Capitalism and Government
A capitalism and government research paper attempts to discuss the relationship between an economic system, capitalism, and government. You will want to look at how selected exponents of capitalism have viewed the proper role of governments at all levels-federal, state, and local-in regulating the lives of citizens and the practices of the business community.
We must begin by stating that capitalism, taken as an ideological position that exalts private initiative operating in an unfettered free market, a position that is deeply suspicious of government interference in both individual lives and in markets, is not monolithic in nature. The capitalist critique of government constitutes a continuum in which various positions can be, and have been, taken with respect to the proper role of government.
This continuum, taken as a whole, has slid from the political right to the political left over time. The shape and structure of economic activity and the relationship of government to it has changed vastly since Adam Smith's time. A capitalism and government research paper notes the following:
- While the laws of the market, e.g. supply and demand, are still operative, they operate in a vastly different environment than existed at Smith's time.
- There have been, as many of the present day exponents of capitalism freely admit, periods in human history since Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of the Nations when "unfettered capitalism" has not worked well.
- Few of the most radical contemporary proponents of capitalism would call for a return to the bad old days of the "Robber Baron" era.
- Most contemporary advocates of capitalism do concede some legitimate role to the government.
This is pretty far from the pure laissez-faire, Smithian economics of the 18th century. It is also remote from the kind of "no-government-handouts-to-anyone-for-any-reason" position that business leaders preached during the opening phase of the Great Depression of the 1930s.