I’ve really been enjoying the work of my friends over at In Earnest, a lovely new web magazine about living intentionally. And while economics has never been my favorite subject, I thought this little piece on capitalism by Laura Herrod (a former student of mine!) was excellent:
Words like “capitalism” and terms like “the middle class” are commonly used when discussing what’s happening in our country and our economics. “Middle class struggles are capitalism’s fault,” some cry. Others beg to differ: let capitalism have free reign and the middle class will benefit. The meanings of these words could not be muddier.
As we argue and advocate, we do well to define our terms clearly and understand what the same terms mean when used by people on the other side of the aisle. By taking a walk in someone else’s shoes, maybe we can get past the rhetoric and on toward better solutions to grapple with rising inequality and economic uncertainty.
And so I ask, what does capitalism mean anyway?