Dingbat stupidity about capitalism

There is no inherent contradiction between delivering higher returns to investors and addressing society\’s most pressing unmet needs.

Well of course there bloody isn\’t.

If you are making high returns you are, by definition, adding great value to the resources you are using to create your production. Adding value is how unmet needs are met. So adding lots of value meets needs which produces high returns.

This is actually the very point of the whole capitalist/free market melange, not some surprising side issue.

7 thoughts on “Dingbat stupidity about capitalism”

  1. The Pedant-General

    Yes and no. You have (obviously – this is the point of your post) ignored what the grauniad has left unsaid (but which they assume that their readers will fill in automatically): they actually mean “There is no inherent contradiction between delivering higher returns to investors and addressing society’s most pressing unmet but-entirely-unrelated-to-the-transaction-at-hand needs.

    To which the response – so what? Your point still holds – the above average returns still show that previously unmet needs are indeed being met and that society is richer as a result. Just not in the way that the groan would like.

  2. Yes and yes. Even “entirely-unrelated-to-the-transaction-at-hand” needs can be met by delivering higher returns to investors. Because those higher returns can be taxed.

    We might disagree about the correct level of taxation but, to use an old phrase, “pecunia non olet”. I can make my millions exploiting the gullibility of late-night TV audiences, providing vital healthcare services or producing electricity. It makes no difference to the recipients of the govt funds I contribute to.

  3. Ah, written by a Rothschild. Presumably pre-launch advertising for some sort of long-term ethical fund from one of the family, aimed at getting Guardian readers to invest.

  4. “No society can thrive if its citizens are not qualified for the jobs it creates”

    we need “… business leaders … doing more to address the yawning gap between the skills needed for the new jobs being generated and the abilities of those whose jobs are being destroyed.”

    Yup, got it in one. We’ve had a decades-long experiment of the State running education and it’s failed. The one thing the State could usefully do, enforcing apprenticeship indentures, it won’t do.

    So let’s get the State out of the way of education and let the private sector do it.

  5. Nothing in the article is in any way different from the usual grauniad moan of more tax for bigger government run by grauniad readers who know what’s best for you.
    Tax levels sufficient to provide any form of welfare are distributive by nature; widening the ways in which tax can be spent means higher tax rates and bigger bureaucracies. They hold up the issue of R-R making provision for their own future by educating those unfortunate enough not to have been properly educated by the state and extend this to a state run system to educate those not properly educated by the state. That’ll work, then.

  6. Richard,
    Jobs are a cost, not a benefit.
    We should be looking for leaders who’ll give us stuff for no work.

  7. Also, those unable to pay may have unmet needs. Liberal free-market capitalism is a great thing but it does a better job of addressing the unmet needs (and let’s be honest – these days mostly wants rather than needs) of those who are themselves in some way doing some of that addressing themselves than those that can’t or aren’t. That understanding being the basis of the German social-market model, which (for all its shortcomings) is clearly not the most dysfunctional and ineffective economy in the world.

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