Okay, you can lift your lower jaw off the floor. I haven’t joined the dark side: My problem isn’t economic but lexical. I do hate capitalism — the term.
As you know, in the eyes of many, “capitalism” has become both a four-letter word and the target of such. For example, New York Magazine questioned a group of Wall Street protesters on October 2 and found that 37 percent believed capitalism was “inherently immoral.” If you find this unremarkable for Woodstock-meets-Wall Street rabble, consider a 2009 Rasmussen poll showing that “only 53% of American adults believe capitalism is better than socialism.” Yes, our schools have done their job magnificently. Unfortunately, it’s a job that doesn’t exactly align with the interests of America.
Yet the problem isn’t entirely substance — it’s also style. Proving that there really is something in a word, another 2009 Rasmussen poll found that “just 35% of American voters believe that a free market economy is the same as a capitalist economy.” What this indicates is that if Americans were asked if a “free market’ were better than socialism, more than 53 percent would say yes. Clearly, “capitalism” needs a good marketing team and a rebranding.
Of course, it isn’t surprising that the word would be an albatross around the neck of what it describes. It was popularized by a good marketing team — one comprising sworn enemies of the Natural Economy.
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