In a recent podcast from BNR’s Big Five, Jan Peter Balkenende talks about the future of capitalism in Europe. Balkenende is Professor Emeritus of Governance, Institutions and Internationalisation at Erasmus School of Economics and Erasmus School of Law. Before he became Professor, he was Prime Minister of the Netherlands from 2002-2010. During the four preceding years, he served as chairman of the CDA parliamentary party in the Dutch House of Representatives.
In the podcast, Balkenende begins his argument by arguing that capitalism in itself is a neutral term for the organisation of an economy. However, capitalism can never be separated from a moral context, according to the Professor Emeritus. We are now, in view of three major issues, not on the right track. Namely, we are struggling with the climate issue, the issue of acquiring (raw) materials and the issue of inequality. These problems give rise to discussions on the future of capitalism.
The future of capitalism
There are different designations for forms of capitalism that, according to their creators, should be implemented in the future. In these different terms, according to Balkenende, three central elements emerge. First, we need to focus on long-term thinking. Next, we must move away from the one-sided focus on the shareholder who opts for stakeholders and thus almost only focusses on profit. Finally, we need a much better balance between ecological, economic and social interests, according to the Professor Emeritus.