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20Sep/120

Capitalism and the Constitution

Wally

Where in the Constitution is it stated or implied that the U.S. economy should be based on vulture capitalism, or for that matter, any kind of capitalism? Nowhere! However,the Preamble to the Constitution does clearly mention "promoting the general welfare."

“We the People of the United States in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The United States Constitution's Fifth Amendment ensuring private property rights to citizens can be viewed as a mainstay of capitalism. Private property ownership allows individuals to do what they want with their goods. That ownership allows and enables a citizen to use his property to start a business or provide a service.

Does this imply a pure capitalist economic model? Not necessarily, or at least, I do not think so. Many of our country's allies respect private property ownership, while simultaneously providing many social programs promoting the general welfare of their citizenry.

I personally do believe that a capitalist, or a free market model, is the best economic model for the United States, but I do not believe that this model is dictated by the Constitution. Unconstrained capitalism acting contrary the general welfare of our citizenry is a violation of one our constitution's most fundamental principles. Monopolies which diminish competition are a detriment to the free market. Collusion between bankers to fix interest rates, and the exportation of American jobs simply do NOT promote the general welfare.

So let’s move forward with an emphasis on what the Constitution does require. And let’s start with the five points listed in the Preamble:

Establish Justice

Insure Domestic Tranquility

Provide for the Common Defense

Promote the General Welfare

Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and Our Posterity

As long as the capitalist free market model implemented in the U.S. does not contradict or interfere with these and other fundamental principles of our constitution then it is a viable model. If that economic model violates those principles, it is simply UNAMERICAN.

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