Capitalism, yay! Socialism, boo! That’s the level of thinking in America, where most citizens can’t define socialism, but somehow they know they hate it.
Capitalism: the corner hardware store where Mr. Jenkins buys hammers, nails and other hard things at a certain price and sells them at a higher price to pay his store expenses and enough more to sustain his family and a little more for his initiative in taking the risk in the first place. He makes a profit, the locals get to buy the hard stuff they need and the hammer-makers thrive. Yay, capitalism.
Ah, Mr. Jenkins, every bit as harmless and every bit as extinct as the dodo. I miss you, bro.
Capitalism: Sam Walton shaves his prices and threatens his suppliers until he puts the American hammer-makers out of business. No worries, he gets his hammers from China where people are paid $200 a month. With all his profits he grows and grows until he puts Mr. Jenkins out of business, too. As Dr. Suess said in the Lorax, “Business is business and business must grow, regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.” Yay Capitalism?
The Dulles Brothers, corporate lawyers extraordinaire, branch out and become Director of the CIA and Secretary of State. When their former client United Fruit has trouble with the land reform in Guatemala, the Dulles brothers arrange for Guatemala to be invaded by the US military and the democratically-elected government to be replaced by a military dictatorship more congenial to United Fruit. The Dulles brothers spend decades of this sort of thing all over the world. Boo, capitalism!
Capitalism: Through an elaborate scheme of buying gasoline in one state and selling in another, a shadow corporation manages to collect $30 million in tax revenues before skipping town with it. Oh, wait, that’s the Mafia. Sorry, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.
Capitalism: Wall Street traders engage in split-second trades, all of which are untaxed, and invent phantom “instruments” that sell for real money. Their stable of lawyers spend their days trying to figure out to get around the few regulations that still exist to rein in their gambling. Boy, when they crash the economy of the whole world they’ll be sorry. No, because they have a safety net, they have an Uncle who steps in and pays off their gambling debts. No risk for them! Too bad for the rest of us.
In fact, their banks will foreclose on Mr. Jenkin’s store and the American hammer-makers homes. To continue the upward distribution of wealth, their friends in high places must cut food for those who lost their jobs, and benefits for those soldiers who fought for United Fruit, because food and benefits is socialism-and socialism is only for the already rich.
For the rest of us it’s cut-throat jungle capitalism.
1). Tax Wall Street; use the revenue to fix America’s crumbling infrastructure. Jobs!
2). Regulate those gamblers! They don’t get to defraud the world and remain above the law.
3). Nobody goes hungry in America. Nobody freezes to death in the dark.
Make it a priority AT THE VERY LEAST to keep citizens alive.