Socialism, Capitalism or Cotonomy

The debate over whether capitalism or socialism is the better choice for society is ironic when both options fail to position the public as the ultimate force in controlling their nation’s wealth. We invest our emotional and intellectual capital arguing for one side or the other when neither puts us in control of our financial liberty. The time has come to broaden this debate to include Cotonomy.

The definition of the three economic systems is provided here because sometimes a definition is all the persuasion you need.

“Socialism” 1. a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. Merriam-Webster.com Retrieved November 6, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/socialism

“Capitalism” 1. an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. Merriam-Webster.com Retrieved November 6, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/capitalism

Because Merriam-Webster has yet to document the definition of Cotonomy, I have provided it here.

Cotonomy is a public benefit company designed to give the public greater direct and indirect control over major industries so that the wealth and control of these industries flows to the general public.

The difference among these definitions is who should have control over the wealth that shapes a person’s life and our society. Should it be our politicians? Should it be our corporations? Should it be you and the rest of the public?

We live in a world where money defines the quality of our food, water, healthcare, education, safety and much more. It determines who lives and what quality of life can be enjoyed. It influences everything and affects your life in every way. Who do you think is the most motivated to ensure your share of wealth is protected? The corporation? The politician? You?

In the U.S., we put an even greater emphasis on money by building our society so more of our basic services come from the private sector. This makes the income you earn even more determinative of the quality of life you live. Why is it so clear to Americans that the public should control political power but we leave the ultimate power in the hands of the corporation and a limited number of shareholders?

We are a nation of people whose government has thrown us to the free market in order to build a culture and society led by the corporate enterprise. We have been handed to an entity that has no legal or moral obligation to ensure we are employed or earn a living wage. Yet, these are the exact two things most determinative on the quality of our life. It is the quality of job and the amount of money in your pocket that segments you into what level of your Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness you will receive.

Our government has made the corporate enterprise the fiduciary of our liberty. It has placed our safety in an entity whose legal responsibility is only to its shareholders for maximizing profits. As such, we the people are caught between an entity’s insatiable appetite for profits and its distaste for hiring us or paying a living wage.

Corporate philosophy 101 is to create barriers to entry so other businesses cannot compete. Use size to dominate your industry and lessen the competition. These are two strategies that work great for boosting profits but hurt jobs and wages. Then there are the more advanced strategies that involve paying no tax, reducing benefits, hiring from third world countries or becoming too big to fail.

They say if you put a frog into boiling water he will jump right out. Sit this same frog in a pot of cool water and slowly bring the water to a boil and the frog will gladly sit until boiled alive. So my fellow frogs, I turn to you to say that the water in this pot is unsustainable for us and for our children. The time has come for us to choose a direction that leads out of this boiling pot instead of debating who sits on the left or the right.

Cotonomy represents a new form of public benefit corporation whose purpose is to empower people to take control of their economy so it can reflect their priorities and values. In other words, so we can build an economy that is better at creating more businesses, more jobs, higher wages and gives the public greater control over which businesses influence our culture and the health of our planet.

At Cotonomy, we see the public’s control of advertising as the crucial first step to realizing an economy where the public is in direct control over its wealth and economic power. The public’s control over advertising gives them the means for using their spending power to enlist the help of millions of micro and small businesses more aligned with their values and taste.

The debate is not between socialism and capitalism. The debate is whether we the people care enough about our freedom that we will no longer entrust governments or corporations to be the sole fiduciaries of our economic liberty. Cotonomy: Business of the people, by the people and for the people.