Why Don’t All Businesses Work This Way?

July 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is a wonderful recording of John Lewis talking about why he ran his business in the way he did. Read the speech here.

One small snippet here. Radical stuff!

Looking for change

The present state of affairs is really a perversion of the proper working of capitalism. It is all wrong to have millionaires before you have ceased to have slums. Capitalism has done enormous good and suits human nature far too well to be given up as long as human nature remains the same. But the perversion has given us too unstable a society. Differences of reward must be large enough to induce people to do their best but the present differences are far too great.

If we do not find some way of correcting that perversion of capitalism, our society will break down. We shall find ourselves back in some form of government without the consent of the governed, some form of police state. The dividends of some shareholders exceed their own highest hopes, hopes that may have been much too greedy, and the incomes of the more fortunate of the captains of industry are many times as great as would have caused the same persons to work just as hard and for just as many years if, instead of going into business, they had happened to become, say, lawyers or doctors. This is quite wrong.

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