June 25, 2019
Is U.S. Capitalism Dying?
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”Winston Churchill
In the mid-1960s, it was popular to ask, “Is the theater really dead,” so much so that Simon & Garfunkel included the line in the song The Dangling Conversation. A little over 20 years later, Francis Fukuyama published an essay (later a book) postulating if we had reached “The End of History?” I can’t say that I took either warning too seriously at the time, but I do now. It seems so do many others, who wonder if capitalism can survive the technological disruptions (and while fewer worry about the future of theater, there is no shortage of us wondering about the future of entertainment, as it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish from reality).
Capitalism requires our belief in its ultimate fairness, at least enough so that we believe we have a good chance at succeeding — and that our children can do even better. Like democracy, capitalism is ultimately voluntary. I worry now that fewer and fewer of us are going to volunteer.
Please join Jason Grumet, founder and president of the Bipartisan Policy Center, Michael Farren, fellow at the Mercatus Center, host Jonathan Aberman, and me on our monthly broadcast on WFED/iTunes to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism.