Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Truly Creative Capitalism

The true power of capitalism is its ability to take the basest of human instincts - greed and selfishness - and transform them into an engine that generates wealth, innovation and prosperity for the entire society. 

Truly creative capitalism would discover a method to use the powerful forces of self-interest to incent the despotic and authoritarian leaders of the poorest countries to embrace the power of markets.   It will take a wiser man than I to find such a system, but I can imagine how such a system might work.

Perhaps it is a betting-market based on the GDP growth of a nation in which the rulers get a controlling share.  Perhaps the leader would collect a percentage of all taxes generated from business.  Either way, if  such a leader could be convinced that they would become wealthier and more powerful by letting their nation prosper as opposed to simply stealing whatever they wanted a win-win situation might be created.

Without creating the incentives for these authoritarians to make institutional changes within their countries I fear that any effort by the developed nations or Creative Capitalists will simply be throwing good money after bad.  It may help a little today, but shouldn't creative capitalism really be striving to make long term advancements in wealth that only changes in institutions will really achieve?

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