Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Capitalism is the heart of the American economic engine, and really the core the whole of American society, but capitalism regularly gets pummeled as a provenance of the nation’s moral disintegration. There are, of course, ample specimens selfishly pursuing purposes to the exclusion of other more lofty ideals, however, such are not the majority of individuals and businesses, which provide the sweat that builds a country. The elements in a society that blame the profit motive are those who leach from its successes directly or indirectly, either out of incapacity, laziness or from jealousy. Going after abusers of responsibility, including CEOs whose incomes vastly overreach their real value, or elected politicians who take bribes such as those who took cash from Fannie Mae, is necessary, just like jail terms are necessary for any criminal behavior in a society that seeks some level of security.

Capitalism and the business culture of all societies, it seems, are easy targets for the venting of frustrations that surface during financial crises, such as the current unstable state of affairs. It is abundantly obvious the general media has done its best to fuel these fires, while leaving the legislators to continue along their paths, unscathed, unrepentant, and unpunished. Defaming the business environment and disparaging corporate America may serve the campaign trail to the White House with moral bait for votes. It won’t serve the future well-being of American society, and its systems if such sentiments find their way through the legislative process stifling trade and asphyxiating the entrepreneurial spirit.

At stake is the freedom that was promised upon the founding of America. With all of its strength, America remains a fragile social experiment that requires, and will always require, care, attention and nurturing. While the current administration curtailed some of the assumed freedoms, the nation should not allow the political pendulum to swing so far in the other direction that a greater degradation of freedoms is instituted in plain sight while attention is being diverted to the “straw man” of corruption, the businessman or businesswoman, being pilloried.

Laws provide a country with ample guidelines that pertain to accepted behavior. Today we find ourselves with countries around the world rushing to seek new convoluted systems of “oversight and regulation” in efforts to reign-in capitalism. Some are even proposing the creation of international regulations and ruling bodies. Such efforts should instead focus on setting legal parameters establishing acceptable rules of conduct within America. Doing so, and setting severe punitive retribution for breaking the laws, as well as providing the courts with real teeth will minimize future abuse and corruption. Specific laws emanating from this economic debacle will retain the freedom required for a flourishing capitalistic system while protecting individual rights to pursue personal and corporate financial objectives. Global problem solving is impossible if your own house is not in order.

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