Goldman Sachs asks a fundamental question about capitalism today.

The secular left is not effective at criticizing capitalism. For the same reason that the so-called “conservatives” and Libertarians are at defending it: Both sides make moral arguments that miss the point – e.g. neither show understanding of the express purpose of the American political system. There are two justifications for capitalism as a system. The Good American Citizen is...

Wall Street’s Lack of Ethical Care: selfishness as morally normative.

From the article: “Cohn thinks it’s possible, even likely, that the causes of the 2008 financial crisis can be traced in part to this permissive culture. “All the problems that we are seeing in recent times, at least to some degree, might be supported by a norm, or by an environment, that tolerates these kinds of behaviors,” he told me. “They think it’s okay to manipulate interest rates, to...

Remarks on equality from the NYTimes philosophy blog.

Excerpt: “Extreme wealth inequality also leads to the de facto control of government by the rich (plutocracy), and so is incompatible with democracy. For this reason we need to disperse concentrated wealth through property and inheritance taxes, or even better, revise rules that allow excessive concentrations of wealth to build up in the first place. For example, stronger anti-trust regulations,...

John Galbraith on American conservatives.

Click here for statement by Galbraith on conservatives My thoughts on Galbraith’s statement: This may sound like a more intense statement than it is. The insight is considered a commonplace by most who study the history of ideas, social philosophy and national ideologies. Remember my claim: American conservatives are not really conservatives in any true sense of the word. They cannot be. It is up...

The error of libertarianism: Rousseau on the natural dominance of the few strong

Rousseau’s thought is one of the primary influences on the Constitution, especially that found in the Social Contract. His thinking was influenced by work he did in Venice in the embassy. He reports that he had a superior who treated him unjustly for years. When he returned to Paris and attempted to have him reprimanded, he got nowhere. This led him to write the following remark in The Confessions: ...

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