Before I’m thrown into the basket of alt-right deplorables because of the headline, what I’m asking is this: “Is there any better economic/governmental system than free-market capitalism combined with appropriate government regulations against its excesses?” The reason I’m asking this is because I’ve seen many Leftist bloggers attack capitalism as if it were the root of all Western evil, something to be ruthlessly expunged. (These are the same people who get their overpriced macchiatos from Starbucks.)
The kind of capitalism I don’t find problematic is that in Scandinavia and Western Europe, and the kind that we could have in the U.S. were the government a bit more compassionate. Now I’m not an economist, and can’t rattle off every danger of an unregulated free market lacking government safety nets, but surely we need regulations that will help those who can’t survive in that system, or who fall through the cracks. We need government medical care, taxes, help for old people, and a variety of social services beside the free market. We need regulations to prevent unethical business practices, the purveying of misrepresented or dangerous products, the creation of monopolies, and so on. This is pretty much above my pay grade.
But I ask those of you who are constantly harping on capitalism, indicting it as evil, and calling for its destruction: what alternative do you propose? As I believe Steve Pinker pointed out in his latest book, any society that has eliminated capitalism but has tried to be democratic—or maintained the pretense of democracy—has failed. Capitalism is, after all, a form of economic freedom.
Well, you weigh in. What alternatives are better than a humanely regulated form of capitalism in a democracy?
This is an extreme example, but there are many other non-loons who espouse pretty much the same sentiments.