[QODLink]
Counting the Cost
Is capitalism bankrupt?
With a worldwide financial crisis and an outraged 99 per cent, we ask if the free market is free enough.
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2012 07:51

The world is a largely capitalistic economy - one that even communist China is embracing. But with a worldwide financial crisis, towering government debt and the public outrage of the 99 per cent, perhaps the free market is not free enough.

The world's largest economy, the US, has a $15.2tn debt. According to Tea Partiers, that is because government spending and central bank meddling has distorted the market. Occupy campaigners, however, argue that capitalism brings excessive wealth to the few.

To even the most fiscally unlearned, the disparity is obvious.

The Economic Policy Institute has found that 1 per cent of US households control 42.7 per cent of the country's assets.

And with wealth, comes influence - 24.3 per cent of all political donations in the 2010 election cycle were made by 0.01 per cent of Americans.

Sadly, the developing world gets left behind as well. According to the United Nations Children's Fund, the richest 20 per cent of the world’s population control 82.8 per cent of its income, while the poorest 20 per cent control just 1 per cent.

Capitalism is often celebrated as the panacea for the world's financial problems but in this episode, Counting the Cost looks at how the system is open to abuse, corruption and could benefit from taking a page out of the experiences of emerging economies.

Kamahl Santamaria speaks to Mark Weisbrot from the Centre for Economic and Policy Research; Bryan Caplan, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute in Fairfax; and Loretta Napoleoni, the author of Maonimcs: Why Chinese Communists Make Better Capitalists Than We Do.

 

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.

Click here for more on Counting the Cost.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.