In a democracy, bounded by place and geography, we vote for constraints on capitalism and corporate activities so that everyone, on balance, can live a better life, a decent life.
We vote for things that enhance the commons and the long term prospects of our culture, like environmental protections, child labor laws, workplace safety, toxin labeling, mandatory education. These constraints increase short term costs and may either increase prices or decrease profits. Citizens in a democracy are willing to accept that tradeoff- because while they like to make money, they ALSO want a country with good infrastructure, vibrant culture, research that will benefit the long term health of the population, a level economic playing field, clean air and water, a way to take care of the people who fall through the cracks in the society, and opportunities to thrive in their life in other ways. (more…)