Last night I started reading Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia. I’m only one chapter in but have already been pondering the idea of Conscious Capitalism. The most interesting point John and Raj have brought up is that the idea of profit in business is relatively new. It used to be rare to see actual profits in business (about what was necessary to operate), but once businesses started to see profits above what was needed to merely keep the doors open, businesses classes began to teach this as the primary goal in business and the idea was ingrained in students everywhere.
This really struck me because myself, and most other people I know that have started businesses never did so with the sole purpose of making profit. They simply saw a need in the market and sought to fulfill it. John Mackey saw the same need when he started Whole Foods Market, he had become fed-up with the political games he saw within locally owned food co-ops.
Yet for some reason capitalism still gets demonized. Wal-Mart, though some might say they have lost their way, started out with the noble intention to provide lower prices by, get this…. LOWERING their profit margin. Steve Job, founder of Apple, sought out to make a better computer, and is now providing customers with the number one selling smartphone (a computer in every pocket). I love Apple for this too. I remember a day when I carried around a cell phone, Palm Pilot, and iPod. I thought, man wouldn’t it be great if all these were combined into one device. Just a few years later the first iPhone appeared on the market, and my need was met.
Another thing I think people forget is that that goods and services are voluntarily exchanged. Nobody is forcing you to give your money to Apple (those sleek white overpriced computers), there are a slew of PC providers on the market that can also meet your computing needs on a budget.
Additionally, capitalism is creating wealth! It provides jobs! Just think: if the computer had not been invented, if the iPhone had not been launched, there would be thousands, possibly millions of people without jobs. Individuals with ideas started companies that sparked the Industrial Revolution, which in turn has unleashed mountains of wealth on society.
So, tell me: how is capitalism evil? Post your thoughts in the comments.