. If we commit to a new social and economic treaty, a global and integral one, with mutual guarantee among us, we will be able to instigate a transformation of the existing economic paradigm, and of all the systems of life that humanity has built. Such a change is possible only through broad education and informing, creating an empathetic environment that nurtures the values of mutual guarantee and stresses its advantages. Only an evolutionary process of that type will guarantee a stable and efficient economy that provides harmonious, balanced, and sustainable living for all.

    January 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  22. JB

    It is when somebody making over 20 Million per year from dividends and capital gains wants me to believes he feels my pain.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  23. straightfire

    Despite the new economic tendencies and modern technology, capitalism hasn't been able to give concrete solutions to what they irresponsibly brought about.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  24. dr A Kruger

    Capitalism only fails because big burly bungling governmental bureaucrats mess it up by taxing the successful to buy the votes of the lazy and non-productive.. like those who have enough time on their hands to "occupy". Capitalism creates wealth; socialism spends it in a wasteful manner. All the economic failures of the 20th century was the result of too much interference in the free market, too much taxes on wealth (and job) creators and too much legislation that punishes anyone who dares employ anyone else. It's time to evolve to minimalistic government and a pure free market economy, something that has not really existed before.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  25. Special Officer Doofy

    I'm not totally against capitalism, but some guidelines should be put into place to prevent people from losing their retirements, etc. Only the rich can act so irresponsible and greedy. Right now, it's like the wild west! In the past, they have all paid their way into a protection program from getting away with being crooks! And, It is wrong!!!!

    January 25, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  26. Surfer George

    It seems to me that there are two forms of Capitalism:
    1) (the more common – TODAY): Make the most with the least amount of cost, the least amount of work, the least amount of concern for anyone who isn't me with no apologies.
    2) Moral/Ethical Capitalism that recognizes and honors all parties in the transaction. Failing that, equitable governance over transactions favoring no particular party – FAIR.

    Most of today's capitalists would have utterly failed in a TRUE "make it or break it on your own" Free Market. "Socialism" for Capitalists is fine, "Socialism" that helps everyone equally is NOT fine as it creates a more even playing field.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  27. bubi11

    Resources are exhausted, so trading will become criminal and Capitalism alike.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  28. Paul

    Ask Quest if he would share most of his wealth with the poor, leaving only the amount of money necessary to pay his bills... and you'll get your answer.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  29. Seab

    Nope... China's capitalism brings wealth. It's the interference with capitalism that causes it to stop functioning properly. Government should not interfere as much in a capitalistic system, other than catching people who break the laws. And capitalism is all about hardwork... including making yourself work at Walmart even if you don't like Walmart. Welcome to the reality of capitalism.. like it or not.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  30. Silver

    The problems with capitalism generally center around lack of accountability, lack of oversight and lack of mechanisms to rein in racketeers who take advantage of the "system". Self-governing by the foxes does not work in a chicken coop.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  31. Zoft101

    Capitaism is failing not because it's such a bad system but it is too dog-eat-dog. The rich get richer the poor get poorer nobody gives a damn as long as they make a profit. The price of goods can't keep going up and up and up as if on some type ladder to the heavens. That is not sustainable. .

    January 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  32. kilmoturtles

    I got a new system that will fix our economic problems.. it's called Mother Nature , and it will definitely "shake" things up for us humans. Our time is coming.. good luck!

    January 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  33. KK

    Even though social mobility (aka The American Dream) ranking has now slipped behind other countries, the US establishment continues to promote it to the 99%. Its comparable to Soviet and Chinese claims of great leaps forward and how wonderful things were, when the uncensored numbers showed the opposite. Just as China needs growth to keep its leaders in power, America needs social mobility – or at least the illusion of it – to sustain faith in the current outdated model.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  34. Brian

    The problem today is that if a CEO does well, they makes millions of dollars. If they do bad do they lose millions of dollars? No. He just gets fired (with a nice compensation package) and the losses basically gets socialized. Thus we are at privatize gains; socialize losses. That's not good for society. What we need is simply ACCOUNTABILITY. Build an economic system on accountability, and you have a great system. .Capitalism is very close, and is maintains accountability for small businesses. However publicly owned corporations lose the link to accountability, and therein lies the problem.

    Socialism puts the accountability on the government and not really the people. Thus most people aren't held accountable, and, as the North Koreans are showing us, this form of government isn't effective.

    This leads me to think that we need an evolution of capitalism, not of socialism.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  35. GFMohn

    There is no alternative.

    Margaret Thatcher

    January 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  36. Jon Kotinek

    "More than half of global investors see growing income inequalities as hampering economic growth. When the bottom half doesn't have enough money to buy goods, everyone suffers. Distributive justice is, as it turns out, the only way to save capitalism from itself." – Cassian Sibley

    Distributive justice in action is known as Distributism, and it has basically three tenents: Spread the means of production as widely as possible (that is, give every person the skills and materials needed to make their own living), subsidiarity (push decision making to the most local level possible), and solidarity (making decisions that benefit everyone, not just a few).

    http://distributistreview.com/mag/

    January 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  37. mover1111

    To have Equitable Economic System in World:

    There should be One Currency in the World

    Everybody is given Minimum Wage $8,594 which is Per Capita of the World.

    An Upper Limit to be put on the Maximum Income, Wealth or Assets a person can acquire.

    The Maximum Income Limit could be 20 to 50 times more than that of the per capita of the world, which comes to $171880 to $429700.

    It keeps the incentive for the people to work harder, at the same time poor remain no more poor.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  38. eclectic

    Anti-dote to the wrongs of capitalism:

    Re-distribute the wealth after every five years.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  39. Humanity Lover

    Tax heavily so that nobody is richer than the poorest more than a few times. Reduce the population to one billion.

    With modern tech with less population, everybody would be comfortable. Child birth is licenced to not let it grow more than a billion.

    And then advance towards free energy and total automation.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  40. Clint Hakeman

    The trouble with capitalism currently is the schism between how companies deal with market externalities. In many companies, for the last century, there has been a crippling shortsightedness about market externalities; such as ecological damages, societal damages, etc. Currently very few companies look past the immediate costs of minimizing or eliminating these hazards to analyze the long-term benefits. For instance, very few companies look into thoroughly investing in the communities in which they live. Sure, there's your usual stadiums and concert halls, but if companies invest in the community infrastructure and security they can benefit from lower crime, higher productivity, and expanded labor markets.

    Fundamentally capitalism works, but not because it effectively allows growth in the private sector, but because it effectively manages and highlights some of the potentially damaging characteristics of human beings existing in the economy. The biggest reason why the population of many countries is so upset about the government is corruption; we all fear that our politicians are greedy and ignore what we really need. Capitalism welcomes greed. It tempers it into a useful tool for a businessperson. What capitalism needs is a way to force a shift from shortsightedness towards the future. Businesses need to become farsighted. The current market jitters don't matter, what matters is how businesses can continue to operate and compete in 5, 10, or 15 years.

    Currently the government uses licenses and fines to regulate things like ecological damage, but that's not really enough. Positive and negative reinforcement can teach any animal what to do in a given situation, but that doesn't mean they UNDERSTAND it. The same thing applies to companies. BP is still fighting Halliburton over who gets the blame over the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Neither company cares about the disaster, they're just trying to find the scapegoat. The only thing BP learned was that they need to have stricter regulations over the hazards on their oil rigs. They didn't take the lesson that they need to improve working conditions, safety procedures, and be proactive about facility deterioration. BP has had a huge chance to revolutionize the industry in all of these areas, but instead all they see is the number on the bill.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any good ideas on how to force company vision from shortsightedness, but we know what the goal is. The has been clearly defined, and that's the first step to change. I would love to hear this kind of discussion in Davos, and anywhere else. I know that somewhere, someone has the answer that we all need. We just need to listen to them.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  41. Humanity Lover

    Do the above or send your descendents to doom. The choice is to be made today.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  42. Fluux

    Lip service is all these con-ferences are made for. They will all walk away with the notion in their heads that they have all had alittle chit chat about the whoas and worries and the problems and solutions and thus bringing them one step closer to whatever they think they're stepping towards and the poorly paid staff back at the conference centers will put away the drawing boards and that will simply be that. As long as greed permeates every facet of every society, capitalism will forever be there playing the bigger dog to everyone else's much smaller pooch.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  43. aure

    The model of capitalism is, at most part of the world, outdated indeed. Capitalism is not benevolent when it flourishes on the expenses of majority without giving back a righteous share.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  44. mat hendriks

    Kapitalisme is anno 2012 outdated.

    The problem is, that we have no real alternative implemented in todays world.
    This will lead to complete confusion, in an almost unreal world.

    In the Bible is this a profecy, who will come to forfilling.
    We have no answhers to upcoming questions-questions
    of most high importance.

    Good will, shall not be enough.
    The golden kalf is soon dead and the world in despaire.

    Nothing left to loose, only regrett that we have nothing
    done, with the opportunities we have got in the past.

    The only solution will be praying on our knees
    and ask for forgivenes, for our selfishness and greed.
    What come must come.
    Kapitalisme will be the finisher of todays world.
    A beautifull world, made for all peoples.
    Made for all times and made for no ending at all.

    We only had to live conform the wishes of our Creator.
    He want us to live in joy and prosperaty.

    " All " have some of -good- live.
    No war-no abortion-no euthansie-
    respect for the old peoples-and weak peoples-
    Just they deserve the most -the biggest part of the pie-
    called- Live-
    Kapitalisme brought a few a lot-much -much to much-
    and soon left us all -nothing- nothing at all.

    The dead of kapitalisme-nothing to be sad about-
    The final outcome of kapitalisme-
    That makes me sad – very sad.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  45. TrueMan

    If somebody still thinks that capitalism is not on death bed or we should still pursue it, that person should get his mind checked up.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  46. Anpadh

    It does not matter what ism happens to be in favour at a particular time. It matters how people implement it. Feudalism, Imperialism, Socialism, Marxism, Capitalism, and all of the other isms work - if the people in charge are honest and competent. Each one fails when the people in charge of the system are incompetent and dishonest. In my opinion, the next great ism will be Populism - national (official and elected) leaders ruling through popular but unofficial and unelected leaders. Eventually, that, too will fail. But it will fail, probably, in less time than Capitalism failed, just as Capitalism failed in less time than Feudalism. Feudalism worked for thousands of years. Capitalism came into existence, officially, with the signing of the Magna Carta, in 1215 (about 800 years ago). Populism will probably last for 200 years or less. Countries are likely to unify and people will communicate faster and better, over the years. Political, financial, and geographical unification always leads to disaster for the ruling class. As countries grow larger, the number of people one person (or one group) can lead, (effectively) will decrease. And that will probably bring us to the next ism - Voluntarism, where various groups and leaders will retain their independence yet voluntarily cooperate with each other to achieve specific goals, at a given moment.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  47. TIM

    We have not had any capitalism for a real long time. We have been suffering from a strongly government influenced (through taxes, laws, rules, the FED, etc.) semi-socialist system and now that it turns out it does not work, capitalism gets blamed. Hello, anybody home?! Capitalism means truly free markets and truly free individuals. It is what built the U.S. into the fantastic country it once was. Read http://theindividualistman.blogspot.com/ and vote for Ron Paul, the only presidential candidate with an authentic and long-term viable vision.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  48. light

    My condolence to capitalism.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  49. Wise

    The solution lies in sharing, not in profiteering.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  50. Mark

    Captialism only works when there are reasonable checks and balances. Without these checks and balances, corporations only add to the number of "evil dictators" in the world. How many poor evil dictators are there in the world? Money in the same as power. Capitalism is not the same as complete and absolute freedom or as we Americans like to say "freedom of speech."

    January 25, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  51. Alex

    The world hasn't had true capitalism for 100 years! This is not free market! There is government intervention and regulations everywhere! How on earth can someone claim that the problems we face are due to capitalism? How can more government intervention and planned economy be the solution? Who feels knowledgable enough and with the right to impose on others any system by force? Outrageous socialist takeover! And people buy this crap... Sad.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  52. BBoy705

    Where is Gene Roddenberry when we need him? Dead of course. But seriously, his vision of the future is a much brighter one (that is until the Borg arrived) than what a lot of people see as their future. It really is time for a serious rethink of the current economic model for a variety of reasons. Wealth inequities, resource sustainability, population growth, and the marketing mantra that you can have whatever you want and we'll even create and market stuff you don't need, want or require but we'll convince you that you do need it, kind of mentality has to change!

    January 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  53. santos

    Can companies provide 100% of cash dividends to retail investors in every Quarter.
    re-design the dividends & other benefits to the investors holding the company assets for long term >01 year.
    this will create money flow to the hands of the individuals.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  54. Andrew

    Great article. We can do better. There are great ideas and points here. Open dialogue is what we need. There are plenty of intelligent people who all have different ideas. One would think that in a "free" and "democratic" country that is supposed to be controlled by the people, we could actually have a say in our own lives. That is what the Occupy movement is about. We can come up with solutions rather than allowing the rich and powerful to protect their own interests at the expense of everyone else.
    I especially like this line from the article. "Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, is in no doubt that capitalism is "outdated," and that talent, not capital, should be the main driver of economies."

    January 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  55. Hopeless

    This is a waste of time. Our new economy should be based on talent and not capital? What? As if changing the name to talentism should make things more equitable? If we base things on talent things will be even more unequal.

    Our inequality is now at the levels that is was during the great depression? So what? It's because the industrial revolution created enormous opportunities to create wealth just like the information revolution is creating right now and some people are better positioned to take advantage. We're going to need to think a whole lot clearer than this if we ever want to make things better.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  56. eamon

    There will be a worldwide oligarchy for the next fifty or so years . Then the robots will take over.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  57. Beve Stalmer, CEO, Macrohard

    "Is capitalism outdated in the 21st century?" has to be the dumbest question CNN has asked for a long time. Capitalism is the basis of every economically successful society, financial crisis or not.

    However, the question "Is 20th century capitalism failing 21st century society?" is a very different one. It is sad that such a good question somehow was transformed to a moronic question in the headline.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  58. R360

    "There may well be a rising middle class in the BRICS economies, but poverty, disease and a lack of social welfare still abound there. To say nothing of corruption, and a lack of corporate transparency in many cases" oh really as if there is none of that here in North America.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
  59. government cheese, M.D.

    Ironic that on CNN's home page, the story next to this one is "Merkel warns that Europe needs reforming." America seems to be 15 years behind Europe and can't see the hazard sign post ahead.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  60. Clive Rogers

    "Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, is in no doubt that capitalism is "outdated," and that talent, not capital, should be the main driver of economies."

    No, it is PURPOSE that is the successful driver of economies. Both capital (financial investment) and talent (abilities) that are essential elements but they are NOT the drivers. It is the "why", asked repeatedly, not the "what" or even "how" that leads to true success. Man, oh man, does no one understand this? Think on this, people!

    January 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
  61. Anil

    Best answer is given by Brian. Capitalism is not bad. It's just that in it's current state CEOs does not have any accountability and have no inclination for long term sustainibility of the company, so they look for short term profits and high risk gambles. This in turn gives them a lot of profit in short term and when the losses occurs they are immune to it. If a company is owned privately, the owner is always looking for long term sustainibility of the company.

    And to top it off, government legislations are funded by big corporations which are again geared toward short term profit and partial towards the corporations. It is as plain and simple.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  62. Z W

    read "A Modern Utopia" -HG Wells

    January 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  63. Marcos

    Capitalism is not dead. China is here to prove it otherwise...

    January 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  64. Keith B. Rosenberg

    Capitalism is not a human invention but a natural system. The idea that talent is the replacement for Capitalism, sounds like the old Communist saw to each according to their needs and from each according to their talents. Those who innovate require incentives. Even Nikita Khruschev noted that.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  65. Todd Dunning

    Most commenters here are tragic victims of the far-left public education system in the US that has failed at educating on most every subject except...leftism.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  66. Matt

    There is two types of capitalism: 1) adding value to the economy; 2) subtracting profits from the eocnomy. The second is indeed outdated, the first will never be.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  67. PTWilson

    When economists and Prime Ministers or Presidents talk about economies based on debts, it's time citizens exercise their democratic right and take over governing..

    January 25, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  68. DaLe

    Anyhow... if I would use facebook to promote (myself for) prost1tutional services, would they block me, sue me, or demand a financial charge for it?

    January 25, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
  69. ali

    We need to think how can we share fair more than how can we earn, and also Angus Maddison book's statictic shows east will be top. but that is not important which side is top , crusel question whic countries is fair. İstanbul.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  70. Ron Paul 2012!

    Capitalism is alive. Davos and the Central Banks are dead.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
  71. Francis Flores

    There is a sufficient resources in this world for the needs of everybody but not enough for the greed of the significant minority. We must balance our ambition with its conscience and consciene is God's precense in men – otherwise the hearts of men are easily corupted

    January 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
  72. Bruce

    In the 20th century in the UK in Northern Towns there were factories empoying thousands of people. Tthe problem from the point of view of those seeking employment is that the factory model providing work for thousands of people is one of the past and there appears to be nothing to replace this model of a source of mass employment. Even developing countries are bumping up aganist this problem. We are incresingly going to have to deal with the problem of not enough work to go round even in a booming economy!

    January 25, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
  73. us1776

    Capitalism does not fairly account for all contributions to a society.

    And what is going to happen when the day comes that nearly every job has been replaced by automation?

    Do we just murder the middle-class and poor at that point?

    .

    January 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  74. Alex Povolotski

    Capitalism is a utopia, just like Socialism, Communism and other "isms" :-)

    It's time to reconsider Monarchy as a viable replacement for the above. Monarchs were born and raised to rule a country or an empire and did so selflessly. They had no personal reasons to gain or to lose since their worries were beyond sustainability of their own self and family. Security on the personal front, allowed Monarchs to rule with the thoughts about the people and the bigger picture.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:14 pm |
  75. Diminishing Returns

    Before the advent of modern capitalism we had slavery, and before that serfdom, and the cast system of royalty. The very foundations of capitalism are clearly build upon legacy economic philosophies and legacy economic cultures that have at their core a belief that the best way to make a profit that covers your costs by a wide margin is to reduce the cost of the most critical capital input (Human Labour capital) to as near to zero as possible.

    Capitalism fails – as we have experienced recently- when the cost of human labor falls (on an aggregate population level), on an inflation adjusted basis, near to the cost of owning a slave. The is because a slave can only consume basic goods and services such as food, clothing, and shelter. A modern consumption based economy is simply not possible with employees and workers who earn wages that are too low to allow for anything but basic consumption.

    So the take away is this: Corporations and the wealthy ownership elite essentially pay no taxes, instead they benefit from subsidies and supports provided by governments ...often in very subtle hard to detect ways. Corporations and business owners do not create jobs, jobs are created by people, ordinary hard working consumers who often consume more in the wau of products and services than they earn and save...to their own detriment!

    January 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  76. Edward

    I believe that next economic model must understand that economy is a mean and not an end. Capitalism in the end has managed to transform people in efficient cash producers. However, human being is capable of much more things than prodicing or worrying about money. There are other values that enrich society such as solidarity and will to share a more equal world. Why not to promote a model in which for example to produce a job rewards you much more than to eliminate it.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  77. The picker

    Capitalism is and always has been an unjust, exploitative system that favors the plunderers over the workers. It must be replaces with workers' ownership and direct democracy – but this is something that the fatcats at Davos can never be expected to deliver – only direct expropriation on the community level will rescue humanity from the bane of unfettered profit-seekign.

    January 25, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
  78. Zoft101

    Castro: Capitalism is dead ! Don't say I didn't warn you...

    January 25, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  79. supreme

    It is not outdated. Socialistic policies cause economic turmoil. Free market put a man on the moon. Communism simply put a man in space, then crashed.

    January 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  80. supreme

    It is also socialism that parades as good for minorities and middle class, but when you look under the fake mask, you see the same system that kills middle class and minorities. Case in point. Detroit.

    January 25, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
  81. catweazle

    It's not about being "anti business",it's about being "anti" the way business is conducted.The very definition of capitalism,no "interference","rules" etc,means going back to the days of the 19th century robber barons:60 hour work week,for pennies,if you get injured or killed on the job",oh well....tough luck son".There is nothing wrong in rewarding those who create wealth honestly.If wealth has been created honestly,the chances are others will have benefited too,therefore less discontentment all around.but that wont happen on this planet..

    January 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  82. Milton

    Quest asks if is Capitalism outdated? Well, are clothes outdated? Is food outdated? The answer for all three is no. Capitalism is the freedom of individuals to pursue their own self interests. Without capitalism there is no freedom. And freedom my friends, is NEVER outdated.

    January 25, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
  83. us1776

    supreme, it was BAD TRADE POLICY that killed Detroit.

    Foreign lobbyists had been bribing our congressmen for years. And they allowed heavily-subsidized foreign goods like autos to be dumped into our country at below cost of production.

    The proper response should have been tariffs instead of signing stupid free trade agreements that just encouraged more foreign dumping.

    January 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  84. David

    The main problem with capitalism, as I see it, is publicly traded companies. When a company sells itself off to outsiders with no intrinsic interest in any aspect of the company other than profits then the people managing the company who are beholden to them have no choice but to chase that carrot. It seems that a lot of people agree that overpaid, greedy CEOs are one source of "evil" capitalism. They're obviously mis-incentivized. I think we can fix this problem by rethinking the way shares of a company are sold and what those shares mean to their respective holders.

    January 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  85. Chriss from melbourne

    the problem is not capitalism but the distrubution of wealth (maybe distribution is a wrong world for it since you earn your money). there should be a limit to personal wealth depending on the country's wealth . Meaning you cannot own any amount of money wich limit the opportunity for other to earn the same amount of money if it leads to inflation as a result. the more the country wealth is higher the more the personal limit is higher .

    January 25, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  86. Ageless Stranger

    Ah, the commies are back. I thought we beat you twenty years ago.

    The computer screen you're looking at reading this was provided to you by the free market. The clothes you're wearing, thank the free market. The car you drive, ditto. The food in your stomach, same. Capitalism is a natural outcropping of the human condition. People who freely enter into a transaction leave that transaction better off. At least, this is what Adam Smith concluded and what your behavior suggests every time you part with money for goods. The history of man is abundantly clear, the living conditions of people left alone to pursue their separate interests far exceed government planning and socialism. It's just reality.

    January 25, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  87. Ageless Stranger

    Oh, and all this nonsense about "greed" is silly. You can be the greediest person on the face of the earth and it won't raise you income one dime. Try it. As for the CEO with huge sums of pay...the question shouldn't be why these people are accepting so much money but rather why other free people are offering it to them. Think about it. Would a person who is free to enter and exit a contract or transaction do so if they didn't think they were getting a fair deal?

    January 25, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  88. coderjones

    with 99% making the 1% rich – do you really have to ask???
    with the corruption of religion, politics and humanity – do you really have to ask???

    January 25, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  89. guesswho22

    I pledge allegiance to flag of the United States of America. And to the Capitalists for which it stands, one nation, under a religious strangle-hold, very divisive, with liberty and justice for only the 1%

    January 25, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  90. timn8ter

    This just goes to show how widespread the brainwashing by the elite has gone. Wake up people! There is no capitalist system any longer, it died in 1971. What we have now can be called corporatism or crony capitalism with large corporate interests partnered with large government. It is this system that has failed, not capitalism. Don't you find it odd that right next to this story is the one saying the entrepreneur-ship is the key to helping the poor?

    January 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
  91. Andrew

    Big Business and Government need to be divorced asap. to many politicians make policy based on influence from big business. Every lobbyist should be jailed and are a curse to our democracy

    January 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
  92. LosCar

    Capitalism works and it works great, but only when there is a government that isn't intertwined with corporations. When this happens, the ugly byproduct of capitalism (greed) begins to affect the way fiscal, tax, regulations, and social policies are introduced into a society. Let the greed stay within firms, they will collapse and another will grow. Unfortunately this is only possible if our government lets capitalism run un-interfered...

    January 25, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
  93. Gopal Kedia

    I hope that capitalism is last of the 'isms'. All the great theories like communism, socialism and capitalism have served their purpose to take the humanity a step further in evolution and, at the same time, have also shown it that they are all inadequate. Any idea or theory which solely focuses on the material welfare ignoring the deeper aspectes of human being can never be permanent and is bound to pass into oblivion. Earliest formula of wisdom promises to be last; God, Light and Freedom. New ideas and systems must develop which will be closer to this deepest yet largely unrecognized aspiration of humamity.

    January 25, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  94. desert voice

    Each morning we hear more bad economic news. I knew this was happening. It's a home-grown evil of many decades. People's minds have been atrophied by the education system, which crushed creative thinking coming from the moral certainty of doing the right thing! This certainty is or is not in the brain. It is not in the American brain any more! A few people who stood up against the educational system, were purged from the system, and sent into exile, like myself. I have predicted that this was coming the very day I left the U.S. on the banks of Potomac, talking to a stranger "from the ruling establishment." I still recall his unease and scorn, even hostility when I said, ten years from now, China will be in the driving seat, not the U.S., because of the globalist blunder of exporting our job base! The year was 2,000, so I was off the mark by one year. No nation in the world can forfeit its job base for the sake of another, no matter how rosy it make look to the investors! America must gradually bring back what she invested abroad, and reinvest in itself! In the meantime, people need to work! I propose giant infrastructure projects, which will put enough money in people's pockets, so that the savings generated will attract the companies that emigrated, back! We need not just white elephants, but smart white elephants that generate huge profits, beside jobs! We need ideas!, someone said. I have given you some. I have no money for gasoline, and can barely afford food because my job was exported to China by people like Mitt Romney. Else, I would have spent some more time, giving you more ideas. By the way, folks, the CEO abbreviation actually means a "[C] utting [E] mployment [O] verhead] shark. Some corporations are still hiring those sharks, while the countless America's masses cringein fear for their future!

    January 25, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
  95. Zoft101

    Take a look at what is going on right now with the advertising companies running amock. Adds everywhere on the web on the bus, in football stadiums, under your bed in your kitchen and in your bathroom. facebook and the internet are big holding penns, where all the sheep go at night to get indocrinated into buying more junk, even though the sheep can't afford it on their Unemployment checks. So out come the friendly credit card companies who raise you rates if you dare to sneeze. The housing market collapsed because greedy real estate people over-valued the price of homes. Hey it's not all their fault it's all about "supply and demand", really, so why did the housing market collapse ? Meanwhile the prices or everything keep going up and up and up unabated, it's all about "supply and demand" ...

    January 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  96. desert voice

    There is no question that the great American, Warren Buffett is right on the mark! If only a once-a-year 10 percent tax were imposed on the rich for a period of ten years, we would eliminate the national debt, which is eroding faith in America all over the world! The European billionaires have also seen the light, and are now calling on their governments to tax them! All these people cannot be wrong! We are living in hard times unlike any other. The wealth continues to be concentrated in a few hands, while the nation is ever more poor. Get the message? The Nation is becoming poorer, while the rich are becoming richer! That is a killer combination for any economy, unsustainable and unfair! I do not have an MBA from Harvard, but I challenge all the professors there to prove me wrong! No sovereign nation must ever allow the rich getting richer at a time when it gets poorer! That is the Desert Voice economics 101, Signori Economisti!

    January 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  97. desert voice

    Regarding the election, I generally support Newt Gingrich, despite not being a politician. But he needs to answer my doubts regarding his true, or not true compassion for the poor! I am not talking about "Democratic" kind of compassion. I am talking about true compassion taught in the Scripture by God! I am talking about zero tolerance for "idle latifundia" and for "hangman's-rope types of debts", on which the capitalists until today have been hanging nations and individuals, especially the poorest! I am thinking about the money that unlawfully sits idle in the banks, for generations, while the rich fatten themselves on lobster in Monaco and Cote d'Azur, while the poor have no work or food! This evil, ruthless Capitalism must stop! It must be buried and cremated, so that it never raises its ugly head, again! I want Mr. Gingrich to clarify his position on this! I want to know what will he do, if elected, to force the U.S. corporations like Nike, Google, Caterpillar, McDonald's, to compensate the American people for the jobs they took abroad! The mere talking is cheap. The time is now to speak up!

    January 25, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
  98. Godi Gutierrez

    Capitalism is dead – and the only thing we can do is bury it.

    January 25, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
  99. desert voice

    There is a latent need to invent new economic laws and monetary procedures! The laws we have, in great measure predate the Roman Law and the Babilonian Code. Those were times when the world had some 50 million people, more or less. Today, we have passed 7 billion ... but money supply had not grown proprtionally! Common sense requires that this quantum disparity be bridged! People need money to eat and clothe themselves, exactly as they did 5,000 years ago under Julius Caesar and Hammurabi! Just do the math. How much money per capita was needed then, in the caves, and how much is needed now, to rent an apartment, buy a computer, buy a car, travel by plane?! Having said this, I hereto propose, that the world agree in common to double the amount of cash available, by printing it and distributing it to each country, doubling each ones’ cash reserves ... without devaluing them (leaving them as they are today in value)! This is absolutely just and it will change the world! Please, the monetary policy architects in Davos: take my proposal seriously! Save both the United States and Greece by adopting my "debt forgiveness" scheme. If half the debt Greece has is wrote off, the crisis will cease to exist for Greece and for the United States. Europe will also be taken off the hook. Then adopt a similar measure universally, including all debts the nations have! This will spur unheard of economic growth in the world! The debts are simply strangling the world economies. The debts are caused by money crunch exploited by rutless money lending policies of the banks! Get rid of the debts every seven years, as the Bible commands! The Bible is the Word of God, and therefore can't be wrong! Double the amount of cash in the world, debt free, and the world economy will rebound!

    January 25, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  100. RogerE

    Desert voice, I totally agree that the problem really lies in the money supply. What we have been conned into believing is that we can't print any more money. Where do people think money comes from? It is almost a chicken and egg scenario where do you increase the money supply first, or do you somehow create demand. You can't do one without the other in this case. The other fundamental truth that is hidden or ignored is that money is merely a tool. It is not real, it does not exist. It is just an agreement between individuals to say if you do this for me now, I will promise to return something of equivalent value to you later. It is essentially stored value and labor. People that are worried about inflation if you print more money could not tell you where inflation comes from. In the end inflation is caused by people. Prices only change because people change prices either through greed, or shortages of resources. These are the problems we need to solve and the only way to solve them is through agreement between people. The most difficult thing in the world is changing closed minds.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:07 am |
  101. sarunonakama

    Ultimately capitalism as it exists is doomed as the resources we require are becoming increasingly more scarce and harder to access. It is therefore impossible, especially with the booming population, that consumerist expectation of all can be satisfied and sales figures can increase forever. As resources become more scarce, even the basic expectations of all will become harder satisfy; the ultimate result will be catastrophic as it is unlikely anybody will succeed in throwing the brake on as the populace are so addicted to consumption they prefer to run straight into the brick wall rather than reassess their role in the decaying system.

    The most responsible approach is to eliminate mass consumerism and needless waste now, and develop a modern and technologically advanced society capable of supporting the basic expectations of all people through absolutely sustainable means while we still have some resource buffer available. Population should be moderated to levels at which the human race can exist in a symbiotic relationship with the planet based on the current level of sustainable technology. I believe a resource based system where each and every person has the right to access an equal portion of the resources of the planet for absolute necessities could be one model. Resources could be categorized as "absolute necessity" and "leisure" and moderated as such. Money should be eliminated entirely. Current higher corporate positions or government roles would not be rewarded with more resources. Such positions should if anything yield lower leisure resources and be intended for the most talented and altruistic people in the world. This would encourage truly benevolent people to be running the show and encourage the continuous growth and development of benevolent society and with it a change in human nature from a belligerent self satisfying disease like occupier of planet Earth to a responsible symbiotic and harmonious part of a natural system.

    A core part of the leaders role would be to develop technologies and systems by which leisure resources could be increased for all. Child birth capability would be chemically and automatically activated once a couple had contributed sufficiently to the growth of resources and reached a certain level of benevolence. Hence the future of the human race and any population growth would be biased towards people of altruistic tendencies. Benevolence will therefore have to be encouraged from an early age, the meek will indeed inherit the earth and peace will at last be reality.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:11 am |
  102. Scott

    I don't think the issue is that capitalism is outdated... I think European Socialism is.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:13 am |
  103. Sanity

    This is sad. Capitalism works; the masses are just ignorant fools who allow themselves to be manipulated by not enforcing the rights of the individual. Not the collective. There is no we, I care not for any of you except those whom I choose. Do not degrade my merit and ability through slandering and then applying fairness and equity. There will be no fairness for me or my brethren who cherish the fruits of their OWN labor and ingenuity. You deserve nothing you do not earn. I weep for our country, as we deserve our folly. Please read a book people... Ayn Rand please? I know my message will be lost in this sea of ignorance but I can only try to remind people of true sanity.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:14 am |
  104. us1776

    Sanity, Atlas Shrugged is fiction written 1957 by a 1930's depressioner, Ayn Rand, who described
    a time most closely related to about the late 1800's. Debuted to universal negative reviews.

    .

    January 26, 2012 at 12:29 am |
  105. Christine

    The author of this story needs to get a real job.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:54 am |
  106. RBE

    The best solution I've found is a Resource Based Economy as proposed by Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:18 am |
  107. OrionStyles

    Capitalism and free market economies would work just fine if countries actually implemented it fully and properly.

    The US is not an example of free market capitalism.

    Go read Wealth of Nations and Das Capital. If you believe in fairness, you'll pick capitalism.

    The unfairness you see occurring around you now is because we do not have a system that allows people to reach their potential, we have a system that allows the top to trample the people below them to maintain their power.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:38 am |
  108. Harish Shrivastava, Tokyo

    What we need is compassion in capitalism. Somehow that got eliminated in the process.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:48 am |
  109. wanderlust misfit

    capitalism isn't what we practice anymore. there's too much government involvement. We have a housing bubble because the government got involved and coerced banks and lenders to give houses to people who couldn't afford them. We have awful healthcare because the government married healthcare to giant insurance companies. we have inflation and high commodities prices because the government won't stop printing dollars.

    What we need are markets ran by the people, BUT we also need better oversight of companies by people. If we can find a way where people could find out where their money goes when they spend it, to make companies accountable to the people, their customers, we could diminish the immoral practices and better even out the wealth. I think what i'm looking for here is, um, journalism ... we need people to let us know where our money goes, and we need people to reach out to learn where their money goes.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:55 am |
  110. sameh

    very sad situation See the elephant is dying and die

    http://www.bestofthebestofall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1163

    January 26, 2012 at 4:12 am |
  111. sameh

    oh my god these Childrens bewitches miracles

    http://www.bestofthebestofall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=1161&p=1603#p1603

    January 26, 2012 at 4:12 am |
  112. Brent

    You can not fix capitalism with capitalism just like you can't fix inflation with more inflation, unless you merely mean to patchwork it, leaving the mess for later generations to clean up which most likely is improbable, considering the economic and social detrimental means it promotes to profit monetarily whether it be planned obsolescence, cyclical consumption or the invasion of countries for their resources.
    It is not longer relevant for the intelligent management of the earths resources and distribution of these to the worlds population as it has become progressively limiting in its function. Capitalism assumes that there is always economic growth within a finite planet.
    Might I also add that recent research like presented by Dan Pink at RSA conference shows that monetary incentive limits cognitive thinking and lowers drive for complex thinking.
    Capitalism as outgrown its function and is more like an anchor to a progress just like hunter gatherer societies shed their outdated methods of conducting their economy for the survival of the community by implementing new tools so must be adapt and rid ourselves of tools which are not relevant anymore and find our next tool for the well being of the world and the whole population within.
    When economy or to economize actually means to manage your household we can not truly economize without considering the sustainability of the whole world while managing the distribution of its resources to the benefit of all not by hoarding resources, fighting over them, limiting them for profit, making finite resources symbols of status and preventing further technological means to actually create sustainability when there is no profit to do so.
    I also advocate a Resource based economy and I recommend everyone to research it, analyze it and inquire about it.

    As you can not limit technological progress, technological unemployment is inevitable. What are we gonna do, all work in the entertainment industry and become lawyers? Outside of a capitalist system we can use technology to free human beings of mundane tasks, let human beings make personal progress as they wish and find the many Einsteins which we would have otherwise missed.

    January 26, 2012 at 4:16 am |
  113. gatalec

    BRICS are humming because of capitalism... beware not to go back to communism since that has never worked and be careful with socialism because that has hampered further growth for successful economies...

    January 26, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  114. George

    Strange wise thoughts. (from Mr. Klaus Schwab)
    Of what kind of capital, what kind of talent it’s question about?
    When capital and talent are opposite?
    It’s said that money don’t smell. But, why some must be laundered? And it's so much that disturbs entire economy.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:31 am |
  115. Mohan R Gopal

    Capitalism is like a most adaptable living organism. It will change and adapt to the changing environment. It will live as long as human life survives on this earth.

    January 26, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  116. Mahikari

    Capitalists lack thanksgiving, honesty, and modesty.
    Thanksgiving: Executives should be thankful everyday of their staff’s endorsement, and weigh this on any of their business decision.
    This is the driving force of solidarity, motivation, and trust amongst people.
    Honesty: Denying weakness leads to a loosing battle. Never do business in arrogance.
    Modesty: Despising others won’t grow you bigger.
    Instead, acquire their good points and learn from their bad points.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:39 am |
  117. JC

    Our greed has failed us. Yes we need a more sustainable / responsible "capitalistic" system, but even that will only really work on a planet / system with enough resources and less people. Also, concentrating the vast majority of the wealth in a small percentage of the population will lead to extreme greed and power imbalance as it has. Yes, organizational government and hierarchy requires a pyramid shape, but our pyramid is a lot "broader" at the base and expanding every day. This uses so much of our developmental energies that our "pyramid" isn't growing in height any more, we are stagnating on a planet that is fast losing it's ability to sustain us.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:49 am |
  118. CountryClubRepublican

    With the governments and currency in Europe collapsing, shouldn't the article be "Is Socialism oudated"? We have not seen a collapse of capitalism caused by capitalism itself but by government meddling in the free market (see Fannie Mae). If free market capitalism is so bad, why is China and other develping countries embracing this model. It's because private property and the freedom to contract has become the cornerstone of modern civilization. History has shown that state-controlled economies fail. We should not go back to that model, no matter what the elites in Davos say.

    January 26, 2012 at 6:54 am |
  119. Nick Ghobashi

    and by the way even though those european countries are so terribly "socialist" as many of you point out, their economies are capitalist. And many, such as Germany, are doing quite well, if not better than us. The countries that are having trouble were hit harder by recession, had weaker economies more succeptable to it, and many of the same percentages of social spending, amounting to a debt crisis. Not to mention bad fiscal policy. Bad policy attributing to massive debt, coupled by falling revenue is what drove nations like Greece into crisis. Not socialist ideals of public well being. Once again, all those nations have capitalistic economies, get your facts straight. That is why they are talking about capitalism failing them.

    January 26, 2012 at 7:18 am |
  120. Andre Hasbani

    Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave, eats a bread it does not harvest, and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
    Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox, whose philosopher is a juggler, and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
    Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.

    Khalil Gibran
    The garden of the Prophet (1933)

    January 26, 2012 at 8:02 am |
  121. Raghavan

    As long as countries have borders and the country's economy is bound by these borders, companies that are registered within those borders have an obligation to that country's economy. Capitalism will therefore be subordiate to the country and its people.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  122. PETER

    Capitalism should be abolished for good in favour of a system that supports mankind working together for the
    betterment of all......... Look to science to point the way to the future.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  123. Clive Rogers

    What's behind the West is ahead of the East, as far as capitalism is concerned. Free market capitalism, where the most powerful/abusive win, has reached its logical conclusion, namely partial collapse. Capitalism, in the form of investment, is essential, whether it is via the government, private equity or funds, of course. Control, regulation, limitation in some regards it turns out is also essential (this applies to government and private debt as well as to equity). The optimal (sustainable) approach, whilst initially much harder, rather than the maximal (neoliberal) approach is both necessary and ultimately inevitable. Pay now and play later, or play now and pay later. The current generation of western baby-boomers increasingly did the latter, no longer risking the farm to start a venture, but retiring on it instead. Move over boomers, here come the Xers.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:23 am |
  124. Cameron

    Capitalism is niether dead nor dying. It is just another boom and bust cycle. You can try to minimize it, but their is no getting away from it. The only way to get rid of any type of economic bubble is to have it bust. This will allow excess recourse to be used more efficiently. Yes people have lost their jobs, but what they were doing might have not been the most productive that they could be. Now they have a chance to try something else and hopefully do even better then they did before.

    January 26, 2012 at 9:43 am |
  125. Rama

    Simple: Local communities. Oil is eventually used up – you specify time frame, at some point it will happen. Airlines can no longer fly. Vehicles can no longer deliver food cheaply. People must still survive, the ones who will learn to garden again. It becomes more efficient to develop better transportation – think usa adoption of european-style public train system. Families are forced to live together again, as its more energy efficient.

    January 26, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  126. Aaron Donne

    David Korten – listen to what he has to say.....

    January 26, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  127. Pangea

    I think we need to look at the Nordic countries for a possible working system. But note that the culture, intellect and value system of the Nordic countries are a fundamental building block of their system. The problem with run away Capitalism is that is is unsustainable.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  128. Palmer Owyoung

    There is such a thing as Ethical Capitalism, business models such as Anita Roddick's Body Shop demonstrates this.
    A company that judges its bottom line by the good that it creates and the community that helps, while still managing to turn a tidy profit. I think that this business model shows that consumers are willing to pay a premium price for goods that they think have a greater value. Also giving a story to the provenance of a good helps consumers to make more informed choices.

    January 26, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  129. desert voice

    I will tell you what: America will fail because of people like Richard Quest! Did you know that the media has been harboring traitors? Did you know that the same person who asked in this article for ideas has censored mine just because it was the only one that made sense? Now you know. My idea on how to fix the world economy, specifically my idea on what is wrong with capitalism, sits in the internet with a stake through its heart ... by Richard Quest!

    January 26, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  130. hdq

    "Capitalism" is a political label, similar to "democracy", "East-Wast", etc. Unlike "socialisms", which some people tried to establish, "capitalism" as a system has never existed. It was a word used by Karl Marx and other writers to describe a "society" where people make, buy and sell goods, rather than goods being distributed by a government ("socialism") as Karl Marx and his followers wanted it to be.
    But selling and buying existed from times immemorial. And attempts to establish "real socialism" have always failed.

    The problem today is not "capitalism" but absence of honest, competent government, governing by impartial and objective law based on justice. Today's governments are groups of demagogues manipulated by various lobbies and pressure groups – this is not "capitalism", but lawlessness and all-pervasive corruption. But it is the people who elect the demagogues – and this is what "democracy" is.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  131. Pastor Mike Palevo

    The problem is the Financial control nuts of the World! The Central Banks, and their policy! Until this changes, capitalism will not work. The debt system the Central Banks and the Fed have put in place are there for one reason. Debt, Debt, and more Debt!! Shut down the Fed, and take power away from the Central banks. Then, and only then will we be able to free ourselves from the strangle hold of these evil financial barons. Capitalism works, but without Evil Money lords!

    January 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
  132. bob kelleher mckinney tx

    Welcome to the middle ages.......you're asking the people who broke the world to fix it!!!! I believe that's called insanity

    January 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  133. Ken

    Talent and not Capital should be the main driver of economies? What the heck does that mean? Many companies already use various forms of performance management to rate their (non-union) employees. When you have the talent and skills to produce results, you get higher performance ratings, and you advance with more opportunities for more pay and earnings. If you want to see how talent drives an economy look no further than sports. The most talented earn huge amounts of money and are the elites. The rest never even make the cut or teams. Just look around you. How many of the people that you deal with do you think have any real talents or skills (and balancing a peanut on their nose is not a true talent). The answer is most people are truly worthless, having little in the ways of talents or skills. And that's already the reason they are where they are in life.

    Or what about the whole Coca-Cola CEO and his new model based around a triangle of government, companies and society. That's already been tried you know. This triangle basically sounds like an phrase taken out of the Facist (IE, Nazi Germany) handbook. In that case the society (nationalism) drove the economy and goals, and government made sure the companies worked towards those goals and the betterment of the master race.

    You see, the real problem here is people are going around saying Capitalism has failed, hence we need something new. But they never look into why there has been such problems. And when you dig into it, the real reason for the failue is not the model, but, the people in the model. Capitalism is based on people working to achieve goals. But many of the people in todays world want to do nothing more than sit around and they expect to be taken care of. Medical care, covered. Retirement planning and pensions, covered. When I build a home in a flood plain and it washes away, covered. Mass transportation at cheap rates, covered. The list goes on and on. That is the failure point in Capitalism .. a weak and pampered people who don't deserve the modern amenities they have, who are to self-absorbed and lazy to really achieve anything on their own. And quite frankly, any new model would fail as long as the key parts (the people) are so broken and defective.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  134. PETER

    "yes people have lost their jobs" " now they have a chance to try something else and hopefully do better than they did before" .......................Are you trying to be funny ? . You make it sound as though people love jumping from one demeaning job to another. Did it ever cross your mind that they have no choice and that they actually hate what theyre doing? Most people endure the constant difficulties and uncertainties because they do not have access to sufficient resources and hope that things will change and because they need to survive. The working class serve the goals of the capitalist moguls only and no more, and they will always live in uncertaintly because the system is unpredictable,complicated, non transparent and unequal. The poor have it worse, they are ignored and opressed by the rest of society who label them as lazy and useless and they often live in abject conditions with virtually no chance of ever realizing their true potential and worth because they are denied equal rights to resources. This and the state of the environment point to a new kind of thinking. One would assume that at this time, after having evolved sufficiently over the years and having acquired the use of technology and its potential, that we would as a species be in a position to solve the limitations that we continue to place apon ourselves by holding on to obsolete and unsustainable ideas.

    January 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  135. tarzanjungle

    Many types of human governments have been tried—autocracy, democracy, socialism, communism, and others. But all have failed and will continue to do so. Man can not govern himself. It is not in our nature to do so. We need Extra-terrestrial interference. Jeremiah 10:23; Daniel 2:44.

    January 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  136. Sid Airfoil

    This article makes a fundamental mistake. It correctly argues that capitalism isn't perfect, but then assumes that there is a perfect alternative. The truth is that no system that involves humans will be perfect. I'm not sure why anyone thinks that government control of the economy will produce better results. Governments are humans too, and they are just as prone to greed, hubris and error as are capitalists. Don't fall for "the grass is always greener" argument. Pointing out capitalism's shortcomings doesn't necessarily mean that there is anything better.

    Sid

    January 26, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  137. phobosity

    "Since they can’t waste too much time trying to do what they can’t, they are at last willing to talk about what might come next. Now, can someone please tell me what a new model of capitalism might look like? And crucially, how we prevent it becoming just a re-fashioned version of the old?"

    I'm impressed Richard. An article that poses the right question. Well done.

    I have a few ideas which led to me being locked up in a mental hospital for a few weeks, 17 odd years ago.

    I'm still ignorant of a key component though; a mathematical model for human security (Power Execution Security) to glue it all together.

    Thanks for the conversation.

    January 26, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  138. Dan

    Capitalism has not failed. The banks are not capitalist.
    All this mess could have been avoided if the Banks were capitalist.
    Banks recklessly helped to create the housing bubble. They have government guaranteed depositor so no one cared what was done with the depositors money. This is thusly a government caused mess. Government removed the accountability that market disciplines provide.

    January 26, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  139. Jurij Zlobinz

    Davos Martin Sellmeyer as telecommunications head interview with you ...Actuall changes due to your previous report 2006....

    January 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  140. Julian Serna

    Let´s start by learning some geography, Brazil, (the B in BRICS) is not East.

    January 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  141. crbrianb

    Do you want a bigger paycheck? Do you want to drive an SUV instead of a car? Do you want the latest, greatest cell phone? Do you want a fishing boat for recreational purposes? How about a ski boat? If you want anything to make yourself different from other people, you are a capitalist.

    The last house you bought, did you negotiate a selling price with the seller? Did you want as much money out of your old house as possible so that you had more money for your next house? When you traded in your car for the one you are driving now, did you try to get as much money as possible for the trade in?

    Any time that you want anything different than the people around you, or you want more than what you already have, you are a capitalist.

    Capitalism has been around a lot longer than the last 100 years or so, It's been around since the first time man traded one thing for another. Currency was originally the form of goats and chickens before the discover of gold.

    January 27, 2012 at 12:19 am |
  142. Brent

    thats because scarcity has always been an issue. Technology has allowed us to progress to such a level that we with intelligent implementation can produce abundance to satisfy the needs of the entire world while sustaining the environment.
    If you have access abundance to any of your needs why would you need money?
    I'll say it again, capitalism or money in general is for the trade and distribution control of the earths resources. This tool is no longer relevant in an age of technological progress.
    The only living organism on this planet that can hold its own evolutionary progress back are human beings for they cling to old ideals.

    January 27, 2012 at 3:49 am |
  143. PETER

    Brent ....... Amen! exactly! the middle class and the poor would agree, So who is left to disagree ? only the wealthy ! because they are not prepared to share resources which if you think about it does not actually belong to them. It belongs to the creator. An alternative model can only emerge when the irrational perception of race, gender and class are removed as obstacles and humanity can begin to cooperate instead of competing with one another.Imagine what would be possible when that happens........ perhaps we could finally call ourselves ....Civilized

    January 27, 2012 at 6:41 am |
  144. cnnitnews

    Capitalism was outdated in 30-s of 20 century. But US riches had enouth marijuana to lie to stupid poorers.

    January 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  145. PETER

    You. do not have the authority to call anyone stupid. Only a small mind can think is such mundane primitive terms.

    January 28, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  146. Suehtemorp

    Capitalism is not the problem, believe it or not. The majority of the troubles the middle and lower classes are dealing with are a result of our system of government, which is, to most reasonable people, obviously almost entirely controlled corporations and extremely wealthy individuals. The Fed, which, while not a part of our government, and only marginally accountable to it, also serves the corporations and the extremely wealthy. Capitalism is fine, honestly, it's our form of government that needs work. If and when we get to the point where the people actually vote on the issues (and personally pay for the initiatives they support), government corruption will be all but eradicated.

    A related side-note: How is it possible that so many people in the US have studied basic economics, but have no understanding of what our monetary policy actually does to the people? Due to have a baseless currency and loads of inflation, the dollar has lost 98% of it's purchasing power over the last 100 years. Where did all that purchasing power go? From the hands of the lower and middle-classes to the banks and the corporations, that's where. I suppose it is a little hard to understand for some, but EVERY TIME the currency is inflated they banks and corporations steal your money (it's purchasing power) and line their own pockets.

    Few will read and understand this post, but I hope at least one person will realize that the corporations and the wealthy aren't the problem; the problem is our system of government and the Federal Reserve Bank.

    January 29, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  147. Suehtemorp

    Believe it or not, Capitalism is not the problem. The majority of the troubles the middle and lower classes are dealing with are a result of our system of government, which is, to most reasonable people, obviously almost entirely controlled corporations and extremely wealthy individuals. The Fed, which, while not a part of our government, and only marginally accountable to it, also serves the corporations and the extremely wealthy. Capitalism is fine, honestly, it's our form of government that needs work. If and when we get to the point where the people actually vote on the issues (and personally pay for the initiatives they support), government corruption will be all but eradicated.

    A related side-note: How is it possible that so many people in the US have studied basic economics, but have no understanding of what our monetary policy actually does to the people? Due to have a baseless currency and loads of inflation, the dollar has lost 98% of it's purchasing power over the last 100 years. Where did all that purchasing power go? From the hands of the lower and middle-classes to the banks and the corporations, that's where. I suppose it is a little hard to understand for some, but EVERY TIME the currency is inflated they banks and corporations steal your money (it's purchasing power) and line their own pockets.

    Few will read and understand this post, but I hope at least one person will realize that the corporations and the wealthy aren't the problem; the problem is our system of government and the Federal Reserve Bank.

    January 29, 2012 at 4:56 am |
  148. Suehtemorp

    Oops. Double post. Forgive the misplaced comma or two and using IT'S instead of ITS. Oh, and the typo near the end: they instead of the.

    January 29, 2012 at 5:00 am |
  149. 4sight

    Capitalism will not die because the parasites at the top (politicans, business leaders) will keep sucking until the host is dead. And then we simply react, because proaction is a fantasy. For those of us who know the outcome of all this, we simply wait for it. And for those who don't know, it is a waste of breath to try to explain and convince – the power of deception is already hard at work in this world.

    January 29, 2012 at 6:36 am |
  150. PETER

    ...................... "Capitalism is not the problem, believe it or not. The majority of the troubles the middle and lower classes are dealing with are a result of our system of government, which is, to most reasonable people, obviously almost entirely controlled corporations and extremely wealthy individuals"........................and now the contradiction...... "Where did all that purchasing power go? From the hands of the lower and middle-classes to the banks and the corporations, that's where" ............Who continues to fuel Capitalism and who has the most to benefit from it ? You see........Any intellectual arguement one tries to apply in favour of Capitalism serves more as a kind of poison............it poisons everything including the the minds of unsuspecting citizens neutralizing their ability to reason.You say capitalism is not the problem ............................... then explain the MASSIVE gap between those with huge abundance compared to the millions upon millions of people that are forced to live in abject conditions. You might try to apply intellect to that again, saying that yes powerfull individuals, corporations and synergies are somehow superior in their methods thus deserve to profiteer where as the poor just have no talent and skill and nothing to contribute and thus they should be forced futher into oblivion.The truth is that corporations, individuals and synergies have gravitated and fenced everything toward themselves from generation to generation. They have huge resources necessary to ensure that their positions are secured way into the future. Theres no way that the majority of working class or poor will ever be able compete against that. Perhaps the best thing to do is to just tell ordinary citizens the truth from the very beginining, That in fact they have no future and that they should consider carefully wether they are still prepared to bring children into a world where they will be nothing more than servants and consumers. That would almost certainly solve the problem of over population and poverty as people would come to fully realize their predicament,but it would most likely not be popular with corporations who rely on growth to amass more wealth. The system needs to be investigated and refined, Everyone should have equal access to all resources including life long education....................... How can one say that an old system is still the best system.? Everything is constantly evolving, we can put men on the moon and spend billions of tax dollars on military and politicians but we refuse to apply ourselves to REASON. There is always room for change and there is certainly room for learning to live more efficiently. You cannot tell me that this is the most efficient system ever devised because by example it is not . It current system fails to take into account too many things, things that have been deemed small and insignificant, but which are actually critical to the whole. To gain a clearer understanding and solution to the problems everyone should have the opporutinity to debate these issues not just those in prominent positions otherwise nothing will change.

    January 29, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  151. Capitalist

    Capitalism is destroyed by feudalism. Everyone wants to replace the king and exploit the middle class. Before it was landowners, barons, dukes – today its banks, corporations and their politicians. Present Capitalism is done because it is self destructive in nature. It invests in paper instead of people and business. And it needs tax money to stay afloat, so it isn't even capitalist in the first place. Demand creates jobs and wealth, not bank induced fantasies.

    How can capitalism be finished? It isn't even here. This was only yet another race to the top. Capitalism was just a cover.

    January 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  152. Confused

    I continue to be confused by the demonization of capitalism. It is not capitalism that has resulted in the failings we are facing today. Socialism has bankrupted most of Europe. Communism led to far worse conditions for the lower classes than those of any truly capitalistic society. It is inappropriate influence of individuals and companies on governments and greed and partisan battling taking priority over the needs of the people that have driven many of our issues in the United States. Neither of these has anything to do with capitalism. The fact that capitalism encourages and rewards people for pursuing economic gain is VERY different from governments being bought and the complete lack of a moral compass. Those things exist in any economic model as proven throughout history again, and again, and again.

    Concerning the rise of the East . . . yet another example of our moral compass gone amuck. We continue to talk about the loss of American jobs, while we as consumers reward the pursuit of cheap labor (regardless of the consequences) as long as we can save $1.50 at the store. The hypocrisy of the screams against capitalism by people who not only reinforce, but actively reward "cheap" over every other product attribute disgusts me. Capitalism does not drive this, consumer preferences do. If we as a society of consumers purchased based on quality, social or environmental responsibility and penalized cheap labor or irresponsible practices, capitalism and free market economics would guarantee that these things would be prioritized by the corporations that people love to label as "evil" for providing us with exactly what we demand from them. To place the blame solely on corporations is to completely ignore the fact that the masses are in fact equally guilty and the ones who are in the driver seat.

    January 29, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  153. enkephalin07

    What capitalism? Washington has listened to business' cry for handouts for so long that they've had a welfare state. Billions of dollars invested into the private sector in the form of tax exemptions and subsidies, and every time someone suggests taking a hard look at what they're doing with it and how they deserve more of it, they cry "No, we don't want to be policed! No, government, don't look or we can't work the free market magic work!! Just give us more money!"

    So what have they done? They've sent jobs abroad, shaving expenses while contracting their domestic markets, since fewer Americans have a wage to buy. To make up the profit shortfall they have to seek out foreign markets. So now they prosper from buying and selling outside of America while doing nothing to make their native markets look more attractive, and yet still insist they deserve a federal free lunch. It's about time private sector dollars were invested in a better America, and not a pack of parasites.

    January 30, 2012 at 2:00 am |
  154. ebuka nwadibia

    i think that what is happening now marks the end of the world.we need to go back to God in prayer and stop this over-dependence in our own intellectual capabilities.secondly the west is reaping the reward for the seed of corruption they sowed i Africa and some Asian countries

    January 30, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  155. Val Gorsky

    Capitalism a.k.a Greed will ultimately kill us all. We are forgetting the lessons learned 100 years ago. The cure ? It's easy. An allegory: when I was a kid, bananas where small and ugly, but the taste was great! Nowadays a banana looks perfect, but without any taste, content. We need to bring back content, core values to our societies. Not just an empty , great looking skin.

    January 30, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  156. Peter

    The way ahead looks ominously signaled in Mandarin.
    Adam Smith's merry invisible hand is doomed, drowned in a century of irresponsible consumption and environment-raping.
    Thus goes Capitalism western style.

    Big brother, huge gray factories, reeducation camps, cramped drawer-style flats in incredibly polluted slum cities.
    Out descendants will curse us a thousand times.

    January 31, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  157. Ray

    The only problem with capitalism is socialism. Capitalism, when it is given a chance, works fine. The socialists in Europe and the US have chopped off the legs of their own capitalist systems by over-regulating and taxing. Despite the heavy government burden, we are still able to compete with the emerging countries such as China. The fact that we are still growing and delivering wealth to our citizens is proof of how powerful capitalism is.

    January 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  158. planter

    Six days ago (Jan. 25) I posted a comment, which when I view it still bears the message, "Your comment is awaiting moderation. " I presume that this means that others can't yet see it. (If you can see it, please tell me so.)

    Meanwhile, scores of later posts have been posted, apparently having been assessed and accepted by the moderators. Why not mine? If it were offensive, it should have been rejected, but it hasn't been. (Nor do I believe there's anything remotely offensive in it.)

    So what's up, moderators? Why is my post in limbo? Why aren't you acting on it?

    January 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  159. George Dixon

    The article is so so....the comments are amazing

    The idea that everyone should have everything and no one should have to work for it seems to be a dominate theme

    Altruism is not a human nature, the desire to acquire is. Make equality of opportunity, instead of the impossible equality of outcome the left is enthralled with, be the goal. Darwin may not be in favor but his truths are still true.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  160. KF

    Clearly most of you understand neither economics nor any other aspect of reality vs your very small picture of the world. If you want to whine about how bad capitolism is then figure out a way to improve it, and by that statement I'm not saying rant about theoretical ramifications of one system vs another. I'm saying come up with a plan and start lobbying for it. The one problem everyone will come up with is that they want it to apply but everyone but them, because everyone feels that they are their own little master of the universe and they deserve everything while everyone else can make do. Quit being whining hypocrites and actually do something if your life is so bad.

    February 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  161. Paul

    I am self interested. I am interested in our children receiving the best education possible. I am interested in affordable, accessible, cutting edge health care. I am interested in maintaining a clean and healthy environment for the next generation and those to come. I am interested in making sure my community is clean, safe and prosperous. I am interested in my neighbors welfare. All of these and many more are all important to me. These are my self interests. I am a Capitalist.

    Not sure where Keynesian economics combined with a bloated, nonfunctioning, about to crumble under its own weight, all powerful central government with a budget time bomb deficit that when it blows will kill more lives than any nuclear bomb, where the individual is no longer the smallest minority, where productivity has been replaced with consumerism, where it is a commonplace perception that money is real instead of being a receipt of having exchanged value...I am not sure where all of this got confused with Capitalism?

    Perhaps the reason why most of the world is stuck in this economic disaster is because we continue to label the problem a term whose core principles were decapitated long, long ago.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  162. irfan

    why dont we shift to Islamic Banking, based on mutual cooperation?

    February 21, 2012 at 6:43 am |
  163. Noah Nes

    Incidentally China's version of capitalism in principal is probably the way forward. While the practice of capitalism in China still has a ways to go, the leaders of China understand that if the people as a whole don't benefit from the country's economic growth, the people will overthrow the government. As a result the leadership of China has (on paper) implemented several laws that work to ensure everyone in China gains a share of China's growing wealth. Implementing some of these laws in countries with shrinking middle classes is something worth consideration.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
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