So is capitalism dead too? by underground

Alright, I don’t understand economics. I got 32 per cent in fifth form economics. I was happy with the grade. I spent the year copying off a girl who got 19 per cent. Anyway, teenage memories aside, what’s with all these investment companies and banks going under? I don’t understand the ins and outs of what has happened, but I kind of get the gist. Excuse my ignorance, but I cannot help but find it ironic that the government that espouses neo-liberal capitalist ideology the most religiously has now assumed ownership of a private enterprise. Has capitalism been undermined?

The Herald’s Brian Fallow wrote this morning:“Capitalism requires enterprises to be allowed to fail and their owners – whether reckless, inept or just unlucky – to lose their money.”

He justifies the buy out of AIG, as many have, by saying that the the US economy, and others worldwide, cannot afford to have a business of that size and influence collapse. Fair enough. I understand and appreciate that logic. But does it not mean that capitalism has failed. We are told by those on the right, particularly libertarians, that we can trust the market, that the forces of demand and supply and all sorts will reach some fantastical equilibrium and we will all be okay, in so many words. But surely this has been shown to be false, as government intervention is required to keep the economy from going keel up in many occasions. If the economy and the market (what is the market? It seems like some sort of mystical life force!) are so fragile, are so prone to catastrophe, how can we trust the rational that a free market will provide all in society with everything they need, from education to healthcare? For this is often the argument of those on the right pushing for privatisation of everything from healthcare to transport, education to social services. How can we really place faith (for that is what it seems to me) in these companies ability to deliver?

We hear that communism failed, as shown by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the failure of states like North Korea or Cuba. Those making these claims often ignore the external factors and perversions of communism that lead to its downfall, but still gladly point to its failure as a reason to denounce any leftist ideologies or policies that border on communistic.

But where is the model of success to show us that the free market is the way to go? Where is this beacon of freedom and prosperity that all nations should aspire to be like? Or, like the Lehman Brothers and others, has the neo-liberalist dream gone belly up?

I acknowledge that I am no economist and am not schooled in the theory of markets, economies and stuff, so there is probably some vital argument I have not acknowledged. So I invite those out there who think I am wrong, to set me straight. Cheers!


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Why is it that our nation’s leaders are allocating our tax dollars to a non-governmental entity to bailout a company most of us could care less about? Since when does failure to operate a business properly merit the pity and hard-earned dollars of American citizens? I know of hundreds of business owners who have made mistakes in running their business; and not only does no one come to their aid one iota, but because they are self-employed business owners, even in a crisis they are unable to get access to simple financial benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid (that even illegal immigrants can get) when necessary!

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