Moral Capitalism


Georgetown University historian Michael Kazin points us toward a better way:

What kind of economy do Democrats believe in? Joe Biden calls for “stronger labor laws and a tax code that rewards [the] middle class.” Bernie Sanders wants to raise taxes on the rich and guarantee every adult a job. Elizabeth Warren has a slew of plans that include giving employees seats on corporate boards and breaking up giant firms like Facebook and Amazon. Kamala Harris urges a big tax cut for ordinary families and “stricter penalties for companies that cheat their workers.”

Recent polls show that the public is increasingly supportive of proposals like these. Yet no one who hopes to become the nominee has yet come up with a larger vision that would animate such worthy ideas. And without an inspiring way to tie them together, they may come across to voters like items on a mediocre takeout menu: tasty enough but forgettable.

So let one loyal, if anxious, Democrat offer a solution: “moral capitalism,” a system that, in the words of Congressman Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts, would be “judged not by how much it produces, but how broadly it empowers, backed by a government unafraid to set the conditions for fair and just markets.”

It is a goal that, by different names, national Democratic leaders have articulated since the party first emerged almost two centuries ago. They understood that most voters liked the general idea of a market economy in which they would have a fair chance to rise, but also resented an economy that failed to live up to the rosy promises of its defenders in business and government.

The tradition began in the 1830s when Andrew Jackson vetoed a renewed charter for the Second Bank of the United States, declaring, “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.” Grover Cleveland renewed the offensive in his attack on the protective tariff in the 1880s, as did William Jennings Bryan in his crusade against the “money power” at the end of the 19th century, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in his assault on “economic royalists” in the 1930s.

For all these Democratic leaders, moral capitalism was an aspiration for a system that would balance protection for the rights of Americans to accumulate property and start businesses with an abiding concern for the welfare of men and women of little or modest means who increasingly worked for somebody else.

Read the rest at The New York Times.

7 thoughts on “Moral Capitalism

  1. Paul,
    The last time I saw Al Gore it was apparent that he had put on noticeable weight since his departure from public office. The size of his waist, however, has nothing to do with the truth or non truth of his environmental claims. His views were just as falsely apocalyptic when he weighed less.



  2. Sean,
    Will you answer Jame’s questions if I ask them?
    1) What country has the most solar power installed?
    2) What country installed the most solar power in 2018?
    3) What country has the most wind power installed?
    4) What country installed the most wind power in 2018?
    5) What country has the most electric vehicles?
    6) What country was the largest market for electric vehicles in 2018?


  3. Sean,
    That’s fine but some of the green people need to get tougher on the pollution in non democratic China. Listening only to the global warming chorus under conductor, Al Gore, one would think that the United States is the prime boogeyman rather than Red China and democratic India.



  4. James, I will not be answering your questions because from here on out I refuse to respond to your nonsense anymore. You’re a climate change denier, which indicates that facts will never make any difference to you, therefore all I will ever be able to do by engaging you is to debate your valueless opinions. Life is too short.


  5. Sean,

    A few questions for you…….

    Does that mean I have to scrap my gas-guzzling V-8 truck with club cab in order to be “moral?” I really like it.

    Are countries with controlled economies also able to achieve moral environmental standards or is it just countries with democratic capitalist systems? In other words, when will the Chinese get on board and achieve your standards?


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