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You are invited to say if capitalism works for you

capitalismNew York based artist Steve Lambert has posed an intriguing question at the edge of Times Square.  It’s a 20 ft by 9 ft illuminated sign that says “Capitalism Works For Me,” and is equipped with a mechanism by which people can register their vote for or against the idea.  The answers are posted on a scoreboard alongside the letters.  It’s a great idea, in that art is supposed to set you thinking, and this one will do that for many people.  I suppose the question that might spring to mind is “What sort of capitalism?”  Many people might say that capitalism gives them their job, their livelihood and the chance to get ahead, meaning the system by which people invest in producing goods and services in order to profit from doing so.

They might nonetheless draw the line at crony capitalism under which big companies get into bed with politicians in order to keep out competition and to gain more money that people would hand them under a truly voluntary market.  This is rent-seeking rather than capitalism, and is regarded as a perversion of capitalism as it should be.  Many might resent the use of money taken from taxpayers to bail out insolvent corporations that would just go to the wall under real capitalism, and perhaps should be allowed to do so.  As I said, the question will set some people thinking, and that is no bad thing.


2 Responses

  1. I find the idea of ‘Compassionate Capitalism’ as proposed by Rich DeVos appealing. Although I don’t necessarily agree with some of Amway’s methods, this book shows how Capitalism CAN be a force for GOOD … but usually ISN’T

  2. Capitalism in a very simplistic description of a complex process where employees/workers produce goods and services which their employers/manufactures sell at a profit in order to reward all concerned. Does it work ? Yes it does but there are many ‘ colours ‘ of capitalism. The very best is where a fair deal is in place to reward everyone in the process. The very worst is where exploitation of the work force is used with poor wages and conditions, inferior quality goods are sold at over inflated prices, customers are abused with miss truths about quality/guarantees and the return/replacement of faulty goods is non existent. Capitalism – a very broad term which encompasses the very best and the very worst that the human race can devise.

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