Interesting article this week on DailyKos, We need an economic system that makes Bill Gates and the Koch Brothers impossible by Egberto Willies. In it, Willies argues that the meritocracy that we are told exists under capitalism is largely a myth. The really big fortunes come to people who either inherit them (like the Koch Brothers) or those who have connections, even if they’re middle class (like Gates).
His conclusion is that we need some other social system, something that would actually allow genuine talent to rise, but which wouldn’t at the same time abandon or exploit everyone else.
It is, of course, a point that has been made repeatedly since the dawn of the industrial age. But no one has ever successfully presented, much less implemented a better system —unless one counts, say, the Social Democratic states of Northwestern Europe.
Still, as Willies makes clear, the need for something other than capitalism is real and getting realer ever day. Maybe, then, the question is not what will take capitalism’s place, but rather how painless we can make the transition.
The Little Professor