Friday, September 23, 2005

capitalist tiers

I think people need to realize that this all or nothing Capitalism idea isn't working. There's some things that capitalism works well for - and others that it doesn't. Not that I'm for Communism - that idea doesn't seem to work for most things. But socialism has some advantages.

The whole reason we even decided to live in societies was to reap the benefits that could come from packing people into tight spaces - reliance on others delivers better healthcare, better access to food, and better tradecraft. Well, in theory. In practice, pure and semi-pure capitalism creates competition in areas of society that don't readily benefit from it.

So maybe it's time to look at the world market the same way we look at human rights... in most philosophies, human rights are tiered- the right to life, for instance, is a top-tier right, but the right to happiness isn't.

In that same stead, things like healthcare don't do well when HMOs and insurance companies are running the show. The market forces tend to screw the consumer rather than help him.

Things like food distrubution seem to do well with some competition - but when food gets partnered with clothing, and retail goods (i.e. Wal-Mart) true food distributers suffer, along with the farmers making the food. So semi-capitalism with lots of oversight would work best in this arena.

Markets for things like cars, TVs, etc. work fine with pure capitalism (or as close to it as we can get).

The problem with capitalism now and the problem with socialism now is that it doesn't take this tiered approach - we're still on the "one size fits all" strategy. This is just damning ourselves to a foreseeable failure because both "sides" are too proud to admit that their theory isn't perfect.

The flaw with using society to better the quality of life is that once a society succeeds in bettering that quality in the slightest way, there is incredible resisitance to change - no one wants to go back to the worse way of life that existed before. But just because a society succeeds in some regards doesn't mean that there isn't still room for improvement - and it doesn't mean we can stop looking for it.