When asked if I am a capitalist I usually respond that I am a liberal capitalist. Recently the idea of compassionate capitalism has struck me as more accurately describing my economic beliefs. While there is no single definition, compassionate capitalism is fair capitalism; it is conscious capitalism; it is against the cut throat corporatism that we've seen increasing over the past few decades that seeks to outsources jobs, and cut wages and benefits of workers regardless of the profits line. Compassionate capitalism is for protecting worker's rights to have fair and decent pay and benefits; it is for considering the environmental consequences of a business' actions, and it is for a fair tax code that doesn't allow those making the most money to pay a lower tax rate than those in the middle.
In an interview with CNNMoney.com, Raj Sisodia, head of the Conscious Capitalism Institute describes compassionate or conscious capitalism has having four traits as it relates to business:
- First is a higher purpose. There needs to be some other reason why you exist, not just to make money.
- Second is aligning all the stakeholders around that sense of higher purpose and recognizing that their interests are all connected to each other, and therefore there's no exploitation of one for the benefit of another.
- The third element is conscious leadership, which is driven by purpose and by service to people, and not by power or by personal enrichment.
- And the fourth is a conscious culture, which really embodies all of these elements: trust, caring, compassion, and authenticity.