Quantcast
Opinion

Capitalism and the common good: Fairness, opportunity and protection for all

Comments

Return To Article
  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 11:42 p.m.

    Yes, and seven Billion dollar fines.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 11:33 p.m.

    Marxist: what will save us from Socialistic destruction? Socialism is the most deceptive system ever invented for the common good! If, as you say, Socialism is for the common good, of what relevance, may I ask, is the gospel of Jesus Christ?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:50 p.m.

    Re: Thid Barker "Socialism is forcing some people to work for that which they will not receive so others can receive what they didn't work for."

    No, socialism is being willing to work for the common good, and by so doing, for yourself.

    The cooperative, the tribe, the clan is the oldest form of economic organization, and it alone will save us from environmental destruction.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    I just finished reading all 43 comments.

    To sum up the Republican perspective...

    We need less regulation as well as more corporate welfare...er...tax cuts.

    If we just let the un-regulated free-market perform as un-regulated free-markets will perform, we will all be better off.

    Who needs Upton Sinclair when we would all be better off with Ken Lay, Bernie Ebbers, Mark Hurd, James McDermott, Martha Stewart, John Browne, Sanjay Kumar, David Edmondson, Harry Stonecipher as well as Chung Mung Koo?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Wow. I just finished reading through this Op-Ed for the 4th time looking for the "anti-capitalism", "anti-free market", "pro-leftist", and "pro-socialist" sentiments that many of the posters here suggest are dripping from it. I can't find 'em. What I read is an Op-Ed that tries to show that obligation business has to find the balance between the needs of the market, the needs of the stakeholders, and their social responsibilities to the communities where they do business--all basic Business 101 text book stuff. I'm, therefore, left to draw the conclusion that many of these posters actually never got past the Op-Ed title before hitting the keyboard with their knee-jerk condemnations.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 4:05 p.m.

    Mary Barker is skillful at twisting facts and history in order to support big government programs and income redistribution. Her ideas will only erode freedom and leave more and more people poor and miserable.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Aug. 1, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    Thank You Mary Barker,
    for being the ONLY sound voice at the Deseret News.

    God Bless you,
    and protect you.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    Light and LibertySaid: "if you could only see the irony of your support for the "war on poverty" as a success! Progressives write about the blindness of conservatives but can't see the forest for the trees on this subject. This supposed war has a mountain of facts that a blind man could see, but the myth persists that this was a great idea!"

    Please enlighten us with any of these "facts" which you don't present, or ideas that would work, which you don't discuss.

    Dropping a few faux talking points with nothing to back them is not a rebuttal.

    You always have choice, that's true but a billion dollars gives you ultimately many, many, many, more choices wouldn't you agree.
    To me that much money isn't worth the hassle, not all are envious as the wealthy like to think. The most envious I see are those who want to be like those millionaires, and think they should be afforded even more advantages.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    Gary O: if you could only see the irony of your support for the "war on poverty" as a success! Progressives write about the blindness of conservatives but can't see the forest for the trees on this subject. This supposed war has a mountain of facts that a blind man could see, but the myth persists that this was a great idea! How foolish! Another note. I don't care if their are 400 billionaires or 10,000. To watch the Progressives focus on them is ludicrous! Only the envious and greedy want to do so, while the majority of Americans just want a better paying job, something that can happen with or without those billionaires, but not if government wants to punish those who are creating jobs. You always have choice, something the progressives want to believe has been taken away, for which they want to give power to the most powerful billionaire around, the government, so that it can take away all choice! Ironic indeed!

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 1, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    I find delicious irony in the arguments made here by conservatives.

    Constantly the conservative elements of this society are troubled by the various levels of government that provide assistance to the poor and disabled. Does this cost of us money? Of course it does, and some rather high bills are incurred at all levels of society.

    However, if this is really about money, then we ought to look at the government welfare programs that benefit business. How much tax revenue is abated locally when a professional team wants a new stadium? It never pays off, and billionaire sports team owners just get welfare and a lot richer.

    How much money does the Pentagon spend on corporate programs that the military does not even want/need? Boeing makes billions each year from fighter jet programs that the military can not even use anymore. And tanks too!

    Exxon and other oil companies are given rich tax subsidies to be in business with outrageous schemes. And the very best argument against Obamacare is the higher profits that insurance companies and hospital cartels will be seeing in the future.

    These are the true faces of welfare fraud, not some poor old lady.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 31, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    "it is factual. Barack Obama has a higher percent on food stamps than ANY previous president since WWII. What does that tell you? "

    It tells me that the economy went south. And it went south big time. And it happened prior to Obama taking office.

    You do remember that when Obama took office we were bleeding 750,000 jobs per month.

    THAT is why so many went on food stamps.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 31, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    To "Frozen Fractals" yes the US is adopting more socialist ideas, and look at what it is doing to our economy. We used to have GDP growth greater than 4%, but over the past 80 years that growth has been slowing down as the US adopts more socialistic policies.

    Why do you want us to decline to the level of the other nations? Why don't you want the US to lead the world in prosperity?

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”
    “Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.”
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
    “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union—like public housing in the United States—look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”
    “Concentrated power is not rendered harmless by the good intentions of those who create it.”
    “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”
    “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there’d be a shortage of sand.” Milton Friedman

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    re:UtahBlueDevil

    Yes as a matter of fact that is exactly what I am saying ...and it isn't just me saying Blue Devil it is factual. Barack Obama has a higher percent on food stamps than ANY previous president since WWII. What does that tell you? Fraudulent disability claims are also at an all time high under Obama and again that is a fact. Getting disablitiy has never been easier and once you are on it you get it for life. Is that somehow just a coincidence? Check out the national debt that Barack has created - he has taken the debut from 9 trillion to 17 trillion and it will be 20 trillion before he is done. Putting that into perspective that 8 trillion increase is more that all previous presidents put together!!! Yes entitlements have ballooned the debt to where it is Blue Devil and again that is a fact. Bush had two wars and 911 to deal with yet somehow his debt was only 3 trillion. Starting to see the BIG picture now?? Barack has created a terrible dis-incentive to work and Obamacare has only exacerbated that by its part time work requirements.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    re:Mister J

    As far as the story goes - who knows? It was on 107.5 radio and the guy was talking with Rod Arquette. I was repeating what the guy said happened. However does it sound far fetched? That is the question. The answer is NO. The welfare freebees being doled out by Barack and your Dems is well documented. Fradulent disablity claims have sky rocketed over the past 6 years...hmmm that would be the time Barack became pres would it not? It is also no secret that food stamps are at an all time high under Obama and that is a fact. This all rolls up into the Socialist model of society which is - you are a victim and therefore you deserve handouts. The dis-incentive to work has never been more obvious and Obamacare has made that a mandate now with the part time work requirement.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    "Whenever the vicious portion of the population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this government cannot last."
    --Abraham Lincoln

    Those who advocate socialism over capitalism are advocating the exact situation that Lincoln said would destroy America. They deserve what they will get: starvation and ruin.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    "Mary, and the other liberals forget that the least free people and worst economic models all include some degree of socialism."

    Almost every single nation in the world (including the U.S.) has some degree of socialism (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, farm subsidies, etc for the US). There's good socialism and bad socialism, that separates the likes of Norway and Canada from Russia and China. Even avowed socialists don't necessarily support all things that are socialist (Bernie Sanders voted for some tighter limits on farm subsidies).

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    @JCS
    "Why does anyone think that people who dropped out of high school to work fast food jobs are entitled to the same salary?"

    That does sound like a ridiculous argument, in fact it's so ridiculous that literally nobody is arguing that that should be the case.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    The best businesses and the best economic systems operate on the basis of serving the needs of others through delivery of the best products and services to those who want or need them and who are able to pay the market price for such products and services. The study of Jim Collins shows that businesses who do not operate on the premise of producing benefits for others will soon go out of business or become otherwise irrelevant.

    In the case of public utilities, the involvement of government control or oversight removes the free market aspect and such comparison to other business is a false analogy.

    The best part of the free market system is that the bad actors will go out of business because they will cease to do the things that produce income and profitability. It is only when government props such bad actors up that the bad results follow.

    Of course, when the discourse raises the red herrings of corporate evil -based upon a system that works when left alone - such red herrings pursue a direction of greater government involvement and control and destroy the very concept of a free and open market.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    re: UtahBlueDevil

    "Greed is not just a democrat value."

    Are you sure (rofl) because I've heard Mitt & his ilk on Wall St are as pure as new fallen snow.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    Hold on Patriot... are you claiming that Obama is to blame for people making fraudulent claims for disability... that he somehow has enabled this? Or that he has somehow made eligibility for assistance easier? Or that he created the phone program? You do understand that none of these programs has undergone any change under his administration?

    And to claim that "of course it was a democrat who was trying to cheat the system"... the is ludicrous. There is a chap in my ward who is on disability who actually asked another member of the ward to give him a job - but pay him under the table so he didn't loose is disability benefits. He is in the High Priest quorum leadership.... seriously. Additionally, because of our location near Duke, we have tens of families here for medical school. And being good members, they are doing their job to replenish the world... but on medicaid dollars. All this while their parents buy them homes here for them to live in. And most are little Republican families from out west.

    So lets not make over generalities here. Greed is not just a democrat value.

    But I do get your points.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 31, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    Hey Gary O. Yes my neighbor heats his home with wood and when I told him of your concern about smoke, he pointed out the massive NATURALLY CAUSED forest fires in our neighboring state that have put millions of tons of smoke in the air! Now I feel better knowing that nature actually pollutes more than humans do, don't you?

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    to patriot moments ago

    How do you know that 1) the talk show example you gave wasn't scripted/staged like a WWE PPV to incite people such as your self? 2) How do you know the "caller" was a democrat? I thought Rushie didn't deal w/ the alleged darkside?

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 31, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    Patriot - let's take a look at your claim fo an Obama-caused problem. The whole thing began back in 1996 when the FCC authorized the programs for landline phones. At that time it provided discounts on landline phones only, for obvious reasons.

    To this day the government provides discounts on landline phones for financially disadvantaged people in the United States and U.S. territories.So, the subsidization of phones began under President Clinton, and has continued under Presidents Bush and Obama.

    Over that time, the usage of cell phones rose and the costs came down. Assuming one believes in the Lifeline program in the first place it only makes sense to expand the phone assistance program to include cell phones.

    Aha, some say, that’s the same year Obama was elected! Well, that’s true. But the service in Tennessee was launched three months prior to Obama being elected. And that means the discussion and approval of the extension of the program occurred under President Bush’s watch.

    The Bush Phone, anyone?

    Since that part of your argument has so many holes in it I'm afraid I can't buy any of it.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 31, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Yea, another anti-capitalist letter written by somebody who doesn't understand capitalism. First of all, there is no such thing as unregulated capitalism. That is called anarchy and nobody wins. Capitalism requires that government enforce contracts and that it maintains a minimal set of regulations.

    Mary, please go and read "Moral Sentiments" followed by "Wealth of Nations". That is capitalism.

    Also read in todays paper the article "The rise of social entrepreneurship: How some startups are set to change the world". Capitalism works, and lifts people out of poverty better than anything else.

    Mary, and the other liberals forget that the least free people and worst economic models all include some degree of socialism. China's people suffered greatly until they started to use capitalism. Now their people are experiencing freedoms that they never had before.

    The fact is that it is liberal arrogance that thinks they can control the economy and bend it to their will. That never works and only leads to disaster.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 31, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    re:UtahBlueDevil

    as a conservative I say there is no question that a minimum wage increase is badly needed - say to $10.50 an hour. Also there are plenty of people working low wage jobs because they were born into a terrible situation with two strikes against them. I have no problem at all helping these people ...not with hand outs like Barack and his people want to do but instead with opportunities to work. However.....

    here is a classic example of the gigantic Obama-caused problem we see today. A loan officer called into a talk show yesterday telling of a woman who came to him for a car loan. Checking her credit history she had NO job and in fact refused to work simply because the federal government was giving her $1500 a month through fradulent disability (she admited) and then another food stamp allowance and finally a large free cell phone allowance again for free. Her monthly total came to over $3300 a month!!! All free. All tax payer provided. Her reasoning was - why should I work and make less than 1/3 of that amount? Welcome to the new American Welfare State! She was a Democrat of course.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Who can begrudge the fast food worker who goes on strike to get a higher wage? If it works, I guess it's called capitalism...

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    "Why does anyone think that people who dropped out of high school to work fast food jobs are entitled to the same salary?"

    What an illuminating comment to make about how this person feels about people who grow up in poverty - why they go to work at a young age. I home teach a young lady who is a new member, is in high school, and works fast food not to by the latest fashion, but to help her family pay the rent.

    This is the problem... people think everyone came from the same situation that they did. Visit a small mining town in West Virginia - tell them the reason their kids drop out of school to work is because they just lacked the mental fortitude to become millionaires. If becoming a millionaire is simply the function of putting in enough hours, those picking the cheap food we enjoy should be rolling in the money.

    I think the biggest problem with conservatives is arrogance. They somehow believe what they have is what poor people are lusting after - and refuse to work for. I dare you to find a single content person that is living in the projects.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Obvioulsy any Captialistic society must have rules and regulations for corporations but it is far better to create "incentives" rather than penalties. A corporation which uses incentives to reward employees is far better than the micro-managing boss who is always out to find some way to put you down and threaten you. I have worked in both type companies and the incentive based company I stayed 18 years and loved it while the other I stayed 7 months and hated it. Today we have a president who thinks the heavy - handed threats are the best way to go - you WILL comply whether you like it or not. This is NOT America and that is why there is so much discord and unrest in the economy today. People just want to be able to "build that business" and have the government be a helper instead of a road block and NOT have a president say "you didn't build that business the government did". We need a NEW president and a NEW fresh approach to capitalism in this country ...and we needed it yesterday!!

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 31, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    "The blind spot of today’s conservatives, then, is the partial application of traditional wisdom. While it’s clear to them that unrestrained governmental power becomes corrupt and tyrannical, they fail to see that the same is true of concentrated social power."

    Great comment. Jefferson once said that the one thing he feared more than a foreign invading army was bankers. Many corporations today have more financial power than many governments throughout the world. Keeping the playing field level and fair is the only way we can ensure a capitalist system that work for all.

  • chilly Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    GaryO: "Just 35 percent of the Forbes 400 last year were raised poor or middle class.."

    Just 35! Is that a bad thing? Which other country offers that kind of economic opportunity for hard work?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    Hey Mountanman –

    So you have a friend in the valley who “heats with wood” huh?

    Well now, that’s not very Christian of him, is it? . . . In an area with such heavy temperature inversions that keep smoke down low . . . People can’t help but inhale it.

    “A single home that relies exclusively on wood for heat can emit as much particulate pollution as all the gas furnaces in a large Utah city” – Salt Lake Tribune

    Heating with wood in the Salt Lake Valley is just one more “Conservative” solution that hurts everybody.

    No, generally speaking, people DO NOT have any other viable choice when it comes to utility companies.

    That’s why they’re called “monopolies.”

  • DuckInSLC Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    I thnk it's unfortunate that many US citizens have no working knowledge of economics so most of them spew the company line taken by their party.

    Capitalism unbridled is cutthroat, Darwinistic, and has no time or patience for second chances. Is that really the world we want to live in? I've heard some people and commenters here talk about rewards for hard work. Is that really what you think capitalism is? Who works harder, the single mom who's husband left her and has mouths to feed so she works long 80 hr weeks at 2 jobs to provide? Or the CEO taking over daddy or grandad's business looking over reports and playing rounds of golf with "prospective partners"? Which one gets paid more for their efforts? That's unbridled capitalism...it pays for legacy and for talent and ability, along with work, but the CEOs don't want you to remember the first two items (legacy, ability).

    IMO every HS student and college student should be required to take macro and microeconomics so people at least know what they're talking about instead of repeating what they've heard on talk radio.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Hey Jamescmeyer –

    “In this day the government is exerting increasing pressures against private ownership in the form of increasing taxes, heavy tax brackets for top-earners to reduce incentives and job creation, and attempts to bully the businesses-the tools and property of people-to meet their demands.’/”

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong. Way to be consistent.

    You think we are overtaxing high earners? That’s crazy. The top tax bracket now is 39%.
    It was over 90% when Eisenhower was in office, and we built the interstate highways system, fought the cold war, developed needed social programs and STILL balanced the budget because we had enough REVENUE.

    It was over 70% in 1969 when we went to the moon, fought the VietNam War and the Cold War and the war on poverty and STILL had a budget Surplus.

    That was back in the Pre-Reagan days when our government was sensible and didn’t respond to the whims of unthinking “Conservatives” and their entertainment idols like Rush Limbaugh.

    We need to REVERSE Reaganomics. This nation has been going downhill ever since Reaganomics was instituted. Trickle-down economics was supposed to create jobs.

    WHERE are the jobs?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 31, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    @ Happy Valley. IF I didn't like my utility company, I would not use their service! As it is, they do a good job for me at a fair price and provide a service I CHOOSE to pay for! I have a friend who feels otherwise so he has a diesel generator and solar panels and heats with wood!
    Has it occurred to you that Wal-Mart provides goods that poor people otherwise could not afford! There is a reason poor people don't shop often at Nordstrom's!
    See how freedom works?

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    July 31, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    Capitalism isn't perfect, but it's long-proven superior to heavy government control. In this day the government is exerting increasing pressures against private ownership in the form of increasing taxes, heavy tax brackets for top-earners to reduce incentives and job creation, and attempts to bully the businesses-the tools and property of people-to meet their demands. Hobby Lobby and the Red Skins sports team are two examples of that.

    People radically opposed to capitalism have made up the majority of spies and dissenters of the United States through most of the twentieth century, and have more influence now than arguably before the cold war.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Mountanman, how many utility companies can you choose from in Hayden?

    I've noticed that big city or little you pretty much get your power or gas without choice from one source.

    When Walmart come to town and shuts down all the competition, than they can charge what they like and pay what they like because the competition is gone.

    Utilities and healthcare should be socialized, they already are, except the profits are privatized.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 31, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    @ Baron. "Look at airlines, cable, cell phone providers, utilities, health care providers, Walmart, etc., and you'll see that capitalism and the free market has resulted in consumers being at the mercy of a handful of massively powerful corporations controlling key needs by charging handsomely or offering poor services for providing those needs."

    What a ridiculous comment! No one is forcing you to do business with any of those you excoriate! The reason they exist is to provide goods and services for those who CHOOSE to pay for what they have to offer! If you don't like what they have to offer, don't do business with them! That's the difference between Cuba, N. Korea and America! See how wonderful freedom is?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    Hey John Charity Spring –

    “The irrefutable fact is that most millionaires are small business owners who worked long, hard hours for decades to achieve success.”

    Think so huh?

    According to the Coumbia Jounalism Review, “the vast majority of the country’s plutocrats either inherited their money or had significant help from family members.”

    Sure, Right Wing Propaganda Rags might tell you differently . . . But RW Rags are full of misinformation.

    “Just 35 percent of the Forbes 400 last year were raised poor or middle class, compared to 95 percent of the broader public, as (reasonably) defined by UFE. Twenty one percent inherited enough money to join the 400 without lifting a finger . . . Another 7 percent inherited at least $50 million or a “large and prosperous company,” 12 percent inherited at least a million bucks or a decent-sized business or startup capital from a relative, and 22 percent were “born on first base,” into an upper class family or got a modest inheritance or startup capital . . . So, at least 62 percent did not, in fact, make their fortunes “entirely from scratch.”

    -from an article entitled “Billionaires made from scratch? Hardly”

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    July 31, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    Wow a rant about socialism, and a claim that McDonald's workers want the same salary as millionaires. Talk about a distorted view of the world.

    "Now, far too many take the attitude of this author and expect success to be handed to them." Please show me in the article where the author made any such claim.

    Unbelievable..except it isn't. How sad and disturbing.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    July 31, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    " . . . glorified the unbridled entrepreneur and the de-regulated financier . . ."

    In other words, "Conservatives" glorify an unworkable ideology and disdain common sense.

    It takes good governance to make Capitalism work. Yes, like it or not, Capitalism needs to be restrained from time to time and guided by government in order to stay healthy and viable.

    Left to itself, Capitalism inevitably evolves into a world of behemoths where the biggest baddest dinosaurs rule all . . . And the whole system becomes less resilient and unable to adapt to a changing environment.

    TR and his trust busters broke up the huge monopolies and oligopolies. He leveled the playing field, making it possible for the bright, eager little guys to get their ideas to market. This more competitive capitalism produced less expensive goods and services to the benefit of consumers, the economy, the nation, and the world.

    Yes, that's right. Government intercession/guidance/meddling helps capitalism not only survive but thrive to the benefit of the world.

    That's what good governance does.

    Believe it or not "Conservatives," the Founders created this nation's government for the purpose of GOVERNING.

    . . . Got it yet?

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    The problem with capitalism in free markets is that actors competing in it all strive to make the market "less free" by eliminating competitors (via consolidation and running competitors out of business) to build increasing "monopolistic" or oligopolistic bargaining power so that just a couple of massive corporations dominate industries and markets, typically to the detriment of consumers and innovation.

    Look at airlines, cable, cell phone providers, utilities, health care providers, Walmart, etc., and you'll see that capitalism and the free market has resulted in consumers being at the mercy of a handful of massively powerful corporations controlling key needs by charging handsomely or offering poor services for providing those needs.

    Thus, we need regulation and government to keep such powerful corporations from exploiting consumers.

    I was just reading how the airlines are seeking ways to increasing the number of seats on planes by eliminating bathrooms and making seats more narrow... airlines can do this because there are virtually no substitutes for air travel and with just a few major carriers, they can charge for extra bags, meals, pillows, water, etc., and offer lousy service at high prices!

    Ah, the wonders of capitalism!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    July 31, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    “The fact that today’s conservatism has glorified the unbridled entrepreneur and the de-regulated financier – trusting them not only with tremendous power and resources, but also to be self-governing – simply demonstrates how un-conservative it has become.
    The blind spot of today’s conservatives, then, is the partial application of traditional wisdom. While it’s clear to them that unrestrained governmental power becomes corrupt and tyrannical, they fail to see that the same is true of concentrated social power.”

    Well written article, and I completely agree.

    Land of the Free...where everything is for sale.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 31, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    Such an excellent essay and the last paragraph sums it up perfectly. While corporate leaders seek for nothing more than maximum profit dor themselves, their shareholders and their CEOs, at the expense of their employees and their customers, in the end it hurts everyone, including themselves. Yes, those corporate heads have taken a risk, or their ancestors did, and they should be given credit for that. They even deserve to be wealthy for their courage and ingenuity. But how much do they owe the employees that keep their operation running efficiently? How much do they owe their loyal customers who continue to buy their products or services?

    Read David Halberstam's book called "The Reckoning" about the history of the auto industry and learn how American car makers in the post WWII era had total contempt for American consumers and knew they could sell them anything, certainly not their best products. Ultimately they paid for that contempt by Americans turning to foreign car makers, who made more of an effort to meet the needs of American consumers.

    There should be a healthy relationship between business and the public, and the government where necessary. That relationship is non-existent today.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    This article includes many attacks and a great deal of whinning, with no real answers to perceived problems. Typical of the entitlement mentality that is ruining this Country.

    There was a time in this Country when people knew that if they wanted to achieve success, they had to earn it by working hard. Now, far too many take the attitude of this author and expect success to be handed to them.

    The irrefutable fact is that most millionaires are small business owners who worked long, hard hours for decades to achieve success. Why does anyone think that people who dropped out of high school to work fast food jobs are entitled to the same salary?

    Our population is becoming ever more lazy and slothful, as evidenced by this article. If this continues, America will become just another European-style post-Christian socialist state.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    July 31, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    Ever notice that capitalism is voluntary! It is true freedom! You can participate or not and no one forces you to work hard, be innovative and productive and thus the incentives of wealth creation of capitalism has produced the highest standard of living the world has ever seen. Socialism has to be enforced with mandates from government! Socialism is forcing some people to work for that which they will not receive so others can receive what they didn't work for. We used to call that slavery, but now its called "social justice", which is a total misnomer! There is nothing "just" about it! Its rewards laziness, sloth and bad behavior and punishes hard work, innovation and creativity. No nation will survive socialism long! When the takers outnumber the makers, it always collapses and America is no exception, as we are seeing.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    July 31, 2014 5:45 a.m.

    Partisanship has become so forefront in any debate that the rational middle ground has been pushed to the background.

    Some look at bad regulations and conclude that all regulations are bad.

    Because of partisanship, we gravitate to the extremes.

    We see nonsensical EPA regulations and quickly conclude that we need to shut down the EPA.
    We see crazy things coming out of the FDA and scream that the agency should be closed.

    We hear that, left unregulated, corporate leaders would self regulate.

    These knee-jerk reactions appeal to the party extremes who see simple solutions to complex issues.
    They line up perfectly with party ideology, taken to illogical extremes.

    Does anyone really believe that FIXING the EPA or the FDA is not preferable to closing their doors?

    Want to reduce regulations? That is easy.

    Hold C-Level corporate leaders PERSONALLY liable and responsible for the decisions that they make.
    No more corporate fines which only serve to penalize the shareholders.

    Those who knowingly choose to put profits above good corporate citizenship should be put in jail.

    The need for regulations would drop significantly.

    How can anyone (other than C-level corporate leaders) be against that idea?