Or - what went so very wrong with "risk and reward?"
For a long time, I have been confounded by those who are so against capitalism. To me, capitalism and free markets embody so much of what is great about our nation. We are not a country where elites and/or royalty have all the power, with no one else able to get into a tiny, controlling circle. Our nation is one of millions of rags-to-riches stories: a poor black child who became one of the most influential and wealth media names - Oprah Winfrey. A Jewish-Russian immigrant who transformed the Internet and became a multi-billionaire; think Sergey Brin. While these two individuals are extreme examples, there are literally millions of people who came from humble beginnings and rose either to upper-middle class status or wealth because of the opportunities here... essentially because of free markets and capitalism.
So - why is it, when we have a system that allows most to rise as high as they wish, that more than a few are so critical of our system? Over and over, this has confounded me. Yet, the more I read and study, the more I think I see why those who rail against free markets are doing so.
It's not because the underlying principles have altered. A free market, with all its flaws, is superior to everything else. Nevertheless, the "free market" works only if it is indeed free. That is, the principle of "risk and reward" must remain. And - that underlying principle in recent decades has been badly damaged.
One of my favorite blogs is Cafe Hayek, written by economists Russ Roberts and Don Boudreaux. Each takes complex principles, policies, philosophies and hard data, then explains it in ways that even a doofus like myself can understand.