Does America Have Capitalist Stockholm Syndrome?
umair haque
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I’ve spent more than three decades working on behalf of shareholders, with my partners starting four companies, one of which later went public and is now a huge international firm. I’m a job creator and a passionate advocate of capitalism as the documented best way to create the most opportunities for the most people. The ones who don’t believe in capitalism are the purported captains of industry, who would much rather spend time and the shareholders’ money advocating for limits on liability, pursuing subsidies, externalizing costs, and imposing barriers to entry, all of which are the opposite of free market capitalism. Rick’s father probably has a pension plan, though it was probably converted from defined benefit to defined contribution, yet another way corporate executives are anti-capitalism. In the 80’s, corporate pension funds were often the biggest asset and the biggest liability of even the larges companies and as fiduciaries they were beginning to push back on anti-capitalist behavior. So, divide and conquer. One issue I am working on now is the fake front groups established by the Koch brothers and other corporate executives with folksy names and stock photo graphics (literally hiding behind the apron strings of one model who looks like a barrista). They say they are all about shareholder rights, but what they are trying to do is the very opposite of capitalism. I was in the government for eight years and spoke to a lot of industry people who were all: no regulation! in theory but all: except to protect me from the market! in reality. The problem is not capitalism. It is the abuse of capitalism thanks to Citizens United, dark money, etc.