A letter from Michael H. McCain on capitalism: “I hope this debate will continue”

“On the way to change, I hope people could patronize my business”

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I’m heartened that my earlier call for a new charter for capitalism sparked debate in the form of this week’s column “Michael McCain is wrong about capitalism.” I hope this debate will continue.

Albert Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Kelly-Gagnon seem to offer few solutions to the failures we are experiencing. Our planet is still on fire. The inequity and inequality of a race to the bottom, absent some measure of “regulation”, continues unabated. Human conflict persists and trust levels continue to plummet. Few proofs of solutions are provided by the voice of keep on, keepin’ on.

The well-rehearsed dog whistle labels of “wokeism,” “socialism,” or even oddly reminiscent of a broken communist past are the calls of people unwilling to accept responsibility for change in the face of failure. A New Charter for Capitalism is none of that, but rather a call to create a fairer and more successful version of the same thing.

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Mr. Lemieux and Mr. Kelly-Gagnon seem stuck in an elusive concept of “free markets”. There is no such existence today – anywhere! Every civilized society has rules, and we live by those rules individually and collectively, personally and commercially. The only question at stake is whether these rules are fair to everyone involved in the game, including future generations who will depend on how we manage the planet we live on. The jury is out – they are not!

A secure social safety net is simply a reflection of a caring society, not the Dickensian self-interest protection apparently espoused by Lemieux and Kelly-Gagnon. And, on the journey of change, I hope people will patronize my business, simply because we have a great product AND because we care!

— Michael H. McCain, President and CEO, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.