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Is Capitalism The Best Socialism?

If you listen to the media, you will probably lean conservative or liberal. But did you know that you may be influenced by the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine? The Fairness Doctrine was introduced in 1949 and required holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial matters in a balanced manner.

The Doctrine was eradicated in 1987, which led to anchors in TV shows taking strong viewpoints that led to opinion pieces. Depending on your natural leaning, where you live, and how much you listen to one channel over another, you may be influenced by opinions that are presented as news more than you could imagine possible.


Our natural human tendency to be swayed is well known and has been exploited by public relations experts and masters of persuasion for centuries. In modern day politics that often means believing in one view or the exact opposite. For example, you either believe fully in capitalism and the ideals of employers creating jobs that build companies which in turn hire more employees and build ever greater wealth for stakeholders. Or you believe in a socialist viewpoint whereby government takes care of the elderly, infrastructure, healthcare, and distributes wealth more evenly among citizens.

But what if the issue wasn’t black or white but rather grey? What if you suspend political beliefs for a moment and imagine a world where the best way to do good embraced both perspectives. Some major investment management firms pursue a mission of sustainability whereby the goal is both to make money and give back to society and the world. And leading global companies like Procter & Gamble are famous for embracing sustainability initiatives.

For large and established corporations, the goal of sustainability is lofty and a whole lot more murky than it is for an individual. As a single person, you can embrace a vision of making money while giving back too. For example, you could purchase an investment property online from a company like Roofstock and give back some of the proceeds from rental income to your favorite charity, like say the Red Cross.

People sometimes think that if doing good for others falls into a charitable category the consequence is profitability should be shunned. But what if you were to organize a local race to raise awareness for a cause about which you are passionate and got paid a lump sum for so doing? If you would be more likely to organize the event knowing you would pocket a fair compensation than you would if all the proceeds were donated, would it not be better to combine some a profit motive with a charitable aspect to ensure the event is held and fund raised for a good cause?

The issue quickly gets murky. How much money is too much? At what point should the profits all be given back to society and at what stage does giving everything back limit further enterprising individuals from having the incentive do build charitable initiatives. While some people on either end of the spectrum have strong views one way or the other, many in the middle struggle find adequate answers to these questions.

If you are a person who ever stood on the fence of doing something for charity but failed to follow through, ask yourself what would have pushed you over the edge to make a difference and take action. Upon reflection, the answer may still not be crystal clear, and if that’s the case, you might find value in a book like Nudge that helps to uncover the small changes that can influence behavior and action in significant ways.
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