Bringing capitalism into line - HATICE KARAHAN

Bringing capitalism into line

The G20 excitement we left behind was also an environment in which capitalism discussions took place. Although media and social media have tabloidized the saying “capitalism should be abolished” and the one who said it, we shouldn't forget that this is one of the options. Thus, the G20 agenda that Turkey has been trying to highlight, “the rocks capitalism put in front of inclusive growth, has been on the agenda before, by those holding the world's greatest wealth. This increased especially after the global scaled financial crisis in 2008.

The most recent example within this context is; The “Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism” platform, to which the world's most effective institutions and directors including the Rothschild and Rockefellers contribute. The Platform's reason for existence is capitalism, going beyond material purposes and taking into consideration the humanitarian, ethical and environmental dimensions. We can probably call it, a sort of capitalism restoration.

On the one hand, this and similar formations, while staging different works in line with their purposes, are unavoidably subjected to loyalty tests. The world is now wondering how, the leaders of capitalism, who were “excluded” up until today, will develop their “inclusiveness” competence from now on.

And academics, besides the business world, are trying to get to the roots of this problem too. Because, it is clearly known that, the ongoing capitalist form increases social inequality. For example; in his book, “Capitals in the 21st Century,” famous economist Thomas Piketty, examines a vast period of time in order to set the trends of income and wealth inequality. Pointing to the dangers of the increasing gap between the rich and poor, Piketty prescribes that an increase in taxation will help solve the problem.

A CONSCIOUS CAPITALIST

In brief, related books, coalitions and others, put the problems of the capitalist system forward and invite countries to adopt more inclusive practices. As, both the private sector and the government can take certain steps in this respect. For example; We sometimes, although rare, witness global companies placing more importance on employee rights. The capitalists who take a responsible approach display a more generous and righteous attitude in terms of the personal rights of employees.

A famous U.S. example for this is the WalMart-Costco dispute. Despite the difference in number of employees, the difference between the moral and material support these two giants give to their employees, is always compared. As a matter of fact, Obama is known to reproach this difference in approach, to the private sector. And of course this dispute brings about another: Will it be less work for higher pay, or more work for less pay?

And at this point, coming up again with the occasion of the G20 was President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's suggestion for “businesses to make sacrifices from their earnings and act generously toward their employees” at the B20 Summit can be related to this matter.

On the other hand, the conscious actors of the order often suggest that besides being on good terms with employees, businesses should act in a friendly manner to all of society. Responsible and ethical approaches, which can be on different dimensions from social factors to environmental dynamics, having the strength to fix the failing and disruptive sides of capitalism are undeniably important.

To encourage this, in 2010, the Maryland state in the U.S. adopted a “Benefit Corporation” approach, in which responsible capitalist companies attached importance to social and environmental performances.

A WIN-WIN IN THE LONG RUN

In this respect, the G20 conclusion manifesto declared to the world from Antalya, that one of the main topics of the agenda, “inclusiveness” would from now on be of global importance. Thus we can state that, the private sector has an important role in the inclusive and sustainable economy growth, besides the roles and responsibilities of the government.

And to get straight to the point, it is possible to say that this currently popular issue can be expressed as a “correction” of the impairments and failures of capitalism. As it is evident that the world ultimately needs a new form of capitalism... And in order to achieve this, things need to get beyond certain clichés. It is evident that, capitalism can only become inclusive through actions not merely statements...

It should be understood that; investments made in this respect today, are actually investments made for the long run. Hence, if unsuccessful in this respect, and if inequalities aren't decreased, “the support given to capitalism can disappear” as Lynn Forester and Rothschild clearly state.

Therefore, perceiving the “bringing capitalism into line” notion as a win-win situation, is the first condition to pull it our of the current vicious cycle.





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