Friday, February 17, 2012

Thoughts on the Compatibility of Capitalism and Democracy

This interesting passage on Capitalism and Democracy by Kevin Carroll argues implicitly that capitalism needs to be held in check, otherwise it will run rampant over democracy. Are we seeing capitalism through lobbyists and other entities run rampant in the USA, Canada and other western countries?

"There must always be a palpable tension between government and industry. Without it, the reason for government (the care and safety of the people who comprise a given society) becomes lost to GDP numbers and issues of financial solvency (as interpreted by outside interests). Historically, societies that have failed in maintaining that tension have failed to survive, and yet it's as if we persist is believing that good government is akin to good business - which just isn't true and has historically never been the case.

Regardless of all that, what we call Capitalism is an elite government welfare system, where the moneyed and powerful siphon money and power from societies through the government bureaucracies that they built. Most of their theft is bureaucratic in nature, and is the result of managing the way that laws and regulations are specifically implemented and specifically enforced (or not enforced, as the case may be). The Executive Branch is where these manipulations occur, and deep within the bowels of each agency that is tasked with monitoring and ensuring compliance of regulatory law.

In fact, it's not that small business is regulated to death, it's that big business owns the regulatory enforcement mechanism to the detriment of emerging business competitors. Do an org chart of the CIA sometime, and it'll amaze you how often Wall St. brokerage firms are the training ground for that agency' most powerful and entrenched bureaucrats. Those seasoned pros tasked with interpreting general policies as specific and targeted action items.

In each state and federal agency, the same can be seen when doing org charts. Layers of capitalism's most stable successes firmly planted within agencies that are tasked with determining the regulatory compliance of their very own industries of origin, and directing investigations where companies within those industries have been in violation of those regulations."

Orlando Hawkins writes:

"If democracy is about the people, in which everyone is deemed to be equals, and capitalism is about the individual, then it would be pretty tough to have a system that will fulfill both needs......"

1 comment:

  1. In the years since I’ve graduated, I have arrived at the conclusion that the “business always knows best” mantra is just a myth.

    This is because businesses, per se, do not make decisions. Rather, the executives running businesses are making the decisions. And very often, you cannot even count on the executives’ interests being aligned with the company’s.

    So how can we have any confidence that the business’s interests could be aligned with democracy’s lofty interests?

    Executives today are under extreme pressure to only care about the short term. I have seen so many corners being cut that I wonder how some businesses survive under their “leadership”. I have worked in companies that were in such bad shape that I would ask myself “with managers like this, who needs the competition to bring us down?”

    Many executives don’t even fear being fired because even if they do get fired, they are already so rich that they can still do fine. The whole company could blow up, and it would not affect them.

    So why should we believe that business always knows best? A business doesn’t “know” anything, and it can be easily run into the ground by the very people who should care the most about it.

    But people like to think that experts out there care about them and have everything under control, so they invent silly myths that need to be filled.

    Enter Mitt Romney!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing your perspective.