Words we think we know - democracy, capitalism, socialism, Christianity, justice – are not simple terms. There are many variations and definitions of each. And they evolve.
Take, for example, capitalism. Many think that it simply means profit. Profit made by investment. In market economies, goods and products are generated and sold for profit. But there are several kinds of market economies. For example, liberated (Britain) and coordinated (Germany), which operate differently. Today, we have a service economy. Produced goods are only a fraction of our economy.
Some think that the only responsibility of capitalism is to make a profit and growing it as fast as possible. Profits for whom? A single owner? A mass of stockholders? Mutually shared by owners, managers, staff, salespeople and production workers? The government? The nation? A multinational corporation whose profits may appear largely in any country it chooses?
It is held to be proper that the income from renting one’s labor to an employer should be taxed for the benefit of society as is renting out your property or profits made from producing goods or providing services, or saving money in bank accounts. But at different rates? How about inheriting great wealth from one’s grandparents? Is gaining a profit by using sophisticated computer systems to jiggle stock market prices taxed at every purchase and sale like purchases in a store?
Technological advances generated by government supported military or space research lead to many profits. But for whom?
Theodore L. Zawistowski