Thursday, May 14, 2015

If The System Will Not Change the Rules, We Are Going To Have To Change the System

Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources.With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That's the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
The notion that every solution has to come from the private sector is misplaced. Sure, the public sector (big government) deserves some criticism but it should be constructive. The private sector is deserving of criticism as well.

It’s important, however, to understand that there are significant organizational, structural, and managerial differences between the private and public sectors. In both sectors, the regulation, control, and allocation of resources — the management — would be impossible without bureaucracy. But, unlike the private sector of distinctly separate business entities — some “too big to fail” — government is one large, complex system requiring greater hierarchy of bureaucracy to manage the kinds of services it provides.

Moreover, the mission of the private and public sectors are different. The private sector’s mission is to serve only their self-interest and the interest of their stockholders, whereas the public sector’s mission is to ensure everyone has sufficient resources for their food, housing, health care, and general well-being. With this in mind, it’s quite understandable why demands for smaller government come from wealthy individuals, businesses, those beholden to them and profit from lower taxes and less regulation.

We hear that government undermines business. But the reality is that private enterprise undermines the government’s efforts to regulate and control bad behavior by finding ways to circumvent laws and regulations. One glaring example is Wall Street found ways to behave fraudulently and irresponsibly in 2007-08. That behavior by Wall Street manipulators was directly responsible for the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Who is it that says government can’t be trusted but the private sector can. It appears that private sector capitalists can’t be trusted either.

We hear that government infringes on our freedoms. But regulations and controls necessarily restrict freedom. Laws and regulations are in place in the public interest and work to our common benefit. The private sector workplaces are not democracies and they too restrict the freedom to do as you please. The most admired governmental organization is the U.S. military, yet it’s not a democracy, does restrict freedom, and people praise the military every chance they get, as if the military is not a part of government.

Contrary to the criticism that government programs do not work, government has made progress in solving some of society’s most complex problems. In effect, government has made our lives better. Rather than criticizing and berating government, we should be helping government become more efficient and effective by voting and participating in the democratic process. Unlike government, capitalism doesn’t need democracy to function. So, “The great political struggle we now face is whether the United States retains its democratic heritage or whether we move toward an oligarchic form of society where the real political power rests with a handful of billionaires, not ordinary Americans.” Senator Bernie Sanders

Copyright © 2015 Horatio Green