Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Riddle: What happens when capitalism gets in trouble?

It calls on the family black sheep (socialism) for help! Turns out that we've all been paying lip service to the "capitalism is good and socialism is bad" world view. Capitalism is all good when we are reaping the financial windfall. But when excessive greed, lax govt oversight and an ingrained credit-based-live-above-your-means culture all combine to provide the inevitable economic bust...well then capitalism has to make way for a little socialism. God forbid we left the chips fall where they will. Instead let's reward those who have been playing Russian-roulette, those who have been buying more than they can afford (how stupid are you to think you can afford a house on minimum wage?). By default, let's punish those who have been buying only what they can afford and living within their paychecks. I guess if you are going to live irresponsibly it's good to time it right so it coincides with when the rest of the population are doing the same.

Can you imagine an American govt forcibly buying stock in publicly traded companies i.e. effectively nationalizing them? Let's just hope we do better than Mugabe did with Zimbabwean farms.