Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on October 3, 2011
Capitalism – extreme capitalism – monopoly – corporation – government
What does capitalism mean to me? It means selling a product or service or your self as an expressive artist. It can mean hanging up a shingle, or setting up a lemonade stand.
It also means cooperation: people working together for a common goal, whether selling products or services, or creating new medicines or astounding inventions.
It also means corporations, and all the complexity that connotation carries along with it.
Is capitalism the problem, then? Or if it is, when does it become a problem? Can capitalism become extreme capitalism? How about when a company gets so big that it becomes a monopoly?
Capitalism in and of itself is an important part of our society. But there must be rules to running a business, or chaos will ensue.
If two football teams tried to play without rules, it would be very hard to determine who was winning. But for the sake of argument, let’s say only one team had the ability to make up the rules, and the other team had to just accept them. And let’s say that that same team kept changing to rules, to suit themselves, whenever they wanted to score more points. And then the referees had to enforce those new rules. That’s what has happened with business in this country: some big businesses have used government to bend the rules in their favor. Guess who always wins? The ones using our government to set rules that favor greater and greater profits for themselves.
It’s not capitalism that is at fault here. It’s when businesses effectively “run” our government, not for the greater good, but to specifically rule out healthy competition.