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Confronting Capitalism

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Confronting Capitalism

Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Capitalism contributes to poverty, income inequity and environmental damage, but it also can solve these and other problems.

Editorial Rating



  • Controversial
  • Eye Opening
  • Visionary


Can capitalism be saved from itself? A laundry list of troubles besets the stumbling global economy, including uncertain business conditions, widespread income inequality, persistent poverty and environmental degradation. But professor Philip Kotler maintains that capitalism is still the most effective economic system and that it remains capable of changing its paradigm to increase performance, productivity, wealth and happiness. His solution is more self-awareness and social consciousness, delivered with a being-good-is-good-for-business approach. Kotler’s insight that low wages are not just unethical, but are also bad for business – since workers need higher pay to spur consumption and production – fails to address globalization’s role in this equation as fully as it might. His message deserves to be heard, though, and combines elements from the political right and left for a balanced, nuanced view of capitalism. getAbstract, which is always politically neutral, believes business leaders at capitalism’s cutting edge will find that Kotler offers ample food for thought.


Capitalism Has Flaws and Remedies

Capitalism, the world’s most pervasive economic system, allows businesses the freedom to profit from creating and selling products and services. Many forms of capitalism operate in different countries, reflecting varying national views about the role of government. In the US, that role can range from states with a hands-off, laissez-faire approach to states where government takes an active part in regulation, social welfare and economic intervention.

Generally, people benefit more from capitalism than from other economic systems, such as communism, but capitalism is far from perfect. Its serious flaws include continuing poverty, income inequality, unacceptable social costs, mountainous debt, loss of jobs to automation, environmental degradation, political maneuvering, growth-restricting government regulations and short-term thinking designed to please shareholders. Better state policies could help remedy some of these defects, particularly if government could encourage corporations to pursue more realistic, ethical growth.

Capitalism Breeds Poverty and Income Inequality

Poverty became an undeniable social issue during...

About the Author

Consultant Philip Kotler is a professor of international marketing at the Kellogg School of Management. He is the author of more than 50 books.

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