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View Diary: "Unprecedented prosperity" (248 comments)

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  •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

    Although I would be considered a far left winger these days, I agree that capitalism, given the right circumstances, can do very good things.  One problem is that capitalism is currently terribly distorted.  Just look at the money big banks got from the govt after they had screwed the economy.  They have so much political influence and they are so big that the normal capitalist "rules," e.g. the sainted "supply and demand," do not apply.  To give you a more concrete example, we are paying about $2.50 per gallon for gasoline, but many of the costs of gasoline are not reflected in the pump price.  There are huge environmental costs and health costs associated with gasoline production and usage, and one of the major reasons we have such a huge military is to make sure we can bully the world into providing oil for us.  If we take the environmental, medical and mitilary costs of gasoline into account, a gallon probably costs $10-15.  Policy, however, dictates that these costs are not paid directly by the users, but by society as a whole and by future generations.  If we paid these prices at the pump, green alternatives would be a lot more attractive.  In that case, I am confident that we would see companies providing terrific alternative vehicles, and maybe even cost-effective public transport.  Big corporations, however, are so powerful that they can distort capitalism for their own profit.  It is government's job to prevent the distortion, but our government is corporate owned and operated.

    •  Excellent points! (0+ / 0-)

      "True" capitalism does actually encourage innovation and competition, producing better results for more people (within bounds of course). But the government-sponsored "capitalism" that is currently predominant in the U.S. does none of that. It just takes the public's funds and directs them to inefficient private concerns.

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