As an economic system, this much is clear: capitalism has brought us unrivaled transformation and advance in the human condition. While many may deem capitalism to have “won” the war of ideas over socialism, that is an oversimplification which ignores the reality that no pure Capitalist system actually exists. Another factor here is that the current version of institutional capitalism and corporatism we see today is a fairly new invention.
The prevalent emphasis on corporate profits just isn’t working for a great majority of Americans. This unfortunate situation will only be exacerbated by the onset of automation and AI technology.
Accordingly, it’s time we transitioned to a new type of capitalism, Human-Centered Capitalism, which aims to expand human well-being and fulfillment. Human-Centered Capitalism has several central tenets:
- Human beings are more significant than money
- The unit of a Human-Centered Capitalism economy is each person, not each dollar
- Markets exist to serve our common goals and values
Augmenting human welfare should be the primary focus of our economy, yet that is decidedly not the case. Occasionally this view aligns with a purely capitalist approach, whereby disparate entities vie for the best ideas. Yet there are a multitude of situations when a capitalist system results in dissatisfactory payoffs. One example of this would be when a pharmaceutical company charges exorbitant rates for a life-saving drug simply because their customers are desperate for the product.
Currently, the Market routinely manages to undervalue many of the people, activities and things which are essential to the human experience. With equality and well-being as guiding principles, we should leverage Human-Centered Capitalism to make the economy work for the American people, rather than the other way around. The aim will be to generate measurements encompassing people, not dollars. We should also direct capital to investments to boost human prosperity, instead of to enrich the wealthiest Americans.