Seth MacFarlane made a pretty neat economic analogy. Paraphrased - sometimes your soup tastes watery, so you add some salt. Sometimes your soup is too salty, so you add water or whatever to your taste. There's a balance.

You shouldn't think of real-world economies as purely socialist or purely capitalist. Either approach taken to the extreme is nonsensical. So the question becomes - how do we know whether we're too much one or the other?

Well...

  • Growth: Our economy is growing, but most of that growth has been concentrated at extremely high levels of individual wealth.
  • Debt: Our government's debt is shrinking compared with our capacity to pay it off.
  • Spending opportunities: We're falling behind in areas ripe for investment like education and infrastructure.
  • Ratio of income from capital vs. wages: It's getting harder to buy things using wages from labor, because they're stagnating. Meanwhile, it's getting easier and easier to make money if you already have it.

We could use some salt.