“I think people should be allowed to reap the benefits of their hard work,” said one of my friends late last night in conversation, and I agreed. Capitalism as a system works better than any other. But unfettered capitalism, the reign of the free market? That leads nowhere good.
When even the most caring person acts in their capitalist role, all focus rests on the goal: making money. That’s what it’s all about. And concerns about things like ethical behaviour or human tragedy fall by the wayside when there’s a moneymaking opportunity. People don’t mean to be cruel and heartless . . . but, after all, they have a debt to the shareholders. If we’re not extraordinarily mindful of our choices, money can make us mean.