Billionaires, too, want to fix capitalism
You have to go back to the 1960s to find a time when the free market system was so widely questioned, said Randall Lane. Just 56 percent of Americans say they have a positive view of capitalism. And among young people 18 to 29, 51 percent actually have a positive view of socialism. For the past year, I’ve had discussions with more than two dozen billionaires. Virtually every one of them acknowledged that “the time is ripe to reimagine” the future of capitalism. Consumers today want more authenticity. They continue to love entrepreneurs, even if they hate Wall Street and Big Business. Purpose-driven companies like Patagonia “are wreathed in halos.” They also want accessibility. Many have lost faith in the idea of America as the land of opportunity, and this fuels the populist rage. Lastly, “Americans expect their meritocratic royalty to remain accountable.” That typically means philanthropy, but as Bill Gates recognizes, it also means transparency. There are other remedies. The “tax code can be refined” to distribute wealth more evenly, and adjusting corporate tax rates to reward job creation is “another worthy idea.” The beauty of the free market is its ability to evolve. Now it has to.