Capitalism's Crutch

Cape Times (South Africa), September 18, 2007 | Go to article overview

Capitalism's Crutch


Ian Flint ("Wealth Creation", September 13) seems to have missed the whole point of my argument: There are different varieties of socialism, and socialist aspects are often beneficial to capitalism itself when both systems exist in symbiosis.

The US and the wealthy western European nations that he praises, have all utilised socialism to boost their economies. The social market economy (mixing socialism with capitalism) was the main economic model used in western and northern Europe during the Cold War era. During the great depression, when the US found itself in much the same economic state that South Africa is in today, President FD Roosevelt initiated a series of essentially socialist programmes to kickstart the economy called the New Deal.

Flint's assumption that CEOs are creative and their workers are not is without merit. The music industry in South Africa is a great example. Many great artists died paupers while the industry CEOs made millions.

Norway's oil-funded Government Pension Fund, Global, is currently worth $317 billion, yet Flint denies that Norway's state-controlled petroleum industry (socialist) generates wealth.

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