Monday, January 10, 2005

Capitalists on Steroids

This is a good article and from what I could tell the publication is reputable. I may have to bookmark it and keep posted. Consistently good publications are so rare. Americans also work more hours. In France, a best seller called Bonjour Paresse (Hello Laziness) recommends sloth as a virtue; its subtitle in English would be The Art and Importance of Doing the Least Possible in the Workplace. No way would such a book find a following on this side of the pond. Americans know that they have to work harder and plan big, to be perpetually scanning the horizon for the Next Big Thing or watching out for the competitors nipping at their heels. (“Only the paranoid survive,” Intel CEO Andy Grove wryly observed.) Critics of America’s brand of economics, particularly Western Europeans, sneer at its “cowboy capitalism.” Though they understate the benefits and overstate the ill effects of our low-regulation, low-tax, high-turnover, perpetually innovating system, there is nevertheless a grain of truth to the image. The Wild West? No. But harsh and full of risks? Yes.
Yet one of the central messages of The Apprentice is precisely the opposite of what the show’s critics have argued: toughness doesn’t excuse incivility, nor is steroidal capitalism for the uncouth. Any lout can swim 60 laps, jump out of airplanes, and shout down an opponent, but only the truly superior competitor can apply the same self-discipline he brings to his physical exertions to controlling his emotions and molding his personality. Trump, whose gilded excesses once earned him the sobriquet of the “short-fingered vulgarian,” makes an unlikely teacher of self-discipline. Nevertheless, he plays the wise mentor for the young, lone, battle-ready global contender who also needs to learn the etiquette of a team-playing, corporate sophisticate
Read the whole thing...


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