We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If conservatives are to succeed, we need to convince people in the U.S. and around the world that capitalism makes them richer and freer. Given the mountains of evidence on our side, why is it so damn hard?
Because you took away all barriers protecting the average man from corruption, greed and the ability to exercise his rights as a consumer when you took away the laws demanding corporations and business to behave according to the BIG TEN rules, and because you don't help them to demand their right for transparencies. When you allowed the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) to be changed in order to mask/hide massive payments to failing leadership (1996/97), you sent a clear message to the rest of us - the common man who does not live in or near WALL Street--does not have insider information, etc; that message you sent was this--NO HOPE. Did you really think we wouldn't sense what was going on back then? We might not have understood your derivatives, or your need to cancel the Glass/Steagall etc. but our gut instincts were telling us each time you removed an inconvenient rule--
Stephen Moore: If conservatives are to succeed, we need to convince people in the U.S. and around the world that capitalism makes them richer and freer. Given the mountains of evidence on our side, why is it so damn hard?
Because of dichotomous thinking. It's not either-or. Every successful developed economy has a strong public sector as well as robust markets.
Some, such as Germany and Sweden, are doing fairly well. Other countries, especially weaker economies who don't control their own currency, not as well. Most developed countries' government spending falls in the range of 35-50% of GDP.
I think the natural human state is tribal/collectivist/low liberty. The West and US in particular evolved a more individual/higher liberty state that is continually at risk of devolving back to tribal/collectivist/low liberty from:
1. Emotional impulse as individual/high liberty state is so relatively new
2. Powerful propaganda agitating for tribal/collectivist/low liberty, i.e., Marx, Soviet Union, various popular philosophies such as critical theory, relativism
3. Abuses of individual/high liberty structure as Apple Pie has pointed out above
Most conservatives don't believe in Capitalism, especially free market capitalism. Conservatives by description are not pro freedom, but want to regulate behavior and their morality. As NJSoldier says so well liberty and freedom can't be separated.