KLM COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
May 30, 1995
I’ve been busy lately and the easiest thing for me to put off is letter writing. I have been meaning to write you since finishing your book, Democratic Capitalism. In my forty-two year corporate career, I always thought of myself as a capitalist but hated to say so for fear of being classed with the “Wall Streeters”. Now you’ve so clearly articulated the difference between democratic capitalism and financial capitalism, That I see that my philosophy of operating companies was close to that of a democratic capitalist.
In running the divisions of two major corporations and then as the C.E.O. of a NYSE company, C.R. Bard, Inc., I always believed in what we liked to call participative management. To a great extent we were practicing democratic capitalism. I always believed that if the press and politicians could see how the best corporations were managed, and not compare them with the financial institutions of Wall Street, we would not only get better treatment, but, more importantly get their endorsement.
Now your book has clearly defined democratic capitalism and, for the first time I believe, shown how beneficial to the nation as whole the expansion of it can be. I hope you can get the book into the right hands so that the political and economic thinkers in the country can start to give serious consideration to changing how we approach our social and economic challenges through emphasis on democratic capitalism.
You’re a much deeper thinker than I so I also thank you for positioning the thinking of Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Robert Owens et al in a context that shows how right are the practicing democratic capitalists of todayin believing that good business practice can produce good living as well as good profits.
If I can be of any help to you, please let me know.
Robert H. McCaffrey