A Devastating Critique of our Profit-Driven System
9. October 2023
©Hugues Chatelain – SocietyVision CHE-378.733.097
In his latest book, “Economics in America: An Immigrant Economist Explores the Land of Inequality” (2023), Angus Deaton, the 2015 Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, is forthright and unreserved in his critique.
He boldly condemns economists for promoting globalization and technological progress, actions that have enriched a privileged few while draining income and wealth from the labour force to capital. According to Deaton, this shift has resulted in the loss of countless jobs, the deterioration of communities, and a decline in the overall quality of life for ordinary people.
“These stern words serve as a glaring reminder that significant change is urgently needed. It is not merely a matter of addressing inequality; we must also acknowledge the dangerous commercialisation of our most valuable asset – our planet”.Hugues Chatelain, Founder & President of SocietyVision
So, what needs to be transformed, and how can we bring about those changes?
These pivotal questions lie at the heart of SocietyVision’s mission. We wrestle with the challenges posed by resource distribution, or as Deaton refers to it, ‘predistribution,’ and advocate for a model that fosters fair and proportionate benefits for three crucial elements: capital, labour, and society.
Our model is founded on a dual vision that seamlessly melds economic profitability with a positive societal impact. It goes beyond mere corporate social responsibility (CSR), which often focuses on mitigating undesirable consequences. In practice, our vision materialises as a profound commitment from companies to specific social, cultural, economic, and environmental causes.
For example, a construction company might prioritise the cooling of urban areas as its societal commitment and collaborate with nonprofit organisations to initiate and finance projects aimed at regenerating cities with green spaces or other meaningful cooling structures. By fostering long-term partnerships with nonprofit organizations, we encourage companies to invest a portion of their net profit into meaningful projects. This approach not only allows for capital remuneration but also facilitates redistribution.
Each sector of activity has the ability to establish a clear societal vision that aligns with its core business. The cumulative impact of projects undertaken by companies in collaboration with nonprofits can truly transform society for the better, benefiting people, the planet, and enhancing their own reputation. This virtuous circle creates a win-win-win scenario: People, Planet & Companies.
“We need to abandon our sole fixation on money as a measure of human wellbeing”Angus Deaton
This is where companies have an imperative role to fulfil, by aligning their endeavours with non-profit organisations and other stakeholders. It is crucial for them to devote a significant portion of their profits towards societal initiatives.