Saturday, April 23, 2011


Let me say at the outset that I consider capitalism, monitored, and when necessary, restrained by federal government, the best economic foundation for our country. I applaud free enterprise and entrepreneurism. Economic growth and job creation are a necessary and vital result of successful capitalism, reaching out to benefit most of us. But I am bothered by what seems to be an excessiveness that permeates the system and the almost religious like devotion to the gospel of the free market. I think of the old clichĂ©, “If it is good for General Motors, it is good for America”. Today it seems to be…if it is good for big business and corporations, it is good for all of us. Making an honorable profit is not enough, it has to be more every year, and it has to be more than the nearest competitor. If there is money to be made…let’s do it, regardless of the harm it may do to the environment and to people. Growing the profit margin appears to be all that matters, trumping all social concerns and interests as it serves management and shareholders. I don’t know how the culture of profit over everything else can be muted…government can’t do it, and religion seems to be disinclined to do so (some churches have appeared to embrace such a culture.). Perhaps it is an ingrained part of the human character, to be driven to achieve the most, to have the best, to be in the front of the crowd.

I respect and admire those who create wealth through their own hard work and enterprise, but I have neither for those who make the accumulation of money their life’s goal, those who measure everyone and everything by monetary standards. It is not lost on me that it is a very fine line that separates the two.

I have concerns…but no answers. I suppose we each have to determine for ourselves where we place our values and when we say, enough is enough.

No comments: