Fix the policy, not the politicians

I was extremely disappointed reading Res Stecker’s article, “Democracy, capitalism, incompatible” last week. While Mr. Stecker does put together a few correct assertions, the conclusions drawn from them are short-sighted at best, and purposely misleading at worst.

America, indeed, does not have a truly free market economy. And it is true that the blame for many of our economic woes lies squarely with our politicians. Some laws passed hurt almost all business for the sake of misguided altruism (minimum wage laws, mandated health care, etc.), while others are clearly intended to aid certain industries at the expense of others (protectionist tariffs, subsidies, etc.).

Rather than blindly lashing out at the “wealthy” politicians, it would be more productive to take a look at how to prevent such abuses from occurring in the first place. The problem is not who we elect to fill our governmental seats. A human will always be the one who wins, and as humans we are all fallible beings who will make mistakes and act out of self-interest. Even if an “Average Joe” farmer were elected to office, you can bet that they would vote in favor of continued subsidies to the agriculture industry.

The way forward is to change what these politicians are allowed to do. If we demand that our elected representatives stick only to the principles found in the Constitution, there would be no means for crony-capitalism abuses to exist. Capitalism can (and should!) be separated from government — but only if we demand it.

Antony Brown is a junior electrical engineering major.