[Capitalism assumed] that from the beginning all men are equal. If that were so everyone would be equipped with the same working power, the same education and, above all, the same economic assets … each person would [then] have only himself to blame if he did not succeed — Knut Wicksell
There are various versions of idiots. An idiot is a person who keeps doing the same thing hoping for a different outcome. If history is any indicator, we are all idiots at different points in time. We keep innovating only to realize that we leave a lot of people left behind each time we innovate.
Raghuram Rajan, the man who predicted the financial crisis of 2008, recently published a new book titled ‘The Third Pillar: How Markets and The State Leave The Community Behind’. In it, Rajan writes: ‘Half a million more middle-aged non-hispanic white American males died between 1999 and 2013 than if their death rates had followed the trend of other ethnic groups. The additional deaths were concentrated among those with a high school degree or less, and largely due to drugs, alcohol and suicide’.
Compare these statistics to farmers suicides in India. The suicide rates have been falling in recent years. However, there are a variety of reasons for such suicides such as indebtedness, family problems and illness. Farmers are also unable to find the right price for their produce on many occasions.
My point, which is just plain common sense, is that we need to have a more widespread and fair distribution of gains from our capitalist societies. Capitalism has succeeded in lifting millions out of poverty but it has also exacerbated wealth and income inequality. In many countries, the agrarian and manufacturing sector are bearing the brunt of technological advancement.
This article outlines solutions to help improve a broken system. We need to build a well before a fire begins and not while it rages on. In other words, we have to find ways to include more people in the abundance story before we implement drastic…