From Andy Kessler in The Wall Street Journal, Quit Modifying Capitalism (paywall)
State Sponsored Capitalism (China)
Casino Capitalism (Bernie Sanders)
Sustainable Capitalism (Al Gore)
Patrimonial Capitalism (Piketty)
Surveillance Capitalism ( new one for me- Ivy League origin)
Conscious Capitalism (John Mackey)
Kessler properly dismisses these qualifiers. They appear to honor capitalism as an indispensable modern economic system, but need to qualify their support by twisting it to fit their superior view. Qualifiers can reverse a word’s meaning. Think ‘socialism’ and then ‘national socialism.’
My advice? Drop the modifiers. There is only one type of capitalism that works, and it goes like this: Someone postpones consumption, invests his savings to produce a good or service, delights customers, generates profits, and then consumes and invests what’s left in further production. These profits are pure, generated from price signals between buyers and sellers, without favoritism from experts or elites. It isn’t hard to grasp.
Profit is the ultimate measure of value to consumers—and therefore to society. Consumers benefit from buying stuff, or else they would make it all themselves, and producers benefit from selling, or else business wouldn’t be worth the effort. Of similar value, profits go both ways. “Experts” who poke their noses in only mess with this fine balance. And who needs central planning when there’s the stock market, where theories melt and reality bites? Stock exchanges are the true consiglieres of capitalism, providing capital to ideas deemed worthy of it and starving the rest.