Friday, January 30, 2015

American Capitalism

Trickle down didn't.
The most recent decade has brought capitalism to the center of our collective attention. Again.

As the economy collapsed in the Great Recession, doomsayers pointed to the flawed capitalistic system and predicted the end of it all. Public opinion was much the same in the Great Depression years.

The problem here is not capitalism but corruption.
Capitalism may, as Churchill humorously said of democracy, be the worst possible solution save for all the rest.   Communism was such a disaster that by the end of the 1980's, capitalist West Germany had four times the GDP per capita of communist East Germany.  With the collapse of the Soviet Union, eastern European countries flocked to the EU.  China found communism to be such a failure that they mandated a neo-capitalism beginning in 1978.  

The problem, of course ... corruption,
 not capitalism.
There are players and practices in our economic system that take unfair advantage of their position and power.  That's not a problem with capitalism, however, but with responsibility, accountability, and law.

Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution brought planes, trains, and automobiles to name a few, plus health care and increased life expectancy; it was 47 a century ago and 78 today. 

All things considered including current difficulties, capitalism is the essential cornerstone of today's modern economics. The clean version, of course; the clean, uncorrupt, fair market version.

It is perhaps worth remembering that capitalism, like its alternatives, is an adaptation to circumstances. It is not a virtue, not a standard for judgement, not a measure of right or nobility. It's just another 'ism' where virtue is dependent on the players.
See American Socialism ,if you like, or The GAP for more.