The word “capitalism” is arguably the most mis-used in the English language.

Hugely handicapped by being called Damien, a massive embarrassment for anyone to bear, Herald reporter Damien Venuto, in an otherwise very good report on the demise of Media Works’ closed FM radio show after it failed to attract an economic audience, concluded, “this is just the cold, brutal reality of capitalism…”

No Damien, it’s nothing to do with capitalism. It’s the cold reality of the market economy, a quite different phenomenon.

Capitalism still prevails today in some oil-rich Arab states but otherwise has not been a meaningful economic factor since the early-mid 19th century.

All of today’s great multi-billion fortunes, such as with Musk, stem from innovation rather than the possession of capital.

The mid-19th century advent of the German devised limited liability company brought about a huge economic expansion as it allowed the market economy to flourish. Hitherto innovative economic activity was largely the domain of a wealthy small faction.

The limited liability company structure was also economically democratic in opening up participation to everybody without fear of being wiped out and not just the domain of the already wealthy.

Another aspect of the lively market economy is the misunderstanding regarding constant company collapses. If these didn’t occur then it would reflect a failure in the economy slipping back to a capitalist monopolistic situation market.

It’s why all western governments are hyperactive in intervening whenever a monopolistic situation arises albeit admittedly through their success

Economic theorists argue it’s the only flaw in the market economy which is why they justify government intervention.

So the cold hard fact re Tova O’Brien, Duncan Garner and company is they simply weren’t good enough at their trade, thus their show’s closure.

In the recession ahead watch numerous builders and property developers in particular go over in droves. Their failures will reflect the system working, or, as accurately said by Warren Buffett, “when the economic tide goes out it exposes the naked bathers,” which is as it should be.



That was very informative thanks Bob. I had never had occasion to consider the meanings of, and make a distinction between, capitalism and market economy. Now I know.

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