Hyperprofit

 
Nobly melting the icecaps, bravely sending generations into debt servitude, wisely turning rainforests into landfills, humanely employing hundreds of millions to spend 100 hour weeks on stuff even more pointlessly trivial than a Super Big Gulp: those are just a few of the accomplishments corporations can boast justify the historic, record profits they’re earning. If you think there’s something wrong with that picture, that’s because, well, there is. “Profit” should reflect the creation of real, lasting, meaningful value–yet, increasingly, today, it reflects little more than how many Gaddafi-worthy gold-plated jacuzzied private jets the C-suite’s hidden offshore accounts add up to. Here’s the inconvenient truth: the crumbling industrial age relic known as “profit” is an inadequate foundation on which to build an economy fit for 21st century prosperity–a relic that fails to reflect real benefit, deliver real value, or incentivize bravely taking on the big, bad problems that matter to humanity. So here’s how to fix it: hyperprofit is a 21st century bottom line that asks corporations to subtract human, natural, and social value they’ve consumed from their financial profit, and so report a number that quantifies the real net wealth that they have created. You can think of hyperprofit as the real economic gain hidden inside the shiny veneer of financial profit–or, perhaps, missing from it entirely . Sound like a daydream–or perhaps a nightmare, if you’re a pampered fatcat? Welcome to the human age: there are already renegades across the globe making it a hard-as-nails reality.

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