Let’s examine two dirty words: capitalism and socialism.
Capitalism, left unchecked, leads to excessive corporate influence and a huge divide between rich and poor. But capitalism also inspires individuals to work hard to get ahead. It drives the American Dream of success and job growth.
Socialism, left unchecked, does the opposite. It can kill personal motivation and innovation because you just have to give it all away. But socialism is vital to a unified nation. Neighbors pool resources to pave the road, erect a school, create a fire department, and hire a doctor.
We must balance these two forces to be a strong nation.
I believe we’re out of balance. Money runs our government. Jobs, like rich and poor, lie at the extremes: highly and poorly paid. Worse, there is no longer a clear path for the poorly paid to achieve those better jobs. Education, energy, and road infrastructures that once drove our prosperity now hold us back.
To fix this, we must first think about what makes a nation strong. It’s not just rugged individuality and personal gain. A strong nation pulls together; we help those in need get on their feet; we pool our resources to repair and rebuild; we stand unified even when we can’t quite agree. Most of all, we work together and get things done.
Capitalism, socialism, conservative, liberal: Each can be an unworkable extreme. Yet each has value. Let’s talk to each other.