“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
There is an increasing debate in the United States, and perhaps the world, about the evolution of capitalism. Several high-profile executives recently weighted in on the debate. Jamie Dimon’s annual letter to shareholders discussed the future of business and its role in society. We pay close attention to this letter each year as JPMC is one of our largest employers and most impactful corporate citizens. Also worth watching is John Hope Bryant, Founder and CEO of Operation HOPE, who added his view on CNBC last week and discussed how to increase philanthropy through capitalism. In addition, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff shared his thoughts on how capitalism affects inequality in San Francisco, and Bridgewater Associates co-chairman Ray Dalio, in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” also stated his belief that capitalism’s income inequality is a national emergency.
As an economic developer, we also see the power of capitalism each day. It fuels entrepreneur’s dreams, it creates technology and market innovations that save lives and increase the quality of life, and it fills the coffers of our communities so that infrastructure and social safety nets can be developed to aid the entire community. American capitalism is the best system in the world and has been exported around the globe to lift billions of people. Thank you to those that make it their life’s practice and passion, and let us continue to be mindful of all of its effects.
A special note closer to home: One of the finest examples of the power of positive business leadership and what it can do for a community has been embodied by Steve Rasmussen, CEO of Nationwide Insurance. Steve just announced his retirement last week, and much will be written in the days and months to follow detailing his tremendous impact. Let us be the first to say thank you for the investment in our community, the physical redevelopment of various areas of our metro area and city, the leadership that has led to thousands of jobs, and the enormous impact on countless non-profits in our area. He has made his mark and the Columbus Region is more prosperous and a better place to live, work and play. Thank you, Steve!