Reading the November-December 2006 issue of Public Citizen
News, I began to think of the “greed is good” mentality that
popularized movies and books just a few years ago. This edition
highlighted some of the excesses that accrue from the glorification of
Given this fallen world, I believe that capitalism – free enterprise
– is the best possible economic system: a system that rewards hard work
and ingenuity. Webster’s dictionary defines “free enterprise” as
“freedom of private business to organize and operate for profit in a
competitive system without interference by government beyond regulation
necessary to protect public interest and keep the national economy in
Because this is an imperfect world, there must be oversight and
balance. Humans have always been prone to excesses of a negative nature;
therefore those who use our economic system as an excuse to cross the
line and stray into crime and corruption must be curtailed.
Public Citizen tries to take positive, legal action to
protect the public from companies who get carried away with greed. One
example that I’ve mentioned before involves the pharmaceutical industry
and their “disease mongering.”
That is only one of many excesses that has gotten out of hand.
Another example is the public subsidy of oil companies to the tune of
$10 billion annually! The political manipulations and use of loopholes
by powerful, greedy corporations are shameful. But since it is pretty
obvious that being ashamed is not one of their characteristics, a
watchful eye and legal action are needed to keep them honest.
Oversight is necessary to restore balance when greed threatens to
overcome the best economic system in the world.