Winston Churchill famously said, “democracy is the worst form of government—except all those other forms that have been tried.” We could also say that “free enterprise is the worst form of economic distribution—except for all the other forms that have been tried.”
Free enterprise needs to be tempered with sensible regulation, and its success requires that people adhere to strong value systems.
In 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed, precipitating a crisis in the financial markets that sent the Western world into a major recession. But the signs of excess and unrestrained capitalism were present long before.
Think of the Tyco CEO who, in 2001, threw a $2 million toga party for his wife’s birthday, charging half of the cost to Tyco.
Or think of the collapse of WorldCom in 2002. Management knew the collapse was coming, but they pressured employees to invest their earnings into the firm, right until the company imploded amid massive accounting scandals. The result: when the company when bankrupt, employees and investors were left destitute.