posted on Apr, 8 2016 @ 02:22 AM
It is an eternal debate as to which is preferable: total and absolute freedom to acquire as much personal wealth as one can, or the power to limit
personal wealth in the hands of a government which decides what to do with the remainder?
The notion - rapidly becoming mythical, unfortunately - that any enterprising individual can make a fortune for themselves if they simply apply
themselves hard enough, intelligently enough, and long enough, is what drives faith in capitalism. The problem with people having so much concentrated
wealth is that, with the exceptions of the truly philanthropic few who are willing and able to sacrifice much of said wealth for the good of others
(the freedom to do which is one of the arguments in favor of capitalism incidentally - volunteerism... if only more people actually did it, but I
digress,) greed and corruption mean said wealth becomes destructive or, at minimum, obstructive.
The notion - historically undermined by examples like Stalanism - that government control of wealth is therefore preferable as only a government can
ensure that said wealth is utilized for the good of all, is what drives faith in socialism. The problem with a government being what determines the
limits on and uses of wealth is that, with the exceptions of truly essential things like roads etc., corruption and political and/or geopolitical
agendas render said wealth destructive or, at minimum, obstructive.
Basically, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place with both extremes. The most ideal solution, in my opinion, would be a capitalist system
wherein those with great wealth - and everyone, really, as able - took part in a tremendous spirit of volunteerism and philanthropy. Yes, in the form
of "producing" and job creation, but also in the form of workable safety nets for those who fall through the cracks, of which there are far more than
many wish to acknowledge. People would not be forced or compelled to share their wealth, but would do so, essentially, out of the goodness of their
hearts, and all would benefit... without tyranny, and with their liberty intact. And a political discourse and social discourse would exist about how
best to implement this. Everyone would be engaged in the issue, as everyone would have a stake in the outcome.
Unfortunately, just as we have a constitution to prevent pure democratic mob rule from curtailing our rights because neither we nor our governments
are fully trustworthy, human beings simply don't do that. Or at least, not enough of us do it. So until such time as that changes (and I have hope it
someday will,) we will always need "a system," much as I am loath to admit it, to ensure we survive and function essentially.
The question is: what system, and how do we prevent the aforementioned greed and corruption of either extreme from being destructive or obstructive?
My opinion is that we need a system which takes the greatest strengths of capitalism - innovation, competition, growth, adaptation, market agility,
etc. - and socialism; social programs, some (even extremely high) limits on personal wealth in the form of more effective taxation (as loath as
I am to admit that too,) regulation, etc.
And we must all learn to compromise in the facilitation and creation of such a system.
All of that having been said? That's never going to happen in our lifetimes in all likelihood. Gridlock, intransigence, buzzwords, political branding,
binary hostility, and the sincere belief by each ideology that theirs is the most just and the other represents - in and of itself, irrespective of
form - a great evil which must be opposed and fought, will ensure that. So I don't bother discussing or debating it beyond expressing this simple
opinion, because I have seen that - at least for now - it is futile.