[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.