Since I’ve been a little soft of socialism lately, here are some thoughts on this episode: they talk a lot about the problems with capitalism and the need for more welfare to support the large numbers of people who will be unemployed long term as the economy continues to change.
However, they do not propose any real solutions (granted, this is just a short interview). The Welfare State needs a tax base to fund its social programs. Metzger mentions that he doesn’t see the market proposing any solutions to our problems. “The market” (a dubious term in its own right – what we should actual say is “private industry”) is perhaps the only thing proposing solutions – alternative energy, biotechnology, and other initiatives to increase actual, non-fictitious capital. Even solutions like permaculture, co-ops, credit unions, and alternative currency are “market” solutions, in that they are they are the private undertakings.
The good news is that McCain was, probably inadvertently, right when he said that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” We remain amongst the largest manufacturing countries in the world and one of the biggest exporters in the world. (Here’s an interesting article about the modern US manufacturing industry)
The bad news of course, we’re all familiar with: heavy debt both as a nation and as individuals, lack of individual savings, a serious trade deficit, etc. Some of these problems may have some governmental solutions. But redistribution of wealth require wealth to redistribute, and tariffs and trade regulation require commerce to regulate (whatever the advantages and disadvantages may be). This is what “the market” is good for.
Rest of the episode after the jump.