It is not at all surprising that growing up in the United States I think that the capitalist form of economy is best. Admittedly I have a bias because it is all I have known and I have nothing else to draw from or compare to other than what I have read or seen in documentaries or shows. I think that it probably has something to do with the ‘American dream’ mentality that I was raised in that freedom is to be honor, sought after, and respected above most everything. A step out of the Cold War era (I was born when the Berlin wall was still up) the idea of communism and socialist influence doesn’t seem to scare us as much as it used to. However, I am a product of my environment and I feel that capitalism, despite it’s faults, is still the setter form of economy.
Firstly, I will compare it to socialism. I feel that the socialist mentality has some things going for it, the many above the few, supporting state above self for the greater good, all in it together working in equality, this sounds great, however, I think that it quickly falls apart when the power of the leadership takes control and begins to oppress or misuse the masses. Humans are consistent in their being given over to corruption and corruption ruins the socialist economy, not surpassing that in figure 10.7 in Barkan 10.4 that the nations with the least economic freedom are the most repressive and socially dangerous places to live. ‘As an economic system, capitalism seems to lend itself to personal freedom'(Barkan 10.4) and I personally think that those freedoms that Barkan is talking about are some of the most important values one can have.
I will also take a look at the proposed hybrid, Democratic-socialism. Barkan also mentioned in 10.4 that ‘[Scandinavian democratic socialist countries’] experience indicates it is very possible to combine the best features of capitalism and socialism while avoiding their faults’. I don’t know that this is true. As Barkan points out just before that, these Scandinavian countries pay a large price for their situation, they are heavily taxed to pay for these benefits. As someone who thinks that you should keep what you earn, this is distressing. Also, the idea that, as mini-lecure 8 put it, ‘Government will intervene whenever it seems that the privately owned entity is creating problems for the public good.’ is a bit unsettling, leaving a party that you may not agree with and have different opinions than to regulate and dictate parts of your business is a bit too far for my American capitalist mind to comprehend. While I agree that capitalism, especially corporate capitalism has it’s own pitfalls, I still think it is the best of the options.