Many people who decry capitalism do so from a position of ignorance of what capitalism really is. They look at the market system that exists in the U.S. today and mistakenly call it capitalism. Our present economic system is not free market capitalism, it is crony capitalism.
Crony capitalism is a branch on the same central planning tree that includes socialism and fascism. In a true free market capitalist system, businesses wouldn’t be able to lobby government to pass laws that protect their position in the market and raise the costs on their present and future competitors, because government wouldn’t have the power to make these rules.
Under free market capitalism businesses are incentivized to first serve their fellow-man before they can profit in any way. They must produce a good or service that consumers will freely exchange a portion of their labor for. Under crony capitalism businesses are incentivized to protect their own self-interest at the expense of the consumers and tax payers who are usually the same people.
We thriller writers need villains. The media had a field day speculating what we would do when the Cold War came to an end in the early Nineties. I confess I wasn’t remotely concerned. Regardless of ideology—in many cases, no more than a carapace of convenience—villainy and its perpetrators have never been in short supply. Human nature seems to produce an abundance of sociopaths. They naturally rise to positions of power and influence—and the rest is as predictable as day following night. Greed seems to be the dominant motivation—and since sociopaths lack scruples—let alone social concern—we are talking about unfettered greed.
Currently, it is destroying the United States. It is doing that at considerable speed.