Tag Archives: Capitalism

Das Kapital

Fareed Zakaria argues that Capitalism is not dead.  It's an odd argument, because he doesn't give one any idea of the alternative.  To my mind, it's one big equivocation between market innovation (a feature of capitalism for sure) and deregulation.  Who is not for market innovation?  No one really.  Who is for more deregulation of the kind that brought us the housing bubble?  That's a different question.  He writes:

In a few years we might actually find that we are hungry for more capitalism, not less. An economic crisis slows growth, and when countries need growth, they turn to markets. After the Mexican and East Asian currency crises — which were far more painful in those countries than the current downturn has been here — the pace of market-oriented reform speeded up. If, in the years ahead, the American consumer remains reluctant to spend, if federal and state governments groan under their debt loads, if government-owned companies remain expensive burdens, then private-sector activity will become the only path to creating jobs.

As I said, it's just hard to see what he's arguing against.  The argument today seems to be what kind of thing the government ought to do in a financial crisis (tax cuts? cash injection? temporary nationalization of banks?) not what broad economic theory it ought to have under ideal conditions.  But, if Zakaria is arguing for deregulation (or even privatization), then that is a completely different subject.