Political economy theory has ossified since the end of the cold war. The electorate of the United States is virtually illiterate on what political economy is. Academic elites seem equally ignorant of the malleability of political economy and its readiness for reconstructive invention. A.O.C.’s recent Green New Deal had a sentiment of expensive remediation of greenhouse gases and socialist redistribution presenting great opportunity costs; a very expensive and inadequate approach to the vast ecospheric decline problem of which global warming is just one symptom.
Some of the electorate knows of classical, semi-Aristotelian ideas of political philosophy forms such as tyranny, democracy and aristocracy. They may additionally know of socialism and communism. Today, some regard capitalism as akin to a political form too. It is in a particular paradigm supported by democracy.
Political forms may be synthetic and readily invented as may political economy. Many Americans mistakenly believe macro-economics is technical and empirically subject to scientific and rigorous fine-tuning. Any economy system once selected may be technically supported with ratios, distributive allocations and so forth. The idea of creative destruction was especially useful for global capitalist enterprises evolving into planetary corporatism and plutocracy. It benefited from an ability to work well with socialist nations such as China seeking free market principles and ideas to stimulate the moribund repression of a socialist dictatorship of the proletariat’s ruling elites. Socialism represses; stifles free speech and the marketplace of ideas, as does corporatism.
The most notable fact of omission from the contemporary American political scene is the tools available for democracy to set or rest the parameters of political economy that could be utilized in transitioning the political economy of the nation to one that is ecologically responsible, sustainable and that eliminate undertows and rip tides of situation ally forced individual positions of repressive poverty. Democracy is something that is neglected today, except for electing status quo candidates that pursue pure consumptive political economies that are ruining the world ecosphere and causing a mass extinction. The latter may expand one day to include most of humanity too.
Capitalism is nothing more than material wealth. Capital acquisition is built up and sought by every form of government, though not necessarily. Natural capital is the wealth of water, land, ecosphere and the air that sustains life on this planet. Capitalism is a malapropism taken to mean a particular actualization of corporatist, market economics of advantage to the most rich most. It has a self-reinforcing networked concentration of wealth pattern. Politicians of both major parties support it though with some socialist redistributionist caveats.
Political economy is very difficult for ordinary voters to understand. They may encounter choices of old and venerable forms such as the perennial contest between capitalism and socialism-communism, yet as they pursue technical micro-economics and do not experience good ideas that would repackage the political economy within the democratic and free enterprise paradigm they elect to reinforce dysfunction policies given to them.
It would be possible to limit patent exclusivity to three years with 10% royalties for the inventor after three years if anyone manufactures and has sales with the invention. That would accelerate the pace of technological change locally. It would be possible to ban rectilinear lots and allow just circular with green space required between lots as a way to compel some green space for wildlife. It would be possible to cap the square feet of any housing for individuals, and to require that any constructions have no net loss of biota-possibly with greenery grown on the exterior of buildings. There are a number of ways to change the rules for a society within constitutional parameters to let government alter the political economy to one that provides theoretical life continuity for all remaining species including human life in the United States; other nations could follow the pattern changes if any nation, such as the United States, developed a political economy that is pro-quality growth and that stops the economic consumption of natural resources as if the environment itself was disposable over-all.
Human beings have limited capacity to think outside their usual occupational pursuits. They benefit from recurrent patterns of behavior such as commuting daily to work and a job with 2000 hours annually. Political economy is a non-proximal interest though it does affect them personally. Most politicians are not philosophers; they don’t have the time to think much about philosophical things even if it concerns the actual material and natural world they live in, so there is little prospect of leadership arising to guide the nation toward a free enterprise political economy paradigm that serves the interests of the people of the United States best.
While the political material in the public arena is just about redistributions or not, and while minorities or former minorities simple want to rise to the top of the capitalist consumer society without interest in bringing the nation toward an adaptive political economy of sustainability for all present life on Earth there is little prospect for change substantial enough to bring humanity and national voters back from the lemming-like vector of ecosphere disasters they are heading toward.
A democracy need support free enterprise because it is the most intelligent and free practice for individual life experience and creativity, yet free enterprise need by directed to exist within parameters of sustainable ecosphere political economics. Those enterprise practices that are least destructive to the environment would be favored over destructive ones. There should be object standards that are easy to comprehend for all free enterprisers to understand and comply with.
It might be a good idea to limit the amount of a nation’s wealth an individual may own, as a percent of national income, in order to defend democracy. An exception would be in free enterprise activity deemed glaringly beneficial for a sustainable economy and restoration of the environment. Examples might be space exploration and sustainable business and electric vehicles or power plants for them.
So long as economic activity is just that of free enterprise it is not a socialist political economy even when taxation is adequate to structure relief for the poor such that they would have enough capital to avoid economic traps and undertows.
Obamacare was a semi-socialist-corporatist takeover of the nation’s insurance that taxed young workers to redistribute their income in part, a large part, to middle class people and some of the poor. It would have been more practical to expand the nation’s existing Veterans hospital network and community clinics and provide free walk-in health service to those that are screened and proven to have no ability to afford necessary health care. Everyone else would buy their own health insurance or medical provisions. There is no cheaper or more practical way to actualize the compassionate conservatism that is a part of democracy.