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The best results come when there is more rather than less of: a) equal opportunity in education and in work, b) good family or family-like upbringing through the high school years, c) civilized behavior within a system that most people believe is fair, and d) free and well-regulated markets for goods, services, labor, and capital that provide incentives, savings, and financing opportunities to most people.Naturally, I have watched these things closely over the years in all countries, especially in the US.There has been little or no real income growth for most people for decades.
I will now show the results that our system is producing that have led me to believe capitalism isn’t working well for most Americans.
In this section, I will show you a large batch of stats and charts that paint the picture. If you feel that you’re getting past the point of diminishing returns, I suggest that you either quickly scan the rest by just reading the sentences in bold or skip ahead to the next section which explains why I think that not reforming capitalism would be an existential threat to the US.
This is creating widening income/wealth/opportunity gaps that pose existential threats to the United States because these gaps are bringing about damaging domestic and international conflicts and weakening America’s condition.
I think that most capitalists don’t know how to divide the economic pie well and most socialists don’t know how to grow it well, yet we are now at a juncture in which either a) people of different ideological inclinations will work together to skillfully re-engineer the system so that the pie is both divided and grown well or b) we will have great conflict and some form of revolution that will hurt most everyone and will shrink the pie.
That required me to gain a practical understanding of how economies and markets work.
Over those years, I’ve had exposure to all sorts of economic systems in most countries and have come to understand why the ability to make money, save it, and put it into capital (i.e., capitalism) is an effective motivator of people and allocator of resources that raises people’s living standards.If you’d like to see a summary of my research that shows what makes countries succeed and fail, it’s here (link).In a nutshell, poor education, a poor culture (one that impedes people from operating effectively together), poor infrastructure, and too much debt cause bad economic results.It is an effective motivator of people because it rewards people for their productive activities with money that can be used to get all that money can buy.And it is an effective allocator of resources because the creation of profit requires that the output created is more valuable than the resources that go into creating it.Before I explain why I believe that capitalism needs to be reformed, I will explain where I’m coming from, which has shaped my perspective.I will then show the indicators that make it clear to me that the outcomes capitalism is producing are inconsistent with what I believe our goals are.I was fortunate enough to be raised in a middle-class family by parents who took good care of me, to go to good public schools, and to come into a job market that offered me equal opportunity.I was raised with the belief that having equal opportunity to have basic care, good education, and employment is what is fair and best for our collective well-being.Then I will give my diagnosis of why capitalism is producing these inadequate outcomes and conclude by offering some thoughts about how it can be reformed to produce better outcomes.Where I’m Coming From I was lucky enough to grow up in a middle-class family raised by parents who cared for me, to be educated in a good public school, and to be able to go into a job market that offered me equal opportunity. At the time, I and most everyone around me believed that we as a society had to strive to provide these basic things (especially equal education and equal job opportunity) to everyone.