I began reading John C. Bogle‘s The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism tonight. So far, it’s an interesting read. Here is a memorable quote (so far) rich with irony in today’s world:
My vantage point is that of an American businessman (and a lifelong Republican) who has spent his entire half-century-plus career in the financial field…For better or worse, my youthful idealism–the belief that any truly sound business endeavor must be built on a strong moral foundation–still remains today, at least as strong as it was all those years ago.
By the latter years of the twentieth century, our business values had eroded to a remarkable extent. Yes, we are a nation of prodigious energy, marvelous entrepreneurship, brilliant technology, creativity beyond imagination, and, at least in some corners of the business world, the idealism to make our nation and our world a better place. But I also see far too much greed, egoism, materialism, and waste to please my critical eye. I see an economy overly focused on the “haves” and not focused enough on the “have-nots,” failing to allocate our nation’s resources where they are most needed–to solve the problems of poverty and to provide quality education for all. I see a shocking misuse of the world’s natural resources, as if they were ours to waste rather than ours to preserve as a sacred trust for future generations, and I see a political system corrupted by the staggering infusion of money that is, to be blunt about it, rarely given by disinterested citizens who expect no return on their investment.
Wow. Small wonder why he isn’t all that popular with today’s so-called conservatives.