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August 07, 2014

Comments

Neela

So, does that mean that, first, we need to replace Capitalism with a more humane regime? And, wasn't America founded under the principle that "all men were created equal [sic]"?

Doug Bulleit

Neela
Thanks for your question. The short answer is that most every conceivable alternative to Capitalism has[sic] been tried; and, without fail, they all (Communism, Fascism, Socialism, etc) end up badly (and/or are, arguably, applicable to only relatively small and/or isolated governments). Sadly, and without questioning the sincerity of our Founding Fathers, they meant "men" literally and not "all men" at that (women, minorities, even poor folks didn't count back then). Later on, we learned that everyone has an important contribution to make to a stable society (if not a thriving economy). Nevertheless, IMHO, the reason that Capitalism has been as comparatively successful as it has, owes to its reliance upon the unequal outcomes that attend unequal initiatives (if not unequal people). In other words, unless and until someone comes up with an alternative way of extracting extraordinary effort, preperation and risk-taking, Capitalist societies will probably remain the most powerful (albiet, perhaps, not the happiest?)

Mark Collins

America's founders believed in an ideal that they could create a society that could be free from tyranny, founded on the basis of Christianity, and provide opportunity for all (in spite of some glaring inequalities found in the country in those times.) I find it fascinating that this platform of capitalism has created the greatest 200+ year creation of wealth in the history of mankind, not only for America but for the overall ecosystem (re: China, South Korea, Western Europe, developing countries) and one that continues to attract the best and brightest talent from all parts of the globe. Government by the People and for the People-and freedom of as well as from religion. All who live in this society-no matter their position-are better off than their counterparts around the globe. As far as the comment regarding "lucky gene winners", I invite the readers to again review the text of Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers". Not perfect, but at least a partial explanation.

Doug Bulleit

Thanks MAX! Great points. FWIW, the main point that I was making goes to the paradoxical folly of equality itself: while we must assume for policy purposes that "all men were created", they weren't. And, inasmuch as we want "equal" opportunity (let alone equal outcomes) for all, we're likely to see more and more frustration and anger as reality diverges yet further from expectations. On the positive side, however, extraordinary efforts, from both everyday as well extraordinary folks, comprises our best hope for solutions to assorted other problems lying ahead...`just my $.02

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