The Truth About the Free Market That Nobody Dares Say:
There Is a Much Better Alternative to a Free Market
The economic mess we are in came about because of a free-wheeling free market. The truth is that despite what believers in an unregulated free market insist, the free market system as it has been allowed to function is directly responsible for creating our financial crisis. This is NOT because freedom is a bad thing or a free market is a bad idea. This is NOT to imply that socialism is a better alternative than a free market.
There is a much better alternative to either socialism or a free market. That alternative is built into the foundation of how democracy-centered republics are designed to function.
Democracy-centered republics were created to operate at the intersection of citizen freedom and citizen responsibility. In truth, it is no mystery that when freedom becomes divorced from responsibility, countries, societies, and their economic systems, crumble. Here’s the law, as unchangeable as the laws of physics: Indulging freedom and ignoring responsibility creates integrity deficits.
In the United States, individuals aren’t the only citizens we have; for better or worse, since the late 1800s corporations have also enjoyed the rights granted to individual citizens. (Except for the right to vote, though corporations more than make up for that through their extremely powerful special interest influences over government. )
However, even though corporations have exercised the freedoms of individual citizens they have not required to fulfill the responsibilities of individual citizens. And just as freedom without responsibility has been destroying our society, freedom without responsibility has been destroying our free market, and our economy with it.
We live in an age when self-centered individual citizens have been allowed to damage the fabric of communities, where self-centered elected citizens have been allowed to damage the fabric of governing, and where a self-centered free market has been allowed to damage the fabric of our economy.
Freedom is only one of two ingredients a society and an economy need in order to be sustainable. The other ingredient is responsibility. We cannot survive if we continue to insist we are merely a free society. Our survival now depends on shifting into being a Freesponsible Society.
To return to sustainability, the market must shift from being a Free Market to being a Freesponsible Market.
Profit is to business what freedom is to individual citizens (and to the free market). Self-centered business profitability had a major role in the crumbling of the free market system and hence our economy. So, just as the free market must remake itself into a Freesponsible Market, businesses must shift their business models to Freesponsible Profitability. This is essentially what the Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Citizenship movements are all about.
If we were a country of Freesponsible Citizens, and if we only supported Freesponsible Businesses within a Freesponsible Market economic system, government regulation would be unnecessary and inappropriate. We’re not, we don’t and it is. Until the majority of citizens have returned to freesponsibility, until the majority of businesses have become freesponsible, and until the market operates in a freesponsible way, governments have the responsibility to educate and regulate.
Once again, the reason governments have this responsibility in our current climate is because the governments of democracy-centered republics (like the United States) are mandated by their Constitution to preserve the balance between individual freedom and the common good. It is time for our government to shift from being self-centered and special interest controlled to being Freesponsible Government.
Freesponsible Governments reward Freesponsibility in individuals, businesses and the economic market. They penalize market, business and individual narcissism. And most of all, they vigorously educate citizens and the business community about Freesponsibility.
Are you, as an individual citizen, fed up enough with the devastating consequences of self-centeredness in the free market, in businesses, in citizens, in politicians, and in the media, to start demanding a return to Freesponsibility?
Let me put it the opposite way: Are you willing to allow our economy, our society and our government to continue their downward spirals? If so, don’t bother fulfilling your responsibility as a citizen to demand a return to Freesponsibility. And don’t bother beginning embodying yourself.
If that scenario is repulsive to you, then please join with me in demanding a return to economic and societal integrity by doing your part to help spark a new age of Freesponsibility in citizens, businesses, the free market, and society in general.
You will can read much more about Freesponsibilty in economic integrity and citizen integrity sections of my Integrity Stimulus Plan. But be sure to read all five key forms of integrity that it covers. (The Integrity Stimulus Plan is the cornerstone of my Integritize America campaign.)
You will find my complete five-book-award-winning road map for reconnecting the dots between integrity, life fulfillment, love, profitability and social responsibility in The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships and Our World.