Government, capitalism not mutually exclusive

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 10, 2013 

A letter writer made this statement: "I hate welfare and dependence on government."

That attitude lacks an understanding of how government and capitalism work. John Maynard Keynes said, "Capitalism has the incredible belief that the wickedest of men will do the wickedest of things for the greater good of everyone."

Business leaders recognize problems within capitalism, mostly the ambiguity of reinventing themselves to sustain profits. Capitalism has downturns. Karl Marx got a lot wrong about Marxism, but he got a lot right about capitalism. He believed business leaders would easily exploit workers during economic downturns. During those downturns, government must do its part until business regains its momentum. Government has to keep sufficient economic conditions for solvency. That is infrastructure. Infrastructure is the cement for capitalism.

Taxpayers' money flows to police officers, firefighters, the military and school teachers. Even welfare recipients play a role in this economic scheme. These people depend on government, and capitalism depends on them for momentum. Dependents' paychecks flow to merchants, and that's a good idea, especially when buying goods produced by American manufacturers and American farmers.

Keep in mind the largest number of unemployed comes from the private sector. Here lies a problem: The less private enterprise we have, the more government will grow. Until the wickedest-of-men stop taking tax dollars (trickle down) and moving jobs to other countries for greater profits, we will have an imbalance, and surely we will fail.

Bill Mahaffey

Sun City Hilton Head

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