Rigged versus Enabled Capitalism

By Karl Smith | The GOP claims it supports Capitalism and free markets.  It will work for everyone since a rising tide floats all boats!  Actually, what the GOP supports is a Rigged and Predatory Capitalism that works mostly for the few.  People without boats or with un-seaworthy boats, drown or spend all their time just trying to stay afloat!

Robert Reich, in his book Saving Capitalism, overviews the various methods that the GOP’s brand of Capitalism rigs the system against most of us.  Reich points out activities that are grossly unfair for most of us and activities that are criminal for most of us but are lawful for the few.  Beyond that, oversight and enforcement have been defunded or crippled so the few can get away with what is unlawful. 

The GOP’s Capitalism (Rigged and Predatory Capitalism) creates hardly a free or fair market! 

At the same time the GOP brands what the Democrats do as Socialism!  Instead, what Democrats do (although they have not explained it well), is enable Capitalism to work for all Americans! 

Consider the fact that most of our businesses do not exist without healthy and educated employees, without infrastructure, without research, without safe communities, without community development, and without safety nets.  These are our Basic Public Investments (BPIs) which our people and businesses pay for through our local, state, and national government.  

The GOP says that we need to get government out of the way for the free market and free enterprise, virtually alone, to address all our needs and problems.  But businesses individually do not create the conditions for them to exist.

Consider the fact that businesses do not do well if only those people that can afford it are well educated and healthy.  Free enterprise works best and for everyone if all our people are well educated and healthy. Infrastructure enables businesses, and many of our companies either would not exist or would not do well without or with less infrastructure.  Businesses and our citizens would benefit and prosper more with more infrastructure.  Past basic government research created opportunities to create many of our current companies, and all benefited from the research.  There are similar non-partisan observations for the rest of our BPIs.

By increasing and not decreasing investments in our BPIs, Democrats Enable Capitalism to reach new levels of prosperity for not just the few but all Americans!  Expanding free education and having access to health care for all Americans is not Socialism.  These investments enable our people, businesses, and economy to thrive and become more prosperous. 

Socialism is the nationalization of our industries and taking away our ownership of businesses and property!  That is not what the Democrats do! Those people telling you that Democrats are Socialists are lying to you!  They intend that you will not notice how the GOP is creating a rigged and predatory system against you! Granted, many of those people may not be intentionally lying, but just passing on 30 years of GOP rhetoric.

The Democrats’ Capitalism creates the conditions for not only our people to thrive but our businesses to exist and prosper.  And our BPIs pay for themselves unlike trickle-down, tax cuts for the rich.  As explained elsewhere, over time, BPIs create and save more tax revenue than cost.  Also explained elsewhere, tax cuts for the rich do not speed up money in the economy since the rich tend to be risk-averse and have few immediate needs.  They invest and spend slowly.  Tax cuts for the rich do not expand the economy to create offsetting tax revenues and therefore do not pay for themselves as the GOP claims.  The resulting increased wealth of the rich is at the expense of increased debt or decreased investments in what does pay for itself: our BPIs.

The GOP’s Capitalism works for the few creating vast income inequalities and too frequently not in ways where the rich earned it.  The GOP’s Capitalism is crony, rigged, predatory, unethical, unstable, and unsustainable. 

The responsible investing movement, Enlightened Capitalism, and the rise of Benefit Corporations show there are a growing number of investors and businesses concerned about the current direction of Capitalism.  For Capitalism to work for the long haul and all of us, companies must consider the system, environment, sustainability, and all stakeholders and not just the shareholders.  There are plenty of opportunities for businesses to make money while providing benefit instead of harm.

Both Democrats and the GOP are Capitalists, period!  The question is which form of Capitalism is likely to continue and expand the American Dream and a Prosperous and Shared Economy and America that we should expect in the 21st century.

Democrats will increase our Basic Public Investments; value all our workers; and enact sufficient laws, regulations, and services to make Capitalism work for all Americans. 

The GOP’s Capitalism cuts our BPIs, and would have purely market-driven wages leaving scores of hard-working Americans with unlivable wages. The GOP’s Capitalism buzzcuts our laws, regulations, and services to allow corporations to maximize profit regardless of harm to employees, customers, communities, the environment, or the economy.


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