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.
The people who have an explicit legal obligation to work not on our behalf but on behalf of their shareholders do a pretty good job of giving us what we want; the people who vow to work on our behalf do not. That is a paradox only if you do not think about it too much, and not thinking about it too much is the business that politicians are in.
If capitalism – which is to say, human ingenuity set free to follow its own natural course – is a kind of social machine, then politicians are something like children who take apart complex machines without understanding what they do or how to put them back together. (At their worst, they are simply saboteurs.) When they rail against capitalism, automation, trade, and the like, they resemble nothing so much as those hominids at the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, shrieking hysterically at something that is simply beyond their comprehension.
Of course, most politicians really do know better. They are just bullshitting people, which is their mission if they want to keep their easy job.
I have a new mission to not use the word capitalism with is only a version of the free market, and just use "free market" instead. Part of that is simply PR, as capitalism carries such bad connotations with some people that they can hear you. Let them call the free market whatever they want, it is an automatic force, like gravity.
Like gravity, it can be transcended for a cause, if one uses enough energy. Free-market nations actually do spend a lot of money on kindness and redistribution, because other values prompt us to extend care to others. But this comes at cost. It reduces efficiency, increases friction. That's fine - every tribe should be free to strike that balance however it wants. The difficulty comes when people believe that capitalism, socialism, mercantilism, communism, etc are on some equal footing and we might choose any at will without consequence. Markets = gravity. This must be the starting point.
Assistant Village Idiot
Human nature, even animal nature. Markets in everything.