It was, Bush said, just a “joining of scars. There’s nothing being built fresh. Things are just being reshuffled.”
“We’re killing things and not giving them a chance to grow.”
Over time, this lack of long-term vision alters the economy—with profound political implications.
Businesses are the engine of a country’s employment and wealth creation; when they cater only to stockholders, expenditures on employees’ [or society’s] behalf, whether for raises, job training, or new facilities, come to be seen as a poor use of funds.
Eventually, this can result in fewer secure jobs, widening inequality, and political polarization. “You can’t have a stable democracy that has not seen any increase in wages for the vast majority of working people for over thirty years, while there’s a tremendous increase in compensation and earnings for a small percentage of the country,” Martin Lipton, a founding partner of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, who has spent decades working with companies targeted by corporate raiders, told me. “That is destructive of democracy. It breeds populism.”