Download Capitalism at Work: Business, Government and Energy by Robert L. Bradley Jr PDF

By Robert L. Bradley Jr

Capitalism took the blame for Enron. but Enron was once whatever yet a free-market firm, and company-architect Ken Lay used to be rarely a principled capitalist. to the contrary, Enron used to be a politically based corporation and, in spite of everything, a gruesome end result of the United States s sleek combined economic climate. that's the principal discovering of Robert L. Bradley s Capitalism at paintings: The blame for Enron rests squarely with political capitalism - a procedure during which enterprise pursuits oftentimes receive, and hire govt intervention for his or her personal pursuits on the fee of shoppers, taxpayers, and opponents. even though Ken Lay professed allegiance to unfastened markets, he was once in reality a consummate flesh presser. basically by way of manipulating the levers of presidency was once Enron reworked from a $3 billion ordinary gasoline corporation to a $100 billion chimera, person who went from 7th position at the Fortune 500 checklist to financial ruin. yet Capitalism at paintings is going past unmasking Enron s refined foray into political capitalism. making use of the undying insights of Adam Smith, Samuel Smiles, and Ayn Rand, between others, Bradley indicates how trendy anti-capitalist doctrines set the degree for the last word company debacle. these errant theories, like Enron itself, increased shape over substance, neglected valid feedback, and bypassed midcourse correction. Political capitalism used to be hence greater than the handiwork of profit-hungry businessmen and power-hungry politicians. It used to be a legacy of failed scholarship. Capitalism at paintings s penetrating, multidisciplinary rationalization of the death of Enron breaks new flooring concerning company historical past, enterprise ethics, company most sensible practices, and public rules towards enterprise. As Bradley concludes: the basic lesson from Enron is that this: Capitalism didn't fail. The combined economic system failed. The capitalist worldview is greater, no longer weaker, post-Enron. yet there's one other, deeper lesson that explains Enron and the error of the highbrow mainstream earlier than, in the course of, and after Enron s lively existence. it really is that boastful habit, or what within the Enron vernacular is termed the smartest-guys-in-the-room challenge, can strike every time and anyplace. even if in company or academia or a occupation or organization conceit, deceit, and dogmatism are the bane of non-public, highbrow, and organizational good fortune .

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Extra info for Capitalism at Work: Business, Government and Energy (Political Capitalism)

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2 Character and Success: Samuel Smiles C ORPORATE MALFEASANCE INVOLVES character flaws. ” Such failings could be attributed also to Samuel Insull and John Henry Kirby of Book 2. Their debacles had similar causes: inattention to detail, overemphasis on the short run, overambition, overdelegation of core responsibilities, and a focus on maintaining appearances rather than on confronting problems. In the case of Insull’s public utility empire and Ken Lay’s Enron, there was also an overreliance on fickle government favor to succeed in a consumer-driven marketplace.

At the same time, these philosopher-moralists point the way to heroic capitalism, an ethical, sustainable framework of behavior that is applicable to all participants in commerce, all businesses within an industry, and all industries within an economy. Courses in business ethics would do well to consider the Smith/Smiles/ Rand worldview as the foundation of modern capitalist thought—and as the foundation of ethical business itself. Individuals, after all, make up the business whole, and their combined moral outlook becomes the true corporate culture of an organization.

But what is the socioeconomic system that these critics are attacking? Free-market capitalism, an economic system premised on private property and voluntary exchange, and one in which businesses compete without special treatment from government, has evolved into something quite different in practice. To properly interpret today’s complex economic events, capitalism proper must be differentiated from its quasi- and even anticapitalist descendants, prominently including political capitalism, whereby businesses use the political means to succeed in the marketplace.

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