Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Socialism, Communism, Democracy, Dictatorship, Monarchy, and many more forms of government have been chosen to rule a country. All countries have a combination of ideologies which economists call a "Mixed Economy." In the cartoon, is the artist right? What is the purpose of government? Are the people so "fed up" with distributional inequalities that it's time for a change?
Aristotle believed that the government is set up to maximize happiness for the people. Aristotle favored laws to protect private property and the role of politicians was to ensure that the people came first. In Aristotle's time, being a politician was a high honor. I think Aristotle would have believed in a democracy if he were alive.
Immanuel Kant believed in universal truths. Basically, what was good for one person should be good for all people. I think Kant would believe in Socialism if he were alive.
Wikipedia has an outstanding compilation of criticisms of capitalism. Some of the criticisms are: inequality, property rights, exploitation, sustainability, market failures, inefficiencies, monopoly power, and unemployment. This is an impressive list and I agree with all of the criticisms. However, couldn't these criticisms be levied against all forms of government? How did this artist's artistic talent develop? In other words, is artistic talent distributed evenly? So this artist made income off his/her talents in a free market. I think the artist would find that he/she only had the freedom to develop his/her talent in a free market society and would choose this type of governance if given the choice.
I love this cartoon for many reasons. One reason is that the toon shows how anger is a source of humor. I think this artist would be irate if he/she had to live under any other system of government. Would he be willing to stand behind a veil of ignorance and redistribute incomes and talents?