I think I may have done a bad job of expressing what I wanted to say about the stock market. I'll try again, but keep in mind that my knowlege of the terminology is patchy, at best.
My understanding of the way things work is that the short term bottom line is the factor that is most taken into consideration by corporate CEOs, Boards of Directors, and major shareholders. With this in mind, decisions are made by these people that may not be good for society in the long run. And I would postulate that they are not good for the companies in the long run either.
One example of this would be decisions made about environmental considerations. Another example would be corporate downsizing. You may recall that a number of years ago, a lot of the major corporations underwent massive downsizing. With the bottom line (short term profits) being the major driving force in the decision making process, decision makers didn't try to forsee what the long term effects of these decisions would be.
As a result, many companies downsized too much, and suffered as a result. Many of these companies found themselves in a bad situation and had to begin rehiring. One of the unfortunate consequenses for the workers was that many of them found themselves trying to do the job of two people, and the quality of their work suffered along with the quality of their lives. And productivity suffered as well.
This is only one example, but I think it illustrates the concept I'm trying to convey.