I do know, however, the difference between good times and bad times. When I look back on the good times, it has always been a time in our history (of the United States, I mean) when people were working at good jobs and making good money and buying things for their families.
The bad times were when lots of people were out of work and a lot more were worried they might lose their jobs any day.
So, that's how I judge our economy rather than whether we are in a socialistic or capitalistic period in our history.
Right now, a lot of people are not happy. A lot of people are out of work. People don't have money to buy things for their families.
Now, a lot of you reading this are a lot smarter than I am with regards to economic theories, but it seems to me the top priority of our government right now should be concentrated on fostering an atmosphere that was conducive to creating jobs and putting people back to work so they could buy things (like food and clothing and maybe new cars) and be happy again.
Something else I know is that jobs are produced by small businesses and factories and contractors. Jobs created by the government for people to go to work for the government are top-heavy in the sense they are an expense, for the most part, which must be paid for by taxes.
Government jobs are necessary of course, but we should be mindful that it is not really productive for the government to simply "make work" for people and put them on the government payroll, taking the money to pay them out of the pockets of all workers. Better, it seems, to let private businesses hire people and pay the workers out of profits.
Again, where do private jobs come from? They come from private business owners who are willing to risk their savings, or risk borrowing money, to expand their businesses, or start new businesses.
Why would a government who should be wanting to increase employment ("good times") in our country instead try to stifle and cripple the very people who hire other people?
Right now, our government is about to (January 1st) raise taxes on the wealthy in this country - the people who have business and hire people to work in them. This tax increase is not going to make the wealthy go hungry, but it IS going to stop them from expanding their businesses and hiring people.
Capitalism is what creates wealth for everyone from the top on down in this country. It helps the wealthy buy another yacht and it helps Joe Plumber buy a new car and Christmas presents for his kids. Socialism, (social programs, I mean) on the other hand, is a necessary government expense to care for our needy citizens. Over-regulation stunts capitalism and can actually kill it. It is pretty sick in this country right now.
When you heavily tax the entities which alone are capable of creating "real" jobs (not tax jobs) then I say you are shooting yourself in the foot. When you create an atmosphere of uncertainty, no one is going to go out and borrow big money to open a new factory, especially if they are pretty sure the government is going to tax all the profits out of such an enterprise. So money sits on the sidelines, like it is right now, and waits for the return of certainty.
It seems to me our present government and crew have created that atmosphere of uncertainty. They are not dependable. No one knows what they are going to do next.
For a long time, I didn't understand how cutting taxes brought in more actual money into the government treasury. I think there are a lot of people in this country right now - Democrats AND Republicans - who still don't understand the magic of this paradox that capitalism produces. Otherwise they wouldn't be so quick to raise taxes on people who hire people, and would not be so sure that it was time to kill the goose who lays our golden eggs.
The magic is really quite simple: cut taxes and allow people to keep more of the money they earn, and that extra money will be spent and reinvested. People will make more money, and because they make more money, they will pay more in taxes, even though the tax rate is lower. With more actual money coming in, the government then has money to fund it's needed social programs.
The whole point of capitalism is to get a lot of money into circulation, through profits, and keep it there, and keep everyone spending it. Let people who want to create jobs, who are good at creating jobs, start hiring Americans again. Don't make them sit on the sidelines or, worse, take their money offshore and employ people in other countries. Let's build some factories HERE for a change. Insist that our government make it EASY for businesses to start up, expand, increase their incomes.
The current pervading atmosphere is one of spending, debt, government takeovers, and the stifling of free enterprise. Government is NOT the answer to our troubles.
The government is, or should be, good at making people play by the rules. Let's let them stick to that job, and otherwise get the hell out of the way.