I remember my girlfriend Rachel saying, in her defense of school uniforms, that if kids were allowed to wear what they wanted then the poorer kids would get made fun of for not wearing trendy, more expensive garb. Kids sure can be cruel.
If this is indeed a condition of the human race, this envy and derision of others whom are poorer, then extrapolating this to outside the walls of school could be an interesting endeavour. I hold that if this is indeed the case, then there is only one system that offers the best opportunity to eradicate this childish envy. The free market is by far the most just, moral, natural and prosperous system. By constantly seeking to lower the cost of consumer goods ad infinitum (not to mention create new ones, which is also very important) the capitalist system makes more quality products available to more people for less cost. Technology is a great example. As someone said to me yesterday, anyone can afford an iPad. While this is a slight exaggeration, it drives home a valid point. How many more people today can afford the latest LCD tv’s and computers than 10-20 years ago? Not only that, but the quality of the product is constantly improving and new ones are always being developed. In technology especially, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well (despite the best efforts of government to suck all real capital out of the market)!
The technology industry is not a perfect example of free market capitalism, there are regulations and various mercantilist policies in place. But it is in spite of, and not because of these statist measures that this industry flourishes. So while the elites pretend to care about the poor (although some do have a genuine interest, but the means they employ are misguided) it is the capitalist system that actually helps us all better our lives.
Only through free trade and the division of labour does capitalism in it’s pure form come about. Always and everywhere does the market try and operate but always and everywhere does power encroach in on it. The most ironic and sad truth is that the market is always blamed for the consequences of misguided and devastating government policies. The market does not fail, the market simply corrects the disorder caused by government interventionism. The current recession, depression, crisis, whatever, is the tough but necessary market correction. The seeds of recession are planted by the false boom created by central bank manipulation of the interest rate which causes malinvestment on a grand scale.
Until the liquidation of bad debt is allowed (and not simply transferred from reckless bank balance sheets to the taxpayer) we will have no recovery. Until people climb out of debt and begin saving (for capitalism requires capital!) there will be no recovery. Until the ability to debase the currency, manipulate interest rates and control the money supply is taken out of the hands of government and the central bank, our economy will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis. Let capitalism operate, legalize competition and confer no special privileges on any banks or corporation. Let prosperity return to the West.