The Battle for Capitalism Primacy
Agendas are being pushed every day by many different brands, conglomerates, and corporations. These agendas all serve a purpose. The agendas that are often being pushed out usually stem from major agenda that’s being pushed from Corporate America itself.
Society inadvertently navigates in the world of business and commerce by the agendas that have been pushed forward. There are many different levels to a corporation with the basic “faces” of the corporation being at the forefront.
Profits are usually the driving force of any business and corporation. Those profits are used to pay everyone from the stake/shareholders down to the employees who handle the day-to-day mechanics of the business.
As times evolve with technology taking bigger and bolder strides, Corporate America also has to evolve.
In doing so, there are certain shifts that take place in the economic climate that spawn from the agendas that will be put in place to in so many ways program society which is made up of its consumers. Enter the great reset agenda.
A blueprint to achieving value
When thinking of what makes a brand or business is successful, many things come to mind. A business where its customers feel as if they know them and they have a great amount of trust in them plays a major role in the profitability and longevity of the business.
It’s more damaging to a company to have its consumer base feel as if they can’t be trusted. Once the consumer base feels they no longer “know” a company, everything spirals downward after that.
Being hit with fines may seem like it would be more damaging, and though it is damaging, fines can be paid, trust is not easy to restore. It’s like the old saying, “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.”
There have been instances where businesses have taken dramatic steps backward due to negative press. For example, when BP ran into issues resulting from the oil spill some time ago, a lot of consumers stopped supporting the company based on their view of how BP treated nature in a sense.
Sure BP paid whatever fines had to be paid to rectify the issue, but those paid fines did nothing for the everyday average people who supported its brand. Those people felt in so many ways betrayed and wanted no parts of the company after that.
How a company or brand is viewed is almost more important than how much money is made.
Profits to the max
Profits are the driving force of most businesses, and most businesses strive to make a profit in some form of fashion.
How companies go about achieving the goal of making profits are different, but in most cases, there is a blueprint being given as to how businesses should be effectively operated.
As stated earlier there are levels to corporations. There are shareholders and stakeholders; there are the CEOs that hire managers who then hire employees to implement the directions of the corporation and there is society.
In the midst of all of that, there are also employees that are shareholders, customers who are employees, and CEOs that are shareholders.
Capitalism and capitalistic ideology are a part of business. There are two different capitalism ideologies, stakeholder capitalism and shareholder capitalism. Both have a different way of operation but in many ways both are similar.
Milton Friedman, an American economist believed in a shareholder capitalistic business model. Friedman believed that the individuals who work and make up the corporation should solely set their focus on maximizing profits.
Any acts of Philanthropy shouldn’t be carried on behalf of the corporation but instead by its shareholders if they see fit and on their time. Friedman believed this model would best benefit all parties involved in the long run.
It is to be believed that if a corporation sets its focus on maximizing its profits, then those profits would trickle down and make their way into the hands of the individuals who make up the corporation.
This form of capitalism functions by increasing productivity, producing goods and services that its’ customers will value. The customers value these goods and services so much that they are willing to give their money in exchange for these goods and services which increases profits.
PR tactics are also used to promote to the customers and once the customers have that sense of trust they then have no problem exchanging their currency for the goods and services.
Once a corporation sees increased profits, those profits can then be used to pay their CEOs, managers, and employees more, which results in an increase in productivity and morale which turns into more profits, which becomes more profits for everyone, a “win-win” or all parties involved.
When the economic climate changes
Corporate America is now in one of those “shift” periods that was spoken of earlier. What is being done now is a “great reset” of sorts.
The elites at The World Economic Forum and CEO Klaus Schwab are in so many ways pushing “a different form of capitalism.” This form of capitalism is in contrast to Friedman’s belief in shareholder capitalism.
This form of capitalism is known as stakeholder capitalism. Where maximizing profits is the main focus in shareholder capitalism, minimizing profits and demonizing Milton Friedman’s ideology seem to be the main focus of stakeholder capitalism.
Friedman is often connected to “neoliberalism” and in doing so “neoliberalism” is used as a negative term.
One practice in stakeholder capitalism is lobbying for higher taxes. How do raising taxes and minimizing profits help the shareholders, CEOs, and employees?
It is believed that people are revolting against the economic elite because they feel that have been betrayed. Stakeholder capitalism supporters believe this and believe that stakeholder capitalism is a better way.
It’s not a race, it’s a marathon
Longevity and profitability are both prominent in both forms of capitalism.
Shareholder capitalism wants to operate without the hands of a central government or Federal Reserve being involved, which its opposition says, is a way to restrict executives from adequately focusing on profits.
Stakeholder capitalism wants to raise taxes, minimize profits yet have longevity.
It has been argued that shareholder capitalism is the reason why public companies in the United States have a greater sense of value than those in European regions.
The Great Reset Agenda that is being pushed stems from those who share a similar view on stakeholder capitalism. However, it has nothing to do with stakeholders but more to do with control and power.
There have been times when businesses use stakeholder capitalism as a PR front, all the while doing what is usually being done, making money for itself.
Both sides of the coin have their own respective pro and con lists in hopes to sway more people to their respective side of the table. Stakeholder capitalism sets out to also be what’s considered a balance.
Not putting the emphasis on one specific facet while neglecting others also could lead to “garbage can organizations.”
In a “garbage can organization” what you find is an organization that can’t make its own decisions, they are just in their own way, moving around but going nowhere.
Schwab argued there were only three alternatives. Those alternatives were stakeholder capitalism, state capitalism, and shareholder capitalism.
He believes that both state shareholder and shareholder capitalism are political poison so stakeholder capitalism is the way to go moving forward.
They’re only looking out for themselves
Friedman argued that stakeholder capitalism allows for owners to only take care of themselves despite the narrative that’s often put out as it pertains to practice and goals of stakeholder capitalism.
In all of what’s better and what’s not good, what about the people? Once again how does this affect everyday people?
In a stakeholder, capitalism wages are “fair” while prices may soar along with taxes. In shareholder capitalism, the focus is on profit which gives way for better products, lower prices, higher wages, and a better value of the corporation.
When looking at stakeholder capitalism it can almost be said that as long as stakeholder's pockets aren’t affected, wages can be raised but if it affects their (the stakeholders) bottom line, well, other avenues may need to be explored.
It’s all done for the greater good
When looking at both forms of capitalism each has its pro and cons obviously. Ironically enough, when asked about taking a financial step for “the greater good” stakeholders would rather not, and would prefer shareholder capitalism.
Both promote a “win-win” result but at what cost does everyone win? The elite who feel that there is some kind of revolution being had due to the consumers feeling like they’ve been betrayed aren’t too far off with that assumption.
Consumers are feeling that way but not necessarily due to shareholder capitalism.
Denning, S (2020). Why Stakeholder Capitalism Will Fail
D’Souza, D (2020). Stakeholder Capitalism Investopedia
Goodman, P (2020). Stakeholder Capitalism gets a report card. It’s not good. The New York Times