31 January 2016

How Two-Party Political Systems Bolster Capitalism

By Richard D. Wolff, Truthout | News Analysis

Mainstream economics has always privileged one debate above all others as its most central. Should production and distribution of goods and services be private or public, done by individuals or the state? Mainstream economists likewise keep aggressively projecting this question as the central debate for politics and politicians. Such arrogant self-confidence is the other side of the insular self-absorption that characterizes so much of the mainstream economics "discipline."

On one side of the debate are devotees of (1) private ownership of productive resources and (2) market exchanges to connect the private owners with one another and everyone else. They believe that private property and markets best serve every society's economic interests - growth, efficiency, fairness and rising mass consumption. On the other side are devotees of government economic intervention to correct, moderate or offset the many flaws and weaknesses they find in private property and markets. They believe that society's best economic interests can only be served through such an intervention. Most people interested in economics and politics have long accepted (been trapped within?) these mainstream positions as the boundaries of economic thought, research and policy.


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