On Bill Maher’s HBO program this past Friday he stated that the folks involved in Occupy Wall Street was “not against capitalism but against what capitalism has become.” If you have a hard time grasping the concept of the dialectic, this should help – a statement that is both true and false at the same time. Clearly the OWS protesters abhor capitalism, but Maher is correct that modern big business and Wall Street represents a complete corruption of free market capitalism. No individual that respects the natural function of the free market can embrace big business in this county with its statutory dependence on the government. Legislation like Dodd-Frank and government “investments” in private business are a mockery, lobbyists writing actual legislation and our tax code bloated with thousands on special interest tax breaks often written in for 1 specific company. These are all things that OWS mentions in their various manifestos, but these are not an indictment of real free market capitalism but of the brazen crony capitalism that has overrun our country and threatens its very existence.
Sever years ago Ralph Nader commented that the only true capitalist in our country were the small business men and women because they were allowed to fail. I have hundreds of small business clients in my practice and I can tell you that other than their families, employees, vendors and (hopefully) their customers nobody cares if they fail – THAT is free market capitalism, anything else is a sham.