Dear Editor: Dave Zweifel wrote that “Capitalism needs constant saving from itself" on April 10. Numbers of regulations were put in place during the Depression to protect consumers from harmful practices by a variety of businesses and industry. Such regulations continued policies posed earlier by both Democratic and Republican administrations. However, conservatives complained vociferously that such regulations were “socialism” and that the government had no business sticking its nose in business. Their argument was that business can police itself. More recently, regulations were relaxed and both Republicans and Democrats (Bill Clinton) gave business that opportunity to police itself. The results noted by Zweifel range from the 2007-08 recession to the two crashes of the Boeing 737 MAX.
Capitalism may be the best system, but it does indeed need saving from itself. Recently, rising star, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it another way. She described capitalism as an ideology of capital, with the most important thing being concentration of capital, which means that profits are placed ahead of human and environmental costs. Conservatives condemned her as ignorant and misguided. However, Zweifel’s historical survey, culminating with the crashes of the 737 Max, certainly dovetailed with Ocasio-Cortez’s point. Rather than eyeing each other suspiciously, capitalism with limits and regulations, and socialism limited by concern for the human and the environment, ought to be considered identical twins. Together they could be a powerful force for human progress in the United States.
J. Denny Weaver
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