Examiner #6 – Is Capitalism the best economic system for the United States?
Indeed, can the United States still proclaim itself as the bastion of free market capitalism? The answer depends, like most difficult questions, on your perspective
When viewed from the vantage point of foreign countries, the United States is unconditionally the ultimate source of free market activity. Our trading partners around the world have built immense dollar reserves as a result of the various trade agreements the USA has sponsored. To be precise, the USA has lost more than 7.2 trillion dollars, since 1976, in foreign trade transactions. If our country were a business, it would have been bankrupted decades ago. But, the USA is a government that has the power to produce any amount of dollars it wishes to be used for any purpose it desires. Still-one must wonder why the USA is so content to lose money in the foreign trade business for the past 35 years!
And so, foreign countries continue to accumulate dollars in exchange for inexpensive products that American firms are totally incapable of competing against. Unfortunately, our country has rules about wage levels, working standards, child labor, environmental conditions and a myriad of other laws that protect the health and safety of citizens. Our leaders in their contrived free market dealings refuse to insist on a level playing field. Americans are outraged with this scenario, while our foreign trading friends must think we are stupid even as they laugh all the way to the bank!
From the vantage point of America’s “too big to fail” businesses, capitalism is great even though the multi-trillion dollar government bailout of the financial firms and auto industry has cast a severe blow to the free market concept. In spite of the enormity of their screw up, financially inept firms have been rewarded with extraordinary sums and given an opportunity to wreak further chaos on the economy. This single move is the most convincing sign of the failure of capitalism in the United States. It is painfully apparent that our politicians have a vested interest in preserving the interests of certain American Corporations.
And now to the typical American who must be flummoxed by the capricious economic policies of their government. On the one hand, the USA sacrifices productive jobs, factories and industries at the altar of free trade losing 7 trillion dollars as a result. On the other hand, this same government gives trillions of dollars to incompetent and non-productive American companies whose financial conniving has placed the world economy at risk. Now add this contrary information to the capitalistic propaganda garbage coming out of Washington and you have a recipe for total confusion. However, even the most naive and uneducated citizen knows when he is being worked. Call it a strong feeling, common sense or just street smarts, but people know when they are being screwed.
In the final analysis, capricious capitalism has proven to be detrimental to the best interests of the USA and her citizens. The present system must be modified so it does not work against the principles of American independence and self–sufficiency which made our country great. It’s a change that needs to be done now if the USA is to survive as an economic leader in the world.