Economic Issues for Think Tanks and Radio Talk Show Hosts – Capitalism and Socialism
Welcome to today’s talk, on this rather interesting day of October, 22, 2012, yes a Monday, with an interesting stock market roller coaster and the last presidential debate https://sslcnow.com . It appears that the economy is indeed still front and center. As the earnings on Wall Street roll in we see significant headwinds for our economy which will affect the outcome of this election, either a narrow margin of victory for the incumbent or perhaps a surprise loss. Some would say that this economy will be one that affects America’s future, and everyone has their views on how and why.
Since you are amongst the politically inclined, and economically wise, I think today we ought to talk about socialism and capitalism. Okay so, for this radio show or if you are reading the transcript in an online article let’s set some ground rules. First off, I talk and you listen, and after I am completed you can call in or if you are reading this online, you may leave a comment below. Realize that you must have an intellectual reason for responding, not just rehashed talking points, or something you read somewhere, we have already heard those issues – so bring your mind and comments anew. Now then, let me begin, my first topic is;
1.) Too Much Choice – Sure Blame it On Free-Market Capitalism If You Want, But I “Like” It
There was an interesting article in Brain World Fall 2012 issue titled; “I Can’t Decide – Why an Increase in Choices Decreases Our Happiness,” by Lauran Migliore. The author suggests that having too much free-market capitalism and too many purchase choices we are somehow hurting our souls, brains, and psyche, which might sound like a legitimate argument on the surface, but I would submit to you that those communists that only ate bread and potatoes could not possibly have been as happy as I am going into my local grocery store with an abundance of everything, almost anything I could possibly ever want to eat.
Personally, I don’t want to wear a Mao outfit like everyone else, nor do I want to drive a car like everyone else, and I would submit to you that specialization is a good thing and leads to choices to exercise our individuality, pursue happiness, and enjoy our life experiences with total freedom – “Freedom of Choice” as Milton Friedman would have exclaimed. Socialism is more often than not where individualism is reduced to the low self-esteem experience of the Borg. Where everyone belongs to the whole and is to find happiness in something bigger than self, thus, negating self, meaning self-actualization is not and cannot be realized. Don’t buy it; read Ayn Rand’s novels.
Those who condemn free-market capitalism ought to realize the benefits of choice, even the abundance of options for personalization and freedom of expression. Finding ways to further attack abundance, even for an academic “social scientist” is rather puzzling and aggrandizing in a self-serving agenda driven way. Fortunately, although this study might have amble data points to suggest their hypothesis, I for one certainly wouldn’t want the alternative – little or no choice. This is far from the first study of this type still, the opposite side of the coin isn’t so pretty either.
Do we blame large corporations for so many options in our retail marts? Are corporations with their advertising and marketing, along with branding confusing consumers, getting people all caught up in the fear of loss in case they make the wrong decision with their purchases? Are they to blame? I find that rather a harsh contrast to the socialist academic viewpoint – almost hypocritical, as the alternative would be fewer jobs, fewer companies, fewer people employed. Perhaps, everyone could only drive a white car, and they’d all be the same – would that make you happier?