Letter: Just the facts

Jul. 26, 2014 @ 11:31 PM

To the editor:

Rick Brand recently claimed that Republicans believe in capitalism because it is responsible for all the good things in our society (“Capitalism is only good for corporations,” July 20).

He is correct. And most Democrats believe it, too. Capitalism is a system in which people are free to create and provide goods and services to other people who willingly purchase them. Nothing more, nothing less.

He discusses several examples of what he claims is capitalism run amok. Nothing he cites is a tenet of capitalism. They are instead instances of corporations (artificial entities legislatively created by politicians) managed by imperfect people who sometimes do unethical, illegal things in collusion with politicians they helped to elect.

Perhaps unwittingly, he is actually decrying crony capitalism, the rewarding of individual and corporate political friends. Crony capitalism is apolitical. It knows no party. Democratic and Republican politicians and bureaucrats practice it 24/7. Locally, Semprius is one of many examples. Crony capitalism is hideous, unethical, inefficient and destructive. Most Americans despise it but are powerless to stop either party from routinely lavishing political friends with favors and stolen money.

I don’t think Mr. Brand really hates capitalism. After all, without it, what would he eat, drink, wear, drive and read? How would he stay dry, comfortable and healthy? What type of shelter would he have? Without jobs created by businessmen, how would Christians tithe?

There are places on earth where capitalism is truly despised — Cuba, Central America, Africa, North Korea and the Middle East to name a few. Their standard of living pales in comparison to societies where capitalism is allowed to flourish.

Capitalism improves the lives of everyone who is willing to work hard and makes it possible for them to help those who are unable to help themselves.

Rusty McMahon