Capitalism Can’t Work for Everyone

Hey, I got a great example here. You know what? Michael Gerson. He’s a former speechwriter for Bush 43. He’s a columnist now at the Washington Post, and he’s got a piece here, “Making economic advancement realistic.” And let me give you a couple pull quotes from this piece. One is, “Growth is one thing, but it is not enough where a personal benefit from growth is not assured.” Now, ostensibly, Gerson is one of us, and ostensibly, theoretically, Gerson is a capitalist, and theoretically, Gerson believes in the concepts of capitalism, that economic growth is how you benefit the vast majority of the people.

But now he’s established a caveat here in terms of his recipe for what the Republicans need to do. Growth is one thing, and growth is fine, but it is not enough where a personal benefit from growth is not assured. And then this. “The Republicans’ task is to make capitalism work for everyone.” Now, let me really get controversial. Some people, after I say this, are gonna wish I hadn’t. And, see, this is the rub. There is not yet ever been the person or the government or the system who can guarantee that everybody personally benefits at all times throughout their lives. It’s not possible. The only person that can do that is the person.

But Gerson is saying that the challenge or the task of the Republicans is to come up with a version of capitalism that assures people of a benefit from economic growth. If the economy’s growing, and people don’t benefit from it, then what good is it? That’s his point. I fervently disagree with this, lest there’s any doubt. But it’s this next one. “The Republicans’ task is to make capitalism work for everyone.” Nothing works for everyone. And there’s that word again, “work.” The GOP’s task is to make capitalism work for everyone. Stop and think, now. Is that even possible? Is there a system, is there a person, is there a government, is there a place where whatever is going on works for everyone?

Let’s look at domestic oil prices. When domestic oil prices fall, you would say that that’s working for the consumer, because the price of energy declines, because if the price of oil declines, the price of oil products are going to decline. Well, that ain’t working for the oil producer. And, in fact, this actually happened in the seventies. I don’t know how well people remember. The seventies is one of these decades that a whole bunch of garbage happened, not very many people remember it. But it was bad.



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