Contemporary Issues Forum Event:
Fixing Capitalism to Save Democracy
• Wednesday, September 13, 7:00-9:00 PM
• Parish Hall, Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1553 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara
• $10 (suggested donation to cover costs)
WELCOME to the Contemporary Issues Forum, a monthly series designed to promote understanding, enlightenment, and engagement on complex societal, technological, economic, and policy issues that shape our world.
We are excited to kick off our series with two excellent speakers, Dr. Richard Flacks and Dr. Richard Appelbaum, who will be discussing the challenges of capitalism and democracy in the United States today.
Capitalism and democracy have been intertwined throughout the history of the United States. In capitalist economies, the role of businesses is to compete in free and fair markets and succeed by providing the best products and services for consumers. The role of liberal democratic governments is to set the rules of the game and ensure the availability of certain fundamental public goods when markets are unable or unwilling to provide them. Although capitalism and democracy are both based on the principle of individual choice, democracy depends on political equality, while capitalism depends on inequality of rewards.
There is growing recognition that American democracy is very fragile right now, due in part to the inability of our democratic system of government to check the influence and power of wealthy entities to control the political system that sets the rules by which markets operate.
This imbalance of power has led to tax cuts, deregulation, and more limited government, which in turn has led to income inequality, inadequate funding of social programs, a dysfunctional healthcare system, inaction on climate change, and a narrative that our country’s problems are the result of government policies, not market failures and the limitations of capitalism.
So, how can we fix capitalism to save democracy? Or perhaps, how can we strengthen democracy to reap the benefits of capitalism without the unwanted consequences?
Come to the forum on September 13 to find out! The forum is open to USSB members and guests.
– Jack Eisenhauer and John Warnock, co-directors
The Contemporary Issues Forum promotes understanding, enlightenment, and engagement on complex societal, technological, political, and economic issues that shape our world. It is designed to build our understanding of the underlying factors and global context that define the current state of affairs. It also seeks to explore strategies to overcome challenges to progress and achieve productive outcomes.
We meet on the second Wednesday of every month from September to July in Parish Hall from 7:00 tp 9:00 PM. All are welcome!