Error in Haste

I have perhaps been unfair to Capitalism by focusing too narrowly on its flaws.

Pre-Capitalism America had its own set of blatant problems which the new system remedied. Before banks people couldn’t get loans without totally unfair interest rates. Before bankruptcy laws one could be sent to jail for being unable to repay interest on debt – making starting any new business a huge risk.

The issues of monopolies, tyranny, exploitation, unemployment, growing class division, and sustainability continue to exist however. The problems of our time may be different than the scourges of old, but they are no less wicked.

I still remain partial to Economic Democracy – employee-owned corporations and public control of the investment process. For the latter part though, it’s difficult to imagine politicizing private business into the realm of public debate, rancor, mass-misinformation, grandstanding and brinksmanship having too idealistic an outcome.

Nonetheless, one has to hope the masses would more efficiently wield the power of the purse than elite aristocrats who merely happen to benefit society on occasion in their personal pursuit of profit and wealth, irrespective of the damage they cause to their countrymen and fellow citizens. The boom and bust cycle of investor bubbles has done well for many, but it has also profited the few in absurd proportion to the mass harm it has caused (often thanks to the dishonest dealings of the same powerful few who profit most).

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