Anyone that says this is not capitalism failing but rather socialism creeping in our back door and destroying our financial system clearly doesn't understand either capitalism or socialism.
Capitalism is a completely free market allowing businesses the ability to do anything they choose in order to increase profits. In a capitalist society businesses also hold the power to govern, using funds to influence government officials and other private firms. This is the situation that led to our housing prices rising to higher prices than their actual value. Banks did anything they could in order to put people into homes and seal a mortgage in order to increase short-term profits. No regulations were in place to prevent this irrational behavior, and now the nation pays for it as a whole.
Socialism is a free market system with near total transparency, strict regulations and protection systems of checks and balances that prevent the corruption inherent in free market systems. Generally more taxation is needed to fund the government's ability to employ citizens to fill these roles. This creates a much more stable system that provides focus on the advancement of the social community rather than large corporations' profits.
The founders wrote our constitution and set up a government based on a democratic system of checks and balances to prevent fraud and corruption, and to promote growth of the people as a whole. As our country has grown, however, many new sectors of government have not provided the same system of checks and balances and loopholes have been put in place to circumvent the old system. This brings us to where we are today. Companies dictate which people with certain illnesses live or die, and how our Congressmen vote, and create speculative pricing systems to increase profits.
So you can see, capitalism provides no check on greed, corruption and oppression, leading to the rise in power of the elite rich but the severe decline of a society as a whole (taxpayer money has been spent to give CEOs bonuses for failing). This is how the ancient society of Babylon was set up, and we know what happened to them. We need to learn and change before it's too late.
Oct 25 2008 - 9:47am