This article is a good example of why I love The Economist.
This newspaper hopes profoundly that this will not happen. Over the past century and a half capitalism has proved its worth for billions of people. The parts of the world where it has flourished have prospered; the parts where it has shrivelled have suffered. Capitalism has always engendered crises, and always will. The world should use the latest one, devastating though it is, to learn how to manage it better.
I’m finding there is large amounts of reactive sentiments floating around regarding the current financial situation. It ranges from overly optimistic projections of “no recession” to a down right declaration that western liberal capitalism is over, finished – kaput! I tend to see more of the later – although I admit that I tend to frequent blogs and news portals that have lean toward an Asian perspective – where a few, perhaps even many, would love to see the West fall flat on it’s face – pushed down and kicked in the groin by their own perceived ‘superior’ system, replaced by the trendy “authoritarian capitalist’ model of Singapore, China and perhaps maybe even Russia. The populist notion seems to point to the failure of Capitalism.
An interesting historical irony was that during the Great Depression, these kinds of systems thrived in Japan, Nazi Germany and Mussolinis Italy – posting huge revenues, huge growth rates, eloquent city beautiful’s and powerful armies…all while western liberal capitalism withered away in the dust bowl it had created.
The redundancy of such systems (not too dissimilar from those being championed as the current successors) became clear in 1945.
Two world wars, a great depression, a cold war, and numerous recessions…all within the last 100 years…and the system is still chugging along. The redundancy is unparallelled by anything currently in the tool box.
The article is rather dogmatic, but it is one of the first that I’ve come across (in my very limited reading) that wasn’t laced with an end-of-the-world glaze.
I don’t have any investments and I don’t have any retirement savings and I’m actually looking forward to a low loonie, so I suppose I’m entering from a different perspective – but I remain confident in the basic fundamentals of the system and hold true to the articles attitude of needed change through “not more government, but better government”. Shakedowns are good – lypos some of the fat cats and puts them in their place.
But what do I know…
*the current comment count on that article is 209 – read at your own risk.