The Corner

Capitalism v. Capitalists

This was something of a sleeper column. It didn’t generate too much email (or traffic) last week, but the (very positive) email has been increasing rather than decreasing. I gather that’s partly due to some very generous comments from Rush yesterday. The only complaint I keep getting is about the last line:

We are fond of saying that the answer to free-speech problems is more free speech. But we seem incapable of grasping that sometimes — and only sometimes — the solution to capitalism’s problems is more capitalism.

Here’s a good version of the complaint, from a reader:

…I only disagree with the end of your column were you say that only sometimes is capitalism the solution to capitalism’s problems. It leaves the impression that the sentence is true for a very small sample of situations when the opposite is true (though sometimes is still technically correct).

I think that’s a fair complaint. I was merely trying to head-off the standard liberal complaint that while liberals are willing to acknowledge the value of markets (often grudgingly), conservatives never acknowledge that there is a role for government in keeping capitalism on the rails. I probably could have done it more artfully — by which I mean more grudgingly!

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