CAPITALISM IS IN CRISIS. THE UNITED STATES;AND OUR
democratic values, discourse, and institutions—is suffering from
unprecedented levels of inequality. Today, the three richest Americans collectively own about as much wealth as the bottom half of
the population combined. ¶ Worse, extreme levels of economic inequity are only one of the many forms of inequality that plague our
nation: We also face rampant discrimination based on race, gender,
sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, and ability. Looming over all
of this is the threat of a global environmental catastrophe, which
will make every one of these disparities more extreme
through droughts, food shortages, and refugee crises.
When I was a child, I had the distinct sense that
America was rooting for my success. Despite living in a
small rural town in East Texas—and despite the prejudices I faced growing up black and gay in the South—I
experienced the benefits of individuals and institutions working in concert to cheer me on. Time and
again, I felt the wind at my back. But as I reflect on our
system today, I find myself wondering and worrying:
Do today’s underprivileged children feel optimistic?
How could they?
Clearly, we the people cannot wait for the next election to address the crisis of capitalism. And thankfully,
we haven’t been waiting, because we know what’s possible when we reclaim the purpose of business and allow the benefits of capitalism to reach all corners of our
country and beyond.
Today, a growing number of leaders in the business and
social sectors are finding ways to make our capitalist system fairer. They recognize that if we create the context and
conditions for an inclusive and just economy, the more we
can use capitalism’s undeniable productive power to unlock better ideas and outcomes for humankind.
President of the Ford
Foundation, an international social
with a $13 billion