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Feb 20, 2006

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David Stanley

I love this post Mike. In a society that seems to constantly berate our government, politicians, and economic systems, it's nice to have your voice in these kind of issues speaking a bit of level-headed wisdom into the mix.

Michael Kruse

Thanks Dave. I think there are plenty of things that need work in our culture. Where I often seem to differ is that many critics charge that we need to abandon certain institutions because of the problems we face. I argue that the political and economic institutions are reasonably sound ideas. It is the values of people (all of us) who feed into these institutions that need to change. That is not to deny that some systemic changes might be needed. I just don't think these are the fundamental problems.

will spotts

This is a good summary. (You address my concern -- primarily the confusion in the use of the word "capitalism" -- whether it includes government regulation to benefit specific, private entities. (This is often lauded and labeled capitalist, but I do not consider it good -- and I see that your definition excludes this.)

I absolutely that the utopian cures are not desirable. I think the attempt is to micro-manage results in the name of fairness -- but that necessarily creates instability in the system -- so that productive and unproductive (notice -- not the same thing as virtuous) things are equally rewarded.

Michael Kruse

"This is often lauded and labeled capitalist, but I do not consider it good.."

Bingo. Just as there is a potential by the state to abuse economic interests so is there a potential for powerful economic interests to abuse the state.

"I think the attempt is to micro-manage results in the name of fairness -- but that necessarily creates instability in the system -- so that productive and unproductive (notice -- not the same thing as virtuous) things are equally rewarded."

Right. A disproportionate interest individual "fairness" creates instability and disincentives that damage the total economy and ultimately the individuals. Disproportionate interest in aggregate economic grow without compassion and concern for individuals brings rebellion which ultimately damages the ability of the economy to grow. A polarity once again.

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