Excellent piece, it elucidates well the underlying logic and values of capitalism. It must be said though that it reflects a view of how capitalism *should* work, but not (as far as I can tell) how it *is* working in the modern economy. Savings and investment feeding into a virtuous cycle of productivity-boosting technology, with broadly shared wealth gains fueling further savings and investment is the As-Seen-On-TV version of capitalism.

Once, the largest companies were in turn the largest investors, building plants, employing workers, investing into the productivity-boosting hard technologies that accelerated the U.S. post-WW2. Today, the largest companies need do little investment at all, their business models expressly capital-lite. They make money from economic rents charged on legally protected intellectual property. The value chain of production is staggeringly fractured. A business as seemingly straight-forward as a hotel likely licenses its branding, its physical property owned by another pool of capital, its operations outsourced, those operations themselves relying on sub-contractors for cleaning or food & beverage execution. In such a system the link between hard work and returns on capital become too disambiguated. Financialized, rentier capitalism becomes just as deleterious as socialism. When what you own supersedes what you do as a path to wealth, the populace is similarly directionless and unmotivated. Hard work ceases to be "the quintessence of self-actualization and advancement within this system."

The issue however is not that our current system is an aberration, or a case of capitalism gone rogue, rather it is the only logical endpoint. The golden age of capitalism existed when there was greater state protectionism, stronger labor unions and more robust social and community ties. Much of that has faded way into a shapeless global mass of GDP. I believe the faster we can dispense with misplaced nostalgia and pious repetition of Hayek, we can address the state of capitalism as we find it *today.* We can begin developing a new vision of market-based systems and a more classically conservative view of how capitalism should operate.

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One of your best essays.

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Excellent essay. Reflecting on the cultural aspect and cultures' interpretation of capitalism is an interesting point.

Yet thinking in Europe and the curious case of economic malaise that the UK finds itself in, when compared to other culturally similar nations (e.g. NL, DEU, DK, SWE, NOR, IRE) makes me ponder, like many, the reasons. Capitalism here (I'm a Scot) doesn't necessarily feel like the problem - but maybe it's our inability to invest capital effectively.

Obviously a huge question not necessarily related to this article but curious on anyone's thoughts?

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