Capitalism’s reputation has taken a beating in recent years. Crony capitalism either via Wall Street bailouts or “green” investments in companies like Solyndra have given people a negative view of what was once known as capitalism. Greedy people who disregard basic human decency has people distrusting America’s big businesses. Rasmussen released a poll in 2010 showing only 60% of Americans thought capitalism was better than socialism, 18% liked socialism better and 21% were’t sure. This result is up from 53% a year earlier but still shocking in the land of the free. As Scott Rasmussen said after the 2009 poll showed low support for capitalism, people looked at what’s gone on in Washington and said “if that’s capitalism, I don’t want any part of it.”
The public however, supports free markets. The idea that a free exchange of goods and services is better than a government run economy is still popular. Nevertheless there are pockets of opposition to this idea. A number of Democrat convention goers liked the idea of banning or capping corporate profits.
If corporations don’t have profits, they don’t survive. If they don’t survive people lose their jobs. If corporate profits are capped you don’t have a free market, you have a managed one and history tells us how that works out. Many of the economic problems we currently have can be traced to greed enhanced by government interference.
It’s time to reintroduce people, especially government officials, to basic economics. I suggest Thomas Sowell’s book Basic Economics as required reading for all elected officials, and Democratic conventioneers.