The Guardian has been running a series they call Broken Capitalism, and have featured articles about Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan. Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway or Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater, the world’s biggest hedge fund. Suddenly these and others have become aware that the way capitalism is currently practiced will soon affect their bottom line and possibly their future. It is not yet clear how serious they are in fixing capitalism, in making it more equal and in addressing the economic inequalities of our society, but the mere fact they are acknowledging it is hopeful. What I found of note in the article about Ray Dalio are the figures which are prompting his interest. Here they are.
- 40% of Americans would struggle to raise $400 for an emergency.
- The childhood poverty rate is 17.5% and has not meaningfully improved in decades.
- In the developed world the US scores lower than any country (except for Italy and Greece) in educational achievement.
- The US incarceration rate is nearly 5 times the average of developed countries and 3 times that of emerging ones.
- For the bottom 60% premature deaths have increased about 20% since 2000.