Very well put. What’s always missing from these type arguments, though, is any discussion of the next-generation political/economic system. Why does it always come down to free-market capitalism vs. communism/socialism (or something close cousin)? Humanity will not be ready to evolve beyond capitalism until we stop kneeling at the alter. Yes, let’s concede the point now: At this point in history, capitalism is been the best system yet we’ve known. And in the mid-19th Century, the horse-drawn carriage had been the best mode of transportation known. In retrospect, anyone from that age who dogmatically defended the virtues of the horse and buggy looks like a myopic fool.“Chip was struck by the broad similarities between black-market Lithuania and free-market America. In both countries, wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few; any meaningful distinction between private and public sectors had disappeared; captains of commerce lived in a ceaseless anxiety that drove them to expand their empires ruthlessly; Ordinary citizens lived in ceaseless fear of being fired and ceaseless confusion about which powerful private interest owned which formerly public institution on any given day; and the economy was fueled largely by the elite’s insatiable demand for luxury...The main difference between America and Lithuania , as far as Chip could see, was that in America the wealthy few subdued the unwealthy many by means of mind-numbing and soul killing entertainments and gadgetry and pharmaceuticals, whereas in Lithuania the powerful few subdued the unpowerful many by threatening violence.”- Jon Franzen, from THE CORRECTIONS
That, of course, is why many of us find Franzen an exasperating mix of the pretentious and the shallow.Who would these wealthy few be, and these unwealthy many? Drive around the country a bit, Jon. Sure, there are poor people here (I've been one of them). But there are lot of very well off people, too.As for capitalism: I have no interest in the ism part myself. But the fact is that, once you get past barter, capital - i.e., a medium of exchange - becomes necessary.The principal reason for putting in place rules for keeping the capital concentrated in too few hands is that, when that happens, the overall economy suffers because a kind of sclerosis sets in, the capital circulates too sluggishly.The best thing would be for people to stop thinking in these ridiculous, outmoded academic categories. Why would anybody in his right mind think that the nation's wealth would be better off under the protection of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank?