Capitalism v. Democracy



Although certainly admirable, individual liberty, free market capitalism, the endless pursuit of wealth and limited government only makes sense to a certain point, then it just falls off a cliff. The underlying flaw with these principals is the distorted notion that conflates democracy with capitalism. Which in turn, leads to transactional thinking that equates equality, social justice and opportunity with authoritarianism, servitude and wealth confiscation. The reality is the U.S. is a constitutionally limited, representative republic. Capitalism is never mentioned in our founding documents or dictated by the constitution. Therefore, this should not be a debate between individual liberty and a tyrannical government. This is a fight between democracy and property.

It’s not a secret that when left to its own devices, capitalism does some things badly or not at all. Monopolies who diminish competition and exploit the public under the guise of mutual consent are a detriment to the free market. Corporations who pit state governments against one another are counterproductive to the general welfare. American virtues like social justice, equality, taking care of our environment, healthcare, living wages, reasonable gun legislation, education and mass incarceration are more than utopian notions on a profit and loss statement.

Volatility in our markets and conflict in our society arises when unconstrained capitalism acts contrary to the general welfare of citizens. Therefore, the debate should not be whether government is involved in the formation of capitalism and markets, it always has been. The debate should be whether government, in a free market system, is conducive to a productive and equal society that respects private ownership- while simultaneously providing protections that promote the general welfare of its citizens. It’s only when markets, working together with government as complimentary pillars of the economy, can we produce the prosperity, fairness and sustainability we seek.

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