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David Brooks: The capitalism debate

Recommended by Alan Hickey

Published: Tuesday, July 17 2012 3:19 p.m. MDT

Our take: With the campaigning for this year's presidential election already underway, President Obama is on the attack. He is taking a stab at capitalism and its poster-child, Mitt Romney. In this article, David Brooks discusses why Obama is attacking capitalism and how this debate will affect the coming election.

Lets say you are president in a time of a sustained economic slowdown. You initiated a series of big policies that you thought were going to turn the economy around, but they didnt work — either because they were insufficient or ineffective. How do you run for re-election under these circumstances?

Do you spend the entire campaign saying that things would have been even worse if you hadnt acted the way you did? No. That would be pathetic. You go on the attack. Instead of defending your economic policies, you attack modern capitalism as it now exists. You blame the system for the economy. You do this with double ferocity if your opponent happens to be the embodiment of that system.

Read more about The Capitalism Debate on www.nytimes.com.

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