This question bridges both philosophy and economics. Please see original question on the economics website, it includes extra comments and discussion. Looking for critique and reading suggestions:
In case I can get some good input from a philosophy standpoint, reposting it here:
At the highest level, would you say that regardless of market/economic environment (free/regulated), a company's value should reflect its ability to efficiently and effectively bring products and services to market that improve the lives of consumers?
Perhaps this is more of a philosophy/ethics question; cant think of any valid argument against this.
For some context, my train of thought is: If the values of all companies do reflect their ability to improve the lives of consumers, then an equity index should therefore be an indication of how good the private sector is at improving life. The value of an equity index allows us to consider the health of a particular market. The financial markets are complex systems in which both physical and mental health are two large constituents. By physical health, I mean the bodies of employees, the buildings in which they work and the technology they use for example. By mental health, I refer to the emotional and psychological well-being of individuals, teams, whole companies and markets.