Today we have people wondering if capitalism is still better than socialism because of current market issues. The government intervention in business is at an all time high, that is why we are in this bind.
I picture the ideal system as pure capitalism. The ownership of the means of production by the individual and the free trade between people. The problem is there will always be dishonest people, snake oil salesman who have to be dealt with. So we have some reglatory agencies and laws that regulate trade. A necessary evil but one that can be controlled. Also one that can get out of control.
Take for instance the car industry. It is now at the point that the government is in control of car design. They assign design. The CAFE standards set gas mileage goals. Instead of worrying about the safety of the car, the government uses it power to socially engineer the market. Never mind that they have never made a car. They now dictate the performance of the vehicles. By what standard do they make the rules? A person such as Senator Kennedy who has no engineering background and no education can dictate to the auto industry that it will make a car with a given gas mileage per pound. He doesn’t even know the physics or mechanics behind what he is ordering to be done. He just passes a law. The companies are actually fined for failing to meet the goals set by men who have never worked outside of a government job in their lives. Men who have neither the education or qualifications to make such demands, are doing so.
The FDA decides on what drugs are safe enough but how are they doing? Not every drug is safe for every user. That is true of everything. It is genetics. Some people are allergic to peanuts, do we stop growing peanuts? How is one tested for a peanut allergy? Do we test you at birth? No we don’t. We find out over time because who could possibly afford testing every new born for every food allergy? Yet we pull drugs off the market or don’t allow them to go to market because a few people get sick or can’t use the drug. I don’t advocate removing the FDA but it is now in the business of drug research and does more to hinder the release of life saving drugs then we need. Government regulation gone awry.
The thing is the government needs the business to support it. The business doesn’t need the government. The people of the United States don’t need the government to survive. We like it to do certain things so we support it with cash from our pay checks. Even Chavez, Castro and the Communist Chinese need capitalism to support their governments. There are few companies out there that would go under if the government disappeared. Our government is about to find out how it is to survive when the economy is sick. So we have gotten ourselves away from the founders dream of a country that went about its business with a small decentralized government running in the background for self defense and security. Capitalism is the real King. It drives everything including our socialist leaning current government. For those that don’t think that is true, pay attention. The next 2 years are going to be a very painful lesson.