Confronting Capitalism

Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System

 Confronting Capitalism

Author: Philip Kotler
Pub Date: April 2015
Print Edition: $26.00
Print ISBN: 9780814436455
Page Count: 256
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814436462

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Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System

Probing Insights and Concrete Actions for Making Capitalism Better—For the Economy, the Environment, and the Vast Majority of People


Compassionate Capitalism, Inclusive Capitalism, Humanistic Capitalism…The media abounds with ideas for redeeming the world’s predominant economic system. As public opinion overwhelmingly suggests, it’s time to end “Cowboy Capitalism”—where anything and everything goes in the pursuit of profits. Beyond an image makeover, how can capitalism be improved to benefit the planet and its people, particularly those struggling with unemployment and poverty? What must be changed to allow capitalism to work its wonders?

In CONFRONTING CAPITALISM: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System (AMACOM; April 2015; $26.00 Hardcover), Philip Kotler pinpoints what’s wrong with capitalism—fourteen major shortcomings, to be precise. Delving into each problem, Kotler proposes changes—realistic, manageable, sustainable changes—to make capitalism better for the United States and the best alternative for other countries, whether developing or faltering, around the globe. A classically trained economist as well as an acclaimed marketing guru, Kotler is a firm believer in “capitalism with a heart”—a system that serves not just large corporations, financial organizations, and the wealthy, but also one-person firms, mom-and-pop shops, small businesses, and all people. In his self-described “feasible view” of healthy, high-performance capitalism: “The aim of a capitalistic society should be to create an economic system whose operation leads to a broad level of happiness and well-being in its citizens.”

Drawing on economic history, business lessons, recent hard-hitting data, and his exceptional knowledge of the subject, Kotler examines capitalism’s serious flaws and potential to overcome them. Along the way, CONFRONTING CAPITALISM takes on:

• Why poverty persists in countries where capitalism flourishes, how to leverage the private sector and social marketing to help the poor, and the continually-debated question of minimum wages.

• Whether capitalism is intrinsically destined to produce extreme income inequality, and why tax policies for reducing the staggering differences in wealth are good for not only members of the lower income majority but also for capitalism itself.

• Whether capitalism can create enough jobs in a future of escalating automation, and the imperative of training future (and current) workers for a job market marked by a high demand for science, technology, math, and engineering skills.

• How to stop capitalism as usual from exploiting the environment and ways to translate eco-consciousness and sustainability into competitive advantage.

• How to handle the sticky issue of capitalism’s questionable marketing outputs, from unhealthy foods to guns, and bring social values into the market equation.

Piercing, practical, and action-provoking, CONFRONTING CAPITALISM is, above all, hopeful. Speaking directly to every intelligent, talented, and committed reader, Kotler, an unabashed optimist, states: “Hopefully, you share my wish to improve the lives of people by helping capitalism work more effectively.”

About the Author

PHILIP KOTLER is the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. A classically trained economist, as well as an acclaimed marketing guru, Kotler did his Master’s studies at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman, famed Nobel laureate and free-market evangelist, and went on to MIT to pursue his Ph.D., under Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow, two Nobel Prize-winning Keynesian economists.

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