Albert Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The American attitude towards Capitalism could be described as such. Throughout our history, the United States has been marked by periods of great economic turmoil, like the Panic of 1837, the Panic of 1873, the Panic of 1907, the Great Depression, the 1973-75 recession, and the Great Recession of 2008. These periods are economically tumultuous, and were generally created by the mistakes of the banks and the bourgeois class. In addition, all of these economic troubles hurt the poor mostly, and the banks were bailed out by the government, most recently by TARP.
There are inherent deficiencies in the economic system of the United States, and the booms and busts that we experience will continue to exist until drastic action is taken. These cycles have not hurt the rich because the rich continue to exert influence in the United States Government. For example, the Central Pacific Railroad spent $200,000 in Washington to get 9 million acres of free land, and $24 million in subsidies from the government. This was for the transcontinental railroad. The bribes and subsidies have only grown larger, the United States paid $426 billion to Wall Street Institutions in order to “solve” the Great Recession.
The United States Government has been too friendly towards Wall Street due to the amount of money that they can invest in our government. This incentivizes Congress to ensure that the highest in our society can continue to exploit the middle-class and the poor, and continue to profit off of taxpayer money.
What is required is a return to the Keynesian System of the 1950’s and 1960’s, a period of unrivaled prosperity in the United States. This is not a “socialist” concept, rather it seeks to extend public services and benefit everyday Americans.
The United States will prosper when the middle-class expands, and the greed and excess of the upper class is curbed. For far too long we have favored the interests of the economically powerful over the interests of the many, and this is inherently anti-democratic and un-American.
It is incredibly clear that capitalism is by far the most efficient and effective economic system, however it only works when it works for everyone, not just the 1%. Capitalism has allowed the United States to become the power that it is today, however this path was paved by the struggles of ordinary Americans who toiled and fought so that one day we can have a better future.
The United States damages itself when it allows corporations and the rich to subvert the will of the people, and this is seen by rising income inequality, and the increased power of the rich over the government and those in power.