The Myth of the ‘Capitalist System’
The Persistence of the Mixed Economy
One of the indices that mark the retrogression of public discourse since the 1970s is the fact that we now take it for granted that the United States and other, similar nations have a “capitalist system” or a “market economy” instead of a “mixed economy,” the term preferred by mid-century American thinkers for the typical blend of public good provision, social insurance, and private enterprise in advanced industrial nations. Equally misleading is the idea that the Cold War, rather than being a great-power struggle, was an ideological battle in which “capitalism” won and “socialism” lost. To the extent that economic models were involved, state socialism was discredited by comparison with the economic performance of variations of the mixed economy in which government typically accounts for 40-50 percent of national GDP.