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Capitalism, opportunism

To the editor:

Capitalism as defined by Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek and other classical economists no longer exists. That Capitalism envisioned a system whereby entrepreneurs created and invested in an enterprise that if successful produced value and generated a profit but likewise was subject to failure when it could not compete in a free market. Now, however, especially with regard to mega-banks and multi-national corporations rather than employ a share of the cash flow (income) toward research and development, plant and equipment, labor and contingency funds, most is considered profit and fanned to stock buybacks and paid for lackeys and minions in Congress and the Executive branch to force the taxpayer to bail them out.

To get cheap labor, they moved production to foreign countries. To avoid taxes, they moved their figurative headquarters to low tax or no tax countries such as Ireland, Panama, etc. When these countries usurp their intellectual property they cry for the protection of our laws and courts.

Now, in the pandemic, we are experiencing the consequences of moving production off-shore to avoid paying a living wage and a fair share of taxes. The lack of personal protective equipment, ventilators and other hospital supplies is a direct result.

As an example of bailouts: The airlines were bailed out in 2001, 2008 and now again in 2020 for $60 billion. In between these bailouts they made huge profits which they squandered on stock buybacks that were especially lucrative to top management and mega-stockholders.

Some of these multi-nationals have paid little to no taxes. Apple, even after the tax forgiveness program, still has billions stashed offshore.

Let’s be realistic. There is no bona fide Capitalism or free market. What we have now would be better described as opportunism or selfishness-ism.

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