Both Capitalism and Welfare Programs are Needed - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Joel A. Levitt
    • 13.11.05 | 04:56 (IST)

    This is the second submission of the following material to you at Haaretz. It was prepared for publication in the U.S., but it is particularly relevant to the capitalism vs. socialism arguement going on among your commentators. Free enterprise has so far proven to be the best path leading to the efficient production of useful goods and to increasing society?s wealth provided that: 1. there are capital reserves adequate to technological improvement 2. unencumbered wealth is so widely distributed that markets can guide the evolution of concepts of value, and 3. it is generally perceived that society is treating most of its members fairly. However, free enterprise does not lead to economic equilibrium; instead it leads to the accumulation of the means of production and of wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Thus, it is necessary to make periodic corrections, redistributing wealth so as to restore the conditions needed for free enterprise success. The last American correction succeeded. It started with the rise of Populism and continued through Teddy Roosevelt and the Trust-Busters and the Great Depression. It was not easy to accomplish then, perhaps because America waited too long to begin. It will probably be even more difficult in the future, because it is presently so easy and so rewarding to move wealth abroad. Therefore, we should be continually re-examining two questions. First, is the present the appropriate time to begin a correction? Second, how can it be accomplished in a world with such uniformly good communication but such disparate levels of economic development and consumer satisfaction?

    from the article: Analysis / Fold up the road map
    First published 00:00 11.11.05 | Last updated 00:00 11.11.05
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