Rampant Capitalism

Oh poor capitalism. Two recent editorials in the Washington Post express fear that the  system will  be compromised and we will get the worst of capitalism and the worst of government regulation. In this one, Robert Samuelson charts all the great progress our country has made in subordinating unrestrained profit-seeking to other cultural values.

Where has he been over the last eight years? As Kevin Phillips would add in Bad Money where has he been over the last 35 years with the bailouts of the financial industries after their greediness?

I agree that there have been numerous advances corporate income tax (1909), Securities and Exchange Commission (1934) and Environmental Protection Agency (1970). However, how many times do corporations pay little taxes? We all know the SEC has been snoozing and was undercut by the change in the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999.

In order to work reform must be vigilant. Government agencies need to keep up with changes and modify their operations in order to remain effective. Corporations can’t be bound by interlocking boards of directors if companies are to invest properly in new product development and research and development. Why do we have to wait until things come crashing down in order to act in their ways?

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2 comments so far

  1. Jesse on

    The problem is that the cronyism as capitalism’s first cousin is encouraged or instigated through government policy.

    FDIC is insolvent, the banks are insolvent, the housing bubble was encouraged by GSE’s, the Federal Reserve creates inflation, the bailouts are handouts by government officials…etc.

    None of the above is a result of the free market, but government policy.

    • bla2222 on

      Cronyism exists well enough on its own which is proven by the way the corporate boards work. However, I do agree that government policies tilt the balance toward one type of business, or create growth sectors. (This is well spelled out in the Samuelson piece).


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