Bill Gates’ Call for Compassionate Capitalism

This posting is a response to the following from the Wall Street Journal:
Gates to Call for Kinder Capitalism and Bill Gates Issues Call for Kinder Capitalism

I am a capitalist; as an American I live in a capitalist system and approach my business within this system.

I am a Christian; as a Christian I hold certain values and approach my business within this set of values.

Sometimes, the economic system conflicts with my Christian value system and my values win if they are truly my values.

It seems to me that capitalism can co-exist with Christian values of putting your neighbor’s needs ahead of your own, of treating others with respect and kindness, and of caring for “the least of these”. It seems to coexist well when it is individuals or small groups of individuals who are the legal entities, who are the capitalists with rights.

Unfortunately, the rise of corporations that exist outside of values beyond making money for the shareholders combined with a government that has abdicated its role of tempering corporate power have created a form of RADICAL CAPITALISM. It is this radical capitalism that has contributed to the economic problems for so many individuals and families in other countries and our own.

I applaud Mr. Gates’ desire to return to a more compassionate capitalism but I fear that the success of helping poorer nations will only happen when individuals and small groups of individuals rather than corporations have the rights and power.

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