is capitalism the answer, or the problem? (and links)

I think most people like to think of themselves and their political/economic/religious beliefs as being unique. My own opinion is that nobody with much intelligence would say something along the lines of “I believe 100% in the political philosophy of Sean Hannity/Keith Olberman/Barack Obama/Sara Palin/(insert name of random politician.”  In the same way, I doubt – or at least hope – that most people would not blindly assume that all aspects of the capitalist system are completely right, every time.  If they were, there would be no need, for example, for auditors – because the market would simply punish companies that falsified their financial results, right?  We should be able to understand that any belief system probably has, and probably SHOULD have, some exceptions for each individual.

So I found this little lecture quite interesting. It’s a Marxist take on the recent financial crisis.  I am not a Marxist, nor a communist.  I like to consider myself actually to fall on the conservative side of economics – I do believe in minimal government interference in capital markets, which is clearly not what is occurring in the US these days.  I also believe, however, in things such as an extremely strong and well-regulated audit industry which polices those markets.  That’s not just because I’m an auditor, but simply because I’d rather have someone with an economic reason to identify and expose wrongdoing than simply a requirement to do so.  But I do have some beliefs that don’t fall into the capitalist mindset – I think Marx nailed it when talking about speculation, for example.  I’m not sure how you fix that, but clearly the current system isn’t working that well in the US – our sickly combination of capitalism (out-of-control financial institutions) and half-hearted socialism (health care and Social Security and a host of half-measures which only partially address the underlying issues).

Well, watch the video.  If nothing else, the animation is quite good.

And again, a few links – once again, I haven’t spent much time reading blogs this week and consequently it’s a short list.

3 comments

  • Hmmm, he kind of has a point, but lost me right about the area where he says the USA has high home ownership rates because of the tax deductibility of mortgage interest. Yet Canada in the 2006 census had home ownership rates at 68.4% and we don’t have tax deductible mortgage interest (on owner occupied homes). So that makes me wonder, if he just fabricated facts with no basis . . . what else in there is glossed over to make it sound like he has a good point?

  • The artistic quality of the animation was very nice.
    I also think that blaming high home ownership in the US is odd and an unsubstantiated claim. Our homeownership rates have been in the 60% range for around 50 years. If that was such a problem how did it take 50 years to manifest?? Also the US homeownership rates are not atypical compared to other countries.

  • This is so true.

    Middle Class cannot keep up with goods sold and so the credit card was born. People have more debt b/c the wages are stagnant.

    Best solution–side hustle or small business