Letter: The rights and responsibilities of a capitalist society

Americans sometimes have difficulty recognizing the insidiousness of unchecked capitalism – the insidiousness of the belief that “greed is good.” Unchecked capitalism can be characterized by capitalism that is unregulated and callous, ruthless or corrupt.

A belief that capitalism can do it all denies the belief “it’s not all about me” that comes with morality, responsibility and religion.

A belief that capitalism can do it all also ignores the need for a healthy competition achieved through regulation. For example, leaders in industry have previously expressed a desire to be regulated by government to achieve fairness in environmental regulation, since being under a system that relies on companies voluntarily purchasing pollution-reducing technology means those that do so are at a financially competitive disadvantage to those that don’t. Without this regulation, a prevailing business environment lacking in restraint is fostered.

In addition, a belief that capitalism can do it all denies a greater good that goes beyond mere greed being good. It therefore denies the commonweal as well.

Though we have a right to the fruits of our labors, we also have a responsibility to share nonessential resources with fellow persons in need.

Moreover, all persons have a right to share in the resources of the planet.

For those that have and those that have not, finding a cause greater than ourselves can be rewarding.

James Schacht