Capitalism vs Democracy

2344 WordsMay 25, 201110 Pages
Capitalism and Democracy The political system and the economic system of the United States have been intertwined since the very founding of our country. Although there are many different views on how well the systems work or how they function, this has been a common thought shared by all different sides. Some have an optimistic view of capitalism, while others feel as though capitalism favors too few people. Two major points of view, the conservative and the “reform” liberal, describe how capitalism works, and the role for the government in managing the marketplace, in two similar, yet very different ways. First, we look at the thoughts of Milton Friedman, of the conservative point of view. According to Friedman, capitalism is a free…show more content…
It would also be the function of the government to regulate “public goods”, or something where it is difficult or impossible to determine the particular user or the amount used. For example, a lighthouse is a public good, because it is almost impossible to identify who uses the light to guide them or how often they use it. Friedman ultimately believes that the government should stay out of economic affairs as much as possible, for every time the government acts the freedom of the people shrinks, and all government interventions have more costs then they do benefits. When the government regulates the way a business operates, for example, requiring steel plants to put filters on their smoke stacks, it increases the cost of doing business, which increases prices and decreases sales, production, jobs and wages. Capitalism, according to Friedman, has a way of efficiently working things out on its own, and needs very little government intervention. Many programs we have today, such as social security, Medicare, and welfare to name a few, Friedman would do away with, as they are the responsibility of the individual, not the government. The marketplace is even more proportional to public demand than the political system is, and will constantly cycle through different phases and work itself out without the need of government regulation. Milton Friedman looks at capitalism as a free and voluntary system that should be driven by the consumer not
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