Capitalism really is nice – trust me…

I have been reading a number of political and spy thrillers recently which has coincided nicely with the return of Spooks to our screens. The key element of this form of entertainment is that nobody is as they seem, everybody is out to do the dirty on you, and therefore you can’t trust anybody.

Given all that, it never ceases to amaze me how important trust in business actually is, and, more importantly, how much we take it for granted. For instance granting credit to a customer involves a tremendous amount of trust, and yet it is probably the key component of a functioning business system. Without this trust many of us just would not be able to do business.

Yes of course we all put in place legal contracts and agreements, and operate using standard terms and conditions, but even with these there is still a belief that we in the main are all nice fair people dealing with other nice fair people.

That is why on the odd occasion that you do deal with somebody who shows no trust and is frankly not nice, there is actually a sense of righteous indignation. The fact that this person is acting in their best interests in accordance with whatever agreement you have put in place does not detract from the feeling that they are not playing fair.

This is why I do get very frustrated when politicians stand up and criticize what they term the excesses of capitalism for all the ills in the world today. I think there is just as much reason to criticize the excesses of politics which have surely played their part in the economic and other problems of the last few years and much more besides.

I remember a sign at one of the anti-capitalism marches a few years ago which proclaimed “Let’s get rid of capitalism and replace it with something much nicer”. I am not sure that any of the other systems that have been tried so far have been much nicer in practice. Vince Cable may still be able to get cheap headlines by lambasting it but capitalism in the main is really quite nice. Trust me. No really trust me…..

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