Free Minds & Free Markets

Creative Capitalism = Compassionate Conservatism?

Bill Gates spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, and touted what he calls "creative capitalism":

...where governments, businesses, and non-profits work together to stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit or gain recognition doing work that eases the world's inequities....

This system, [capitalism], driven by self-interest is response for the incredible innovations that have improved so many lives.

It's always good to see an important person speak so highly and at such great length about the wonder working powers of market forces and describe "self-interest" in such glowing terms. But the whole "creative capitalism" concept has a certain echo of "compassionate conservatism," which wound up being the worst of both worlds (At last! The state funding religious charities, plus a massive new Medicare entitlement! Just what we needed!).

Can Gates-style "creative capitalism" avoid the same trap? (At last! Governments bullying corporations to do good and massive new aid budgets!)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online