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Journey to Energy Independence

Capitalism — Global versus National Interest

free-market system: “an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit.” © Microsoft Encarta

Does Capitalism have limits? Is it possible for private ownership, and the pursuit of self-interest, to overreach and create an economic imbalance detrimental to the Nation?

Is there a role for the federal government? Should the United States of America be allowed to act in its own self-interest when it comes to energy independence?

When nation's act in their own self-interest, will a global invisible hand serve the greater good of the whole of humanity?

The principles of Capitalism are derived from observation. As with any principle, there exists the possibility of error in implementation. In a free market, such errors result in loss of profit, or bankruptcy. Thus, the market is self-correcting.

A self-correcting free market is good for a nation. When many corporations compete to provide goods and services, the consumer is more likely to have better choices and better prices.

But, in a global economy, when a nation becomes dependent on foreign sources of supply, and that supply is interrupted, what will happen? For example, what would happen if the USA was dependent on foreign suppliers for most of the blood that U.S. hospitals needed—and the suppliers failed to deliver?

Another example: what happens if the supply is steady, but the price increases dramatically?

Why would a nation—a people—allow such a thing?

Has capitalism in America become something like a religion? Are “we the people” required to suppress our national interests so not to interfere with the free market?

The global economy of the 21st Century is unprecedented in human history. Why do we put so much faith in global capitalism? We have no way of knowing how this is going to play out. What if the global invisible hand takes its sweet time and the blessings of global capitalism aren’t distributed evenly for another 500 years?

And, who is to say the next economic superpower will be as benevolent as the United States has been during its brief time at the apex of global economic power?

America's economic success is not the result of capitalism alone; indeed, it was American pragmatism combined with a healthy dose of economic nationalism—guided by the principles of capitalism—which produced the prosperity of the 20th century. Maybe it is time to reconsider the role of pragmatism in deciding America's energy and free trade Policies.

Capitalism was conceived and defined in Europe by Scottish philosopher Adam Smith.

Pragmatism was conceived and defined in the USA by American philosophers William James, John Dewey and Charles Peirce.

   1. way of thinking about results: “a straightforward practical way of thinking about things or dealing with problems, concerned with results rather than with theories and principles.”
   2. way of evaluating theories: “a philosophical view that a theory or concept should be evaluated in terms of how it works and its consequences as the standard for action and thought.”
   — © Microsoft Encarta

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