Greed in free enterprise is not Obama’s fault
To the Editor:
A recent letter in the Enterprise takes President Obama to task for refusing “to remove greed from our free enterprise.” The writer seems unaware that self-interest (aka greed) is at the heart of the “free enterprise” system so loved and admired by conservatives. The capitalist is not in business to share with others, but to make a profit for him/herself.
Adam Smith argued in The Wealth of Nations (1776) that the pursuit of such self-interest would benefit the whole by contributing to technical progress and the general welfare, as capitalists competed with one another in the “free market.”
He did not anticipate the conditions of near-monopoly and price-fixing that seem so common in capitalism today, nor would he have approved of how so-called free enterprises feed at the public trough through tax breaks and subsidies. He would have been appalled at the current practices of the Wall Street casino. Good luck at “removing the greed” from these activities.
The only way to limit the destructive effects of greed is through government laws and regulations. Conservatives have been waging war on “government regulation” for decades. It’s no wonder that our economy today is ruled by greed.
Isthmus Rd., Omena