Capitalism is sound, but it has limits


Roberta Bardsley in her letter Nov. 30 states that I "sing the praises of socialism while castigating capitalism." William Kelly on Nov. 4 states that "Bill McCaw's analysis of political systems and human qualities defies understanding."

I do not sing the praises of socialism, but merely note that describing any government action as socialism shows the person's lack of understanding of economics.

What I was trying to state was that there are several ways for a society to achieve successful economic ordering, and that pure socialism won't work, nor will pure, unregulated capitalism.

China, perhaps the world's most dynamic economy, currently growing at around an eight percent annual rate, was languishing under pure communistic socialism until it discovered that by introducing some tightly regulated individual ownership of business and incorporating more local planning, it was able to make the black market less attractive and generate a thriving economy. This is an example of a mixed economic market.

I would not like to live under its political system, but we must admit that it is accomplishing its goal of rapid development of its resources. Will its current economic growth rate last? Will it run out of funds? Will it clamp down on the use of private business by its citizens? Time will tell.

As our capitalistic economy drifted into more consolidation of the means of production and distribution, consumer's freedom of choice shrank, and as the financial kingpins concentrated on just making money instead of financing wealth-creating industries. We now find ourselves in a society ruled by financial greed with little interest in the common good of its people.

It is sad to see some of the largest banks, after being bailed out, now making the largest share of their profits from trading financial instruments and stocks instead of bankrolling industries that put folks back to work.

Real and forceful competition does a pretty good job of limiting the chance to gain excessive profit in our firms, but when a market becomes dominated by a few very large interests, without government regulation there is no limit to greed, which results in our present economic situation.

I like the capitalistic system, but I can see its warts and limitations.

W.N. "Bill" McCaw
Walla Walla


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