Some Readings on next week’s “What Lies Beyond Capitalism/Socialism?”

This 4/29 topic fascinates me because it can get us to the philosophical differences that lie at the core of the liberal/conservative divide.  Jim will present.  I’ll post more tightly-focused stuff later.  But, in the interest of giving people time to read, here are three great reads:

First, I found a short article that summarizes a fascinating book I’m reading right now that is directly on-point.  It explains the extent to which our economy is now dominated by monopolies — to an extent not seen in 100 years — and the economic and political consequences.  Almost every industry and service sector is now controlled by 2-3 giant companies.  Examples: 

  • Lenscrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears eyewear, Sunglass Hut, Rayban, and others ARE THE SAME COMPANY,  all merged/acquired in the last decade.
  • Whirlpool owns Maytag, and thus controls up to 80% market share.
  • Retail (Wal-mart, Target), mining, laptops, computer ships, groceries, etc., etc., etc.

Second, as long as I’m here, here’s an interesting expression of how Liberals define “freedom.”  And, a very insightful 2005 piece on how conservatives and liberals view the role of government in our democracy.

More later this week.

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