I ran across the title of this post in an article by Fraser Nelson of The Daily Telegraph which is a popular British newspaper. It basically talks about how the Brits are now leaning to the left despite the relative win of the rad-cons in the recent election. This leftward trend is evidently being pushed by the young voters in the country.
I kinda think the Brits are smarter than us when it comes to government and I hope our young people are doing the same. The basic definition of capitalism is that it is an economic system based on private ownership of capital. Dropping back to look at a broader view of this system, when all the capital ends up in the hands of a relative few then it morphs into an oligarchy and that is something that the Brits also know about.
An oligarchy is pretty much the opposite of a democracy in that the people without capital have little or no control over government decisions and actions. That happens because money controls information as it does pretty much everything else in a capitalist society.
The general feeling today, at least among RedAmerica, is that anything that is not driven by capital (read money) is somehow an enemy of the state. To them, it seems logical that a capitalist state should be run by a billionaire as they are the only truly successful ones among us. I’m sure that logic was part of what got us into the trouble we are now facing.
Going back to the original thoughts on this post, I hope our young people have a similar attitude as those in Britain. I know I started out in the opposite mode and as I grew in wisdom I turned left to a more people-oriented view. My votes during my first three presidential elections were for the GOP candidates. It was not until Reagan and his brand of conservatism that I basically made the switch. Of course, seeing where we are today I would love to go back to Reaganism, even with his trickle-down politics.
I do still believe in capitalism but we need to have reignes on that horse or it will morph into an oligarchy. There just seems to be something about wealth accumulation that once you have a certain amount it turns into an urgent rush to get even more. In my mind, that is where the dangers occur. It is hard to remember that the 90% estate tax along with excise taxes were once the primary source of revenue to run our governments. Taxing the workers didn’t occur until one hundred years ago.
In today’s world where 1% of the population control the majority of the wealth, its time for some “real” tax reform. The current proposal being ramrodded through Congress is in no way a real reform. We will never get that until our political parties can come together with compromise solutions. I think our young people today can see this much more clearly than I did when I was their age.
If you are one of those who don’t have capital, it’s hard to gung-ho about it…