How Can Value Be Collectively Determined?

Mariana Mazzucato wrote the article, “Who Really Creates Value in an Economy?” for Project Syndicate. In it she rightly points out the issue is not just who creates it, but who defines what it is. And she argues value must be “determined collectively, by business, workers, strategic public institutions, and civil-society organizations”. But how?

For some it has been argued capitalism must evolve beyond neoliberalism, but this will not happen by piecemeal changes designed to fix a broken system. That approach will be no more effective than ‘applying bandages to a cancer’ or ‘putting lipstick on a pig’.

Financial Times columnist Martin Wolf’s in an article examined, “Why so little has changed since the financial crash”. He, Like Mariana, says, “policymakers have barely questioned the relative roles of government and markets”, but he puts this “complacency” down to the lack of an “all-embracing new ideology”, not a lack of good new ideas.

To address the “but how?” question an all-embracing new ideology needs to be developed, but it also needs a name, so others can contribute to its development and start to practice it. Valueism is a possible name. It means business or capitalism focused on value creation, not the extraction of it.

Valueism proposes the adoption of a broad definition of value, to include both financial and non-financial and tangible and intangible value. As Muzzucato suggests, it must also be viewed through the eyes of all stakeholders.

The definition and the way Valueism is practised must also properly account for costs, rather than allow them to be externalised to other players, including society. In short it requires a 21st century Theory of Value.

Continue reading this article which was originally posted on Medium

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