One of the most significant developments in the latter part of the 20th century and the first part of this new millennium has been the triumph of short-term over long-term thinking. We are increasingly a culture that looks neither to the past nor to the future, but only to the next “quarter,” or to the next Delphic pronouncement by Alan Greenspan. This cultural construction of time has given rise to social, political and personal problems of unprecedented magnitude. The short-term focus of contemporary American capitalism is causing us to behave, both individually and collectively, in an increasingly irrational and thus self-destructive manner. Ours is now the most violent, crime-ridden society in the industrialized world. Capitalism is sometimes blamed for this, yet there are other capitalist societies that do not suffer the same evils we suffer. I argue that we can learn from these societies how to correct some of the ills of our own system and in this way construct a new paradigm of the market, a paradigm for the new millennium, a more mature, rational version of capitalism that would focus on the long rather than the short term.
Journal of Business Ethics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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