Would moral philosopher Adam Smith agree with Brookings? Unabashedly, yes. A “contemporized” Smith would proclaim American capitalism thoroughly run amok.

Elaine Kamarck and others (Jim Sawyer included) are pushing hard against short-termism, pseudo-capitalism, even vulture capitalism. Evidence of why this is urgent? When I began college the ratio between executive pay and worker compensation was under 20:1. Then over four decades this ratio shot up twenty-fold (400:1). Now it’s settled well above 200:1.

In my last carpe diem post I cited Barton Swain’s claim (WSJ) presidential aspirant Joe Biden will be presiding over a lack-luster liberal agenda. But Swain may have missed this, just days ago. The $2-trillion-dollar Covid-19 bailout package prohibits using bailout funds for egregious purposes. Among them? Stock buybacks and unchecked executive compensation.

One wonders then, could Joe Biden and Democrats be pushing for a boldness not seen in American politics in four decades? I believe so. I’ll show you how it might look, starting with my next post.

~Jim Sawyer

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