Political Education

Saving Capitalism from Itself

Political Scientist Robert Dahl once argued that when a democratic majority denies the rights of the minority it becomes a ‘ Tyranny of the Majority’.
Today we face a tyranny of reckless capitalism.
When former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli raised the price of EpiPen by 500% he became the face of the excesses of capitalism.
In addition to poverty and the economic struggles of the middle class, income inequality can be a responsible crime and de facto segregation
So what happens when a capitalist system allows monopolies, or pays poverty-level wages, or results in massive income disparity?
One thing that will happen is that people may seek systemic change.
Textbook definitions of socialism and democratic socialism both involve government ownership of the means of production. 
A more moderate approach to correcting the excesses of capitalism would be to propose common sense regulations.
Anti-trust laws such as the the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Sherman Anti-trust Act regulated capitalism’s tendency toward monopoly.
The Fair Labor Standards Act designates a minimum wage that employers must pay.
The Pure Food and Drug Act keeps citizens safe from adulterated products.
The Social Security Act provides benefits to aged citizens and others who may not have adequate private sector arrangements.
Some of these laws are over a hundred years old.
These common sense regulations of our capitalist system are designed to meet a fundamental tenet of our political system- to provide for the general welfare.
Just as we need to protect the minority from the perversion of democracy with procedural safeguards, we need to save capitalism from itself through regulation.

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