Lest We Forget: In Capitalism, Not Everybody Makes a Profit All the Time

Two very prominent and “big” American companies are having trouble making a profit.

Boeing reports a $3.3 billion loss for its third quarter.

It has only made profits in 3 out of 14 quarters since the crashes of its 737 Max 8 aircraft in 2018 and 2019.

Secondly, Meta or Facebook, if you like, reported a 4% decline in quarterly revenue from the same period last year.  Its profit for the previous quarter was 1% below earnings for the equivalent quarter last year.  Its stock price has dropped 16%.

The misconception – very much touted by Karl Marx – that capitalism is just a never-ending flow of money to capitalists (“Mr. Moneybags,” Marx called them) needs to be challenged, again and again.  Not every company succeeds day in and day out.  Only those who properly and adroitly take care of their stakeholders do well in the long run.

There is in life and especially in capitalism, risk.  Risk brings on the bad with the good.  Putting risk in the calculation of probable outcomes of business and finance should be a no-brainer for us all.

It is true, as Adam Smith complained, that many in business and finance will try to arrange circumstances to remove risk, even abusively, at times, by hook and by crook, in order to turn capitalism into rent extraction.