A Facebook Debate: What is Capitalism?

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

Roy Hjalseth is a FB “friend,” a far right Republican who celebrates Trump.   Recently Roy posted an explanation of what he calls “capitalism.”        Roy: Do you know what I think capitalism is?, with modest social programs?… . Let me tell you…….. it frees up the best in society and allows the truly talented achievers to thrive. Unfortunately that does not exist in the United States today… the best form of government is the one that protects the most talented, while at the same time protects the most vulnerable but not to the extent it becomes a cancer on those who wish to achieve…. maybe we need a new way of looking at a free society that governs itself properly. Our founding fathers tried to create that document and I believe they did a good job but it is being perverted buy socialist Envy…. what say you?


Trump and his GOP are the enemy of what you call “capitalism.”

You and I agree the reason for America is supposed to be opportunity. Where we disagree .. and do so in anger .. is about the role of the GOP and TRUMP. The  Democratic party has its problems but the GOP is far, far worse.  Sadly, the Repubs have become a party devoted to a mix of causes … anti science, anti abortion, Jesus, anti immigrant, war, anti Europe … issues that have nothing to do with opportunity. The result is not the ideals of Jefferson, King, TR, Taft, or Ike.  The GOP, even before Trump, has become a party of money, class, and bigotry. 

Sadly too, the Repub economics are not truly capitalist . They are monetarists, your party supports concentration of wealth in the hands of a very small elite.

Worse, as a patriot, you should understand that the GOP’s view of capitalism ignores American history.  Lets start at the beginning.  The small farmers whoi fought under Washington,  were not really opposed to George III.  They were fighting against Britain’s trading companies, the ancestor of today’s great corporations, that dominated the 18th century British parliament.

The spirit of 1775 continued under a series or great American Presidents, the US  built the canals, created public education, funded Lewis and Clark, built transcontinental railroads, created national parks, built the Panama Canal, developed radio and TV, cured diseases under the NIH, went to the moon, created public universities ……………
Our greatest leaders, in my opinion Jefferson and Martin Luther King, saw opportunity as the secret sauce that made America great.  Trumpism sees that sauce as being served to his wealthy peers at Mara a Lago. 
 Teddy Roosevelt understood that the danger of corporations was not just foreign.  Teddy saw American opportunity, individual opportunity, being destroyed by Standard Oil.   He saw that capitalism is not a goal, it is a tool.  As a tool, capitalism tool should work for the individual, not for corporations,  Banks should not be controlled by the wealthy 1 %.  Small businesses in Trump’s era are being stifled.  Our current megalithic corporations and central banks smother most small businesses.   Try competing with Google or McDonalds!

My view is not opposed to private services.  Some government services should be privatized because a private firm can do a better job.  Living here and seeing the amazing opportunity offered by Puget Sound, I would support private ferries here even if we needed to subsidize them .. as long as these firms created a competitive environment where innovation could flower. Similarly, I support charter  schools because competition should mean better opportunity for kids.  And, capitalism should build, not destroy, the middle class. 
To make this all very scary. the US is engaged in WWIII. This world war is not like the the wars once fought by armies on parade, nor the wars fought by battle ships and bombers .. but a commercial war.  China has recreated its version of the great British trading firms that dominated the Imperial armies we fought in 1775!   Where US corporations are global, China’s mega corporations operate under a national corporate structure.  Remember when General Motor’s CEO, Charley Wilson, claimed

What’s good for the country is good for General Motors, and vice versa

Is that true today?

Your Comment