The dirty secret of capitalism — and a new way forward | Nick Hanauer
Only a quarter of Americans find capitalism beneficial to society
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, more people are questioning the usefulness of capitalism as an economic system, new research shows.
Independent research firm Harris Poll and Just Capital founded in May by billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones, interviewed 1,000 people for their views on capitalism in a pandemic. Only 25% of respondents believe that the current form of capitalism serves the interests of society.
For many, this did not come as a surprise. Many experts, from the chief economist of Harvard to the billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio, warn that capitalism will soon face a crisis due to the huge inequality caused by the pandemic.
The Hazardous Work Temporary Bonus has shown how little grocery workers, food delivery workers, and other workers in vital industries are paid (not to mention the fact that many do not get health insurance). The closure of childcare centers also exposed the situation of unpaid home care work performed by women. Blacks, especially women, are most at risk of layoffs and vacations and are less likely to survive (pay food or rent) when unemployed, according to a study by Lean In, a nonprofit Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook.
The crisis that business leaders are warning about has arrived. Currently, most Americans are demanding change, including paid sick leave and higher wages for workers..
About 70% of respondents said they believed companies should offer at least 14 days of paid sick leave to all workers, including hourly and contract workers. And 67% of respondents believe companies should maintain higher hourly wages for core business employees (such as grocery and other store workers) rather than revert to lower hourly wages at pre-pandemic levels..
«Americans are looking for companies that will provide paid sick leave, paid family leave, higher wages, healthcare, and more flexibility in working from home», – says the report.
The survey also showed that companies will remember how businesses treated their employees during these difficult times. About 84% of respondents said they will remember companies that did the right thing with their employees, keeping them healthy and safe, or doing whatever they could to avoid layoffs.
It echoes the words of a billionaire Mark Cuban, who said millennials and Gen Z will ship the company’s brand «straight into the toilet», if its managers fire employees during a pandemic.
«Americans overwhelmingly agree that we as a society should use this crisis as an opportunity to fix what’s broken and find a better way of life.», – says the report.