The U.S. Constitution guarantees people the right to due process, equal protection under the law, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and press, right to keep and bear arms, freedom to peaceably assemble, freedom to petition government for a redress of grievances, freedom of unreasonable search and seizure, and right to vote. However, these listed rights do not negate the unlisted rights and powers retained by the people. In this, unlisted rights can be, and have been, determined by the U.S. Supreme Court, such as right to privacy.
Perhaps the most discussed rights the people have are to personal security, personal liberty, and private property.
These latter rights are what have been used to justify capitalism and explain that America is not to live under a socialistic or communistic society, for the Constitution regulates the powers of the federal government. In so doing, it limits the federal government’s infringement upon and within the people’s lives – government is to serve and protect the people.
With these basic, fundamental foundations in place, it can be construed that the people have the right to open a business and conduct such business without the interference of the federal government, unless interstate commerce commences.
A business opened up on Main Street whose sole consumer demography lies within the state borders shall not be infringed upon by the federal government. Businesses who open their doors, do business across state lines, and decide to trade securities on Wall Street however, are subject to federal government intervention as it pertains to the interstate commerce clause afforded the government in the Constitution.
This is where it gets a bit tricky, for now that the government has grown to an exponential size with an exorbitant amount of regulations, differences of opinions and assumptions arise, and abuses of the process occur. The current “Occupy Wall Street” protest is a fine example of the misunderstanding between both the protesters and the media as to the most basic of words – Capitalism.
It can be argued that due to the enumerated rights penned in the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. is not to live under Socialism nor Communism, which leaves a society free to indulge in Capitalism.
It can also be argued that without proper regulation, Capitalism can get out of control and become a haven for greed and corruption.
While the Constitution does not specifically establish the right to a capitalist society, it is a right by reasonable deduction of what the Constitution says the American society is not. In that, people have the right to boycott a particular company or corporation if they feel corruption and greed has overcome the common sense and sensibilities of those in charge of the corporation. It makes no sense to boycott Wall Street for corporate greed while utilizing technologies and gadgets produced by those same corporations. It also makes no sense to assume that when a group is boycotting Wall Street that they are trying to diminish and stand against Capitalism as a whole.
It would behoove both sides to acknowledge the reality of the state of the economy without personal finger pointing past the underlying facts of out-of-control corporate greed and government interventions, regulations, and bailouts funding those corporations. Both sides are postulating ideas and ideologies about the other side all because of assumptions and non-understandings which is further fueling the flames of a capitalistic society division.
Capitalism at its best is where the people start and grow their own businesses and prosper from such, which in turn grows the economy. Capitalism at its worst is when some of the businesses leaderships begin to take advantage of their consumers and where government gets involved with picking and choosing the winners and losers.
Capitalism is a simple ‘sink or swim’ economic model. Capitalism is not meant as a means of economical control of the people. When Capitalism gets back to its basic foundation, Main Street will thrive, the economy will flourish, and Wall Street will not be as important in our lives. So long as Wall Street is allowed to remain as the mainstay and predictor of the U.S. economy, corruption, greed, and government intervention will continue and the economy will never regain its profitable and true ‘free trade’ market society.