Free Market: Necessary but not Sufficient

Somewhere along the line, perhaps because of relentless promotion by free marketeers, America has adopted the notion that our democracy must have a free market economy. Capitalism seemingly was advocated by no less than the Founding Fathers as the only possible economic system possible for our nation, if these people are to be believed. The bare fact is that numerous democracies operate quite well indeed using socialist economic principles. I do not say this as a die hard advocate for socialism but to point out that democracy and capitalism are not joined at the hip as some would have us believe.

Another hard fact is that many of our nations most precious institutions are based in socialist economic principles. These institutions thrive because the goods or services they offer have been shown to work best with the government running the show. The postal service, police and fire departments, social security and many other entities do best with government management.

This is not to say that we should eschew Capitalism entirely. Capitalism’s benefits are many, entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and the drive to raise our selves from poverty to wealth have served this country well over the years. The problem lies in the dark underbelly of capitalism as practiced by unscrupulous manipulators. Left unchecked capitalists seek only that which will benefit them, to the detriment of anybody else. A runaway capitalist influenced government could easily lead to the downfall of democracy as we appreciate it in this great land.

If capitalist and the politicians they control continue to ride roughshod over the democratic principles we cherish, without the protections afforded the people by government regulation with teeth, we could soon live in a country very unfamiliar to those who fought to create us. They have the money but we have the power if we choose to unite and use it.

This is why a large part of the tactical operations of the corporate overlords is involved with keeping us at each others throats. The Tea Party activists are kept in the dark about just how much in common they have with the progressives they revile by nimble manipulation of hot button emotional issues propagated by the right wing echo chamber.

The battles for the heart and soul of America rage. We may lose some along the way but the fight must continue, as the war must be won if America is to have the future envisioned for it by those who founded us. A well regulated capitalist economy, with some socialist institutions where applicable, is a requisite goal of this struggle.

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