Time to rethink US capitalism?: 5 takeaways for healthcare leaders

As economic, health and education inequalities grow, more people are beginning to question whether it's necessary to reimagine how American capitalism functions, according to a report from consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Five takeaways from the report for healthcare leaders: 

1. The general public and economists aren't the only ones calling for reforms around inclusiveness, resilience and fairness. In 2019, the U.S. Business Roundtable, which represents the CEOs of America's largest firms, redefined the purpose of corporations. Beyond serving shareholders, businesses should promote "an economy that serves all Americans," according to McKinsey & Co.

2. The authors of the McKinsey & Co. report specifically point to healthcare as a driver of financial stress. While most consumers have easier access to such goods as electronics and furniture, the rising cost of such basic goods as housing, healthcare and education have far outpaced inflation. Fifty-four percent of any gain in income in the last 20 years has been wiped out by these costs, according to the report.

3. The pandemic's pressure on healthcare and the economy has only exacerbated social and health inequalities. Black, Hispanic and Latino Americans are overrepresented in nine of the 10 lowest-paid jobs that require contact with others, according to the report. Many of those low-income workers face greater risks of exposure to the virus and unemployment. 

4. The pandemic has likewise highlighted America's lack of investment in public goods, such as healthcare systems and scientific research, according to the report. These gaps in public goods disparately affect demographic groups and places.

5. "The magnitude of the economic shock brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic creates an opportunity to reconsider how well the current model works and the extent to which it is fit for the challenges and opportunities of the present and future. These include how to ensure capitalism is inclusive, how to evolve market mechanisms, where to apply them, the role of government and industrial policy, and the role of corporations in the 21st century in addressing societal challenges," the report states.

To read the full report, click here.

More articles on leadership:
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10 leadership strategies to maintain after COVID-19

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