While I realize that this interview with Kazuo Inamori, who heads Kyocera, is a winner in the eyes of the folks at USA Today for his biting criticism of capitalism, this is an enlightening view of economics.
Inamori is 77 years old, a Zen Buddhist monk and a huge business success, thanks to his reliance on capitalism and the free markets. His company develops and builds technology for a number of industries, including cell phones, ceramic-related products for the medical field and even some parts for the auto industry.
I see merit in his view: “Overcoming the current difficulties will require us to refine the free-market economic model that we have come to value above all others. However, I do not believe that this crisis represents the failure of capitalism. We must use the wisdom of humankind to modify the current form of capitalism into a more moderate version.”
Easy to say for a man who is the 31st wealthiest in Japan, according to Forbes. Net worth, $700 million.
But I also think he is a bit idealistic, and even simple, if he thinks that one can will the human instinct of greed into cooperating with his notion of how capitalism should work.
What a good reporter would have asked is: How much were you paid annually in the three years leading to your retirement? What did it take to become one of the richest people in Japan without greed? That would at least let us know if Inamori were on the level.