The overemphasis by the means of production on their profitability so severely narrows the field of productive accountability that it becomes virtually impossible to respond to other production values.
The policies of governments, such as the USA, UK and Germany, in the period leading up to the Gulf War reveal a pattern of decision-making almost entirely influenced by the need to maximize trade by their corporations irrespective of any intelligence information concerning the military ends to which the traded goods would be put. The welfare of national trading corporations was recognized as the highest priority, even though the high tech hardware sold dangerously empowered Iraq.
One often referred to indicator that the greed of capitalism has abated is that the average rate of profit has fallen in a number of large industrial countries since the beginning of the 1970s. However, there are notorious difficulties encountered in trying to obtain a reliable measure of these rates, and the national differences in the timing of changes in rates and levels of profit. Moreover the key factor in determining the international reorganization of capital is not so much the absolute level of profit and its changes over time, but the divergence between the profits obtainable in the industrialized countries and those in the developing countries. It should also be noted that a fall in the average rate of profit is not incompatible with a constant or even increasing rate of profit for the majority of large companies.