Friday, May 8, 2009

The End of Capitalism?

All over the world, there is a 'marching forward' of state branded capitalism as a response to the out of control globalism that is largely blamed for cratering the world economy. So the question I'm posing is this - should the cure for unfettered capitalism be state sponsored capitalism, or should it be the perceived monster that is being blamed for causing the mess in the first place?

Let's take a look at both sides. Today, governments are the owners of the largest oil companies, and control 3/4ths of the world's known energy reserves. Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) have become chic for the past five years or so now, and are becoming increasingly powerful in the global marketplace. The world's strongest economy is largely under control of the Chinese Communist Party, and I can tell you through my professional experience that more and more business people are not seeing anything wrong with this. Asia and Europe are increasingly looking at the government to do more than just police the private sector, but to overtake it.

But before America rushes to join the fray, it this really what we want? In my upcoming book, "The Death of Management", I suggest that our 1930's approach to capitalism is the answer, not a replication of what other countries are doing today. Since when has the U.S. sought to lead the world economy through playing upon the strengths and strategies of Western Europe and Asia? This just doesn't make any sense at all.

In the late 19th century, and past World War II, the U.S. economy became the most powerful economy of the world by playing upon the strengths of our land and our people. If we seek to escape this recession through copying the strengths of others, we will be streaming forward to our demise as a second rate power. Our strength in the past was largely based upon manufacturing and a sacred covenant between our citizens, workers, managers and owners. This is what we should return to, not to copy others.