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Capitalism Explained in One Paragraph

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What reader with half a brain has not read a dozen or more articles explaining our capitalist system in the past month or so? To save us time, I herewith present its essence (once again), in one paragraph--from page 208, Pleading Guilty, by Scott Turow (a great novel, btw):

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Rational self-interest is Carl's creed. He worships at the altar of the free market. The same way Freud thought everything was sex, Pagnucci believed all social interaction, no matter how complex, can be adjusted by finding a way to put a price on it. Urban housing. Education. We need competition and profit motive to make it all work. It is, I know, quite a theory. Let everybody struggle to get their bucket in the stream and then do what they like with the water they fish out. Some will make steam, some will take a drink, a few fellows or ladies will decide to take a bath. Entrepreneurship will flourish; people will be happy; we'll get all this nifty indispensable stuff like balsamic vinegar and menthol cigarettes. But what kind of ethical social system takes as its fundamental precepts the words "I" "me" and "mine"? Our two-year olds start like that and we spend the next twenty years trying to teach them there's more than that to life.

 

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