The one great thing about capitalism is the fact that people can move ahead. Even under progressive taxation, even if it was 90%, a guy who hauls in 900 million a year is going to do very well, compared to the folks who work just as hard, perhaps much harder, and earn only $15,000 a year. This is certainly an advantage over communism comrade! Nevertheless, Capitalism allows people who are more motivated to move ahead. The down side is greed and avarice becomes commonplace, and eventually simple compounding of accrued monies, puts these wealthy folks so far ahead, they can buy and control everything. This includes the media and politicians on both sides of the aisle, of course, and eventually the people become like chattel to the gentry, and receive increasingly more shoddy treatment. Capitalism brings the inevitable concentration of money into the hands of the few, to such an extreme degree that the economy fails. This is due to the fact that so many are left with barely enough to even pay the basic survival bills, and not contribute to the economy. Some redistribution is inevitable, and necessary, especially with the rot-gut capitalism we practice. Many like to tie these democratic efforts at redistribution, with the Marx Manifesto. "Ties" to Marx's manifesto are loose to say the least. Our government doesn't own all property for instance, and certainly in any society some restrictions on property have to be made. If you lived in a neighborhood and an owner of adjoining property wanted to open a swine farm, would you want to smell the stench constantly? In any method of government, some restrictions would apply. Most states levy a tax on property, usually spent on roads and education of our youth. Most of the time, people argue against Socialism, an economic system, by touting examples of totalitarianism, more or less a dictatorship. Many examples of Democratic Socialism exist, and are usually the countries with the most educated, healthy, and happy people. Communism, on the other hand seeks to more evenly split the wealth, give some property or a place to live to all, and assure that we all have meaningful work, clothes, the necessities of life, and that no one does without health care, or starves. It views the work of a scientist using his mind as no more valuable than the man whose sweat and toil in the fields feeds that scientist. Efforts have been made to keep us on a more even keel, so we can all have a chance at making it to wealths door, in that our economy is somewhat Socialist already. Most view this as a good thing, and the truth is, even with our government taking some progressive steps under Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Johnson in the last century, largely due to the failure of the rot-gut capitalistic system in 1929, to use a trite saying, we still have a lot of people who "fall through the cracks." We are experiencing again, a crash of sorts, for many of the same reasons, as weve rolled back some FDR regulations, and the wealth disparity between the richest and poorest, has grown even larger than it was in 1929, which is cited by most as a big reason for the collapse in 29. Those who support Laissez Faire Capitalism seem unconcerned with the plight of the disaffected. Are we a lot better now than a century ago? Yes, of course. Are we where we need to be yet? No, I don't think so. The down side of Communism is that motivation is sapped by limitations put on how much personal advancement you can ever achieve. Income and advancement are stymied, and people tend to be less motivated as a result. A kind of "slave ethic" often results, with Communist populations working just hard enough to get by, as working harder doesnt get more money or possessions, and rarely do people actually work altruistically for the good of mankind. One who has a thinking mind sees the simple, basic advantages and disadvantages of both systems. So the solution has always been a kind of compromise, in which the Democrats and Republicans (now and then, pretty much the same) have given the poor and middle-class workers just enough to keep the violence at bay, the violence that always develops in countries with kings and queens, where royalty exists, to the detriment of the huge majority of people. We dont officially have gentry in this country, but be sure that a gentry exists, FDR often called them economic-royalists, often unaware of their own entitlement. When concessions were not feasible, revolt and violence are suppressed either by police or the army, and making laws which often abridged the freedom of speech like the Espionage Act, Sedition acts. Prisons are often used as a solution to poverty, much as we do in America in this place in time. We use the poor, in the form of police and security guards, against the poor, to keep the peace that is spawned by the inequality. Ironically, this is more expensive than a few benefits like Social Security, unemployment insurance, and welfare. But then, prisons make money for some very rich people, whereas the other programs only provide a service needed in a society where so much wealth is left to the hands of a few oligarchs. Sadly we live in a society where some would rather imprison people than to provide education, health care, and the means to earn a decent living, good jobs, and a living wage. Roosevelt brought together a kind of Democratic Pluralism, or Democratic Socialism, unlike any president before, or since. He used the government to work between industry and people to improve humanity, and working conditions, get electrical power to remote areas, to provide work when there was none using various make-work programs to help increase our productivity as a society, and gin up economic activity. His great American success can be most accurately gauged by the fact that he was elected four times. Policies instituted by him, led to three decades of growth, unprecedented in American history. His pluralistic policies certainly pleased voters then, and the truth is if a similar president were to gain office now, he'd be a two term president also. It is questionable now whether this can happen, with the rights vice-grip like lock on the corporate media. The plight or number of poor in this country is rarely discussed. Progressive economic ideas dont often escape into the ether on corporate airwaves. When America detects this kind of dedication to people, and not to large, trans-national corporations, they will flock back to the polls, and keep this bold person in office as long as possible. I think we see this kind of dedication in Obama. Republicans dont often understand these things, as they seem to be unable to see the shades of gray, indeed, the Technicolor world that surrounds us all. The constitution is amenable, and certainly some of the founding fathers would not have agreed with our country becoming such a Plutocracy. They would have never agreed to allow corporate citizenship (1888 SC decision), and the buying of laws by these corporations, through corporate contributions. They would never have acceded to the corporate citizens with all the rights, but none of the responsibility of following laws. There was a time where corporations were given charters, and if they failed in some way to be good stewards, theyd be revoked. I'd venture to say they'd never have expected us, to not amend the constitution to whatever conditions developed in our country that needed to be dealt with. Certainly our current president seems to have no problem with this based on spying on Americans. Yes, the founders had a pretty good thought, trying to prevent dynastic elements as have been problematic for so many other countries in history, but as always, money has corrupted absolutely. The powerful and gilded gentry in America, maintains an iron fist over the masses anyway, through capitalism and blackmail of elected officials with their lobbyists money. What cant be done by these methods, are often accomplished by a media expert at brainwashing people into believing in systems that often destroy their own financial wellbeing. How is our system so much better than Socialism, if our government only seems to serve the top 20 percent of all earners? The two major parties have proven to have mostly the same economic policies these days. Outside of a few fringe issues, often social issues, the two parties have been the same. We certainly have a mushrooming proletariat, or peasant class, and an ever narrowing moneyed class with vastly increasing wealth. This upper class has increasingly seen tax advantages accrue to them, perhaps the biggest example being capital gains taxes only being levied at 15 percent, irregardless of income or amassed wealth. If you dont see that massive wealth gap between incomes of the rich and poor is a massive problem, with possible future repercussions, then you arent bothering to think. (wrote this a while ago, and it has very near occurred) Another depression would hurt us all severely, even the rich, though losing a few digits on the bank-statement can in no way compare to the hardships experienced by the lower classes. We are seeing the first few signs now. Actually, Marxs predictions of the decline of capitalism were coming to fore until Wilsons passage of the Espionage Act. Only by locking up many of the Socialist leaders for bringing up the very real question of whether the poor should fight in the war for the rich, over issues of the rich, since they'd come back to the same tired squalor ridden conditions, from which, they left, and often through violent suppression of labor movements, now substituting constant media brainwashing against unions and class warfare against the poor, are they able to suppress a growing Democratic Socialism in this country. Violent suppression of the masses has been replaced by a manipulative and deliberate effort of the media. This has intensified in the 1980s, and has become especially prevalent of late, after Ronald Reagan and a Democratic Congress destroyed the fairness directive. Roosevelt upon the advent of radio saw what an incredible tool it could be to manipulate and brainwash the masses, which was why he passed the law in the first place. He saw the eventual possibility of not assuring both sides of economic issues were aired. You see the results of the medias lack of economic fairness in people so indoctrinated against the thought of using collectivism or unions to work together to better themselves. Often ideas for improvement are greeted with brainwashed minds shouting "Socialism" as if it were akin to murder, when it only seeks to keep a watchful eye on the poorest in our society. The success of brainwashing people against their own collective betterment is extremely apparent. I'd be willing to bet that many who chant the governments corporate-fed slogans, many who have been conditioned by the Big Brother of Rush Limbaughs 1500 radio stations, are the very same people who would be benefiting from a more equitable system of income. Brainwashing is alive and well in this country, and usually it manifests itself by actually getting the brainwashed people to carry the water for the rich, the same water that so poisons their own lives. Somewhere in between our Capitalism, and Socialism is a sweet spot, a democratic Socialism that creates wealth for all, yet still maintains incentives to succeed, to create and invent new products or services, and improve our lives. In this idyllic place, the yardstick of success wont be measured by money, but will be judged by human concerns. That place will be a better world, in which we can all live, and get along. It will be a place with less crime, as the desperation of criminals will be reduced by good educations and a paying job, always a salve against these problems. It will be a place where people will have the medical care they need without going into bankruptcy. It will be a life where corporations are required to join us in our patriotism as well as taking our money to make profits, rather than be left to act like a lawless criminal that externalize their costs onto taxpayers. It will be a place that works for all.