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Front Page » September 29, 2009 » Opinion » Do we have corporatism, not capitalism?
Published 1,851 days ago

Do we have corporatism, not capitalism?


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

The other day a friend of mine who is very familiar with Japan (he has been there many times) and I were talking about the health care debate. I asked him about Japan and what they do. He told me that they have the most socialistic medical system in the world.

"A citizen there can get an MRI for $7.50," he told me.

That struck me strange. Here is one of the most capitalistic countries in the whole world (Japan) and they have socialized medicine. I mentioned that to him, wondering about our countries dilemma.

"We don't have capitalism, we have corporatism," he said.

I am no brain about this economic stuff, nor when it comes to the health care debate. But what he said strikes me as true; corporations seem to be running things in the U.S. in many differently ways. Certainly health care is controlled by some pretty large and rich corporations between pharmaceutical and insurance companies, and some hospital organizations.

They also control our government in so many other ways. Look what happened this past year; some private businesses, apparently, were just too big to fail. Some of the so-called most capitalistic people (Wall Street and auto makers) in American took government bail out money. Talk about a socialistic turnaround. You'd think they were all from some decadent society.

Consequently we didn't let them fail, yet today many still have the same policies on executive compensation, spending, etc. that they had before the big bust.

Hey if your rich uncle is around to bail you out, why worry?

Can socialized medicine and capitalism live to together in the United States? Or should they? Many Americans say they dislike the idea of any kind of socialism yet they don't mind collecting social security checks when they retire. That is just one example of socialism that we already have. I guess how one feels about it all depends on whether you can benefit from it or not.

Let's face it, no country, no government, no movement has all the answers. So what it comes down to is compromise; it always has and it always will.

I just think we need to get on with real debate and solutions instead of everyone calling each other names over this health care issue. We have plenty of problems and they have been created by both ends of the political spectrum. This corporatism concept has had a big hand in all of this.

Let's get to talking about common ground, instead of quibbling over who did what to who and who is better than who. I think most Americans are sick of hearing both sides sling insults at each other. Congress sounds like a kindergarten class gone bad.

In fact, based on what I have heard from many of our leaders, five year olds seem to have more sense than many of those who are taking us down this nasty path.

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September 29, 2009
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