The saying holds that “bad money drives out good.” When markets mature and the return on investment dwindles for any certain investment, the fools rush in as the angels and founders back out, satisfied with the higher returns but not wishing to stay for the crumbs.
This question is a bit different. For capitalism – Ayn Rand capitalism – to flourish, there must be several things firmly in place. There must be an overarching and mutual agreement of moral rules, and a justice system to enforce them. This is all implied in her assertion that in a free society, no one can use force against another. If two entities dispute whether there is some coercion in a matter, there must be an objective arbiter to decide the point. Of course, they can just terminate their contractual ties; but for matters past, there must be an arbitration of fairness. Rand’s capitalism has a robust embrace of equity, if not its opposite, “law.”
Perhaps thirtysome years ago, America embraced the definition that “greed is good,” a phrase which Rand might have delighted in, but opposed in principle. Victory alone is not a pure virtue in the Randian universe; it must be just victory. Cheating is not allowed.
Virtue Capitalism, Rand’s ideal, was swept aside to embrace victory by any means, which is looters’ capitalism. Win, baby, win – and watch where the referee’s looking.
Instead of virtues, there are audits – judgments applied ad hoc by the uninformed overseeing the bureaucratic.
Big Entity Capitalism sweeps out its forerunners. If one can rig the Government systems, the arbiters of fairness and equity, one can “win” even when one is in the wrong. Small Entities – startups and inventors – depend on godfathering from some Big Entity to flourish long enough to be taken over by a Big Entity. Few startups measure success on their continued productivity. Most measure themselves by the time-to-buyout by a monster corporation.
People such as Warren Buffett and the Koch Brothers and George Soros make money because of clever investing, although they might not all sit in the same room together. But most of American business involves fixing and rigging, under the name of Capitalism: Greed Is Good.
Bad Capitalism drives out Good – this is a symptom of a dying marketplace. The book might be written on the various examples; but the effect is seen in the swath of American factories in what is now called the Rust Belt.
PS: On the infamous Koch Brothers – see their webpage. They are latent progressives, hidden liberals. “We want to have an open conversation about removing barriers to opportunity and progress. Our aim is to replace America’s two-tiered, winner-take-all system with one free and open society where all can win.” (Website)