Capitalism and Democratic Socialism: Positive Middle Path
I've lived during the boom of 1990s, and I've lived during the economic gloom of the last decade. What I've seen is as follows: When capitalism works, it works wonders; but when it doesn't, things get really ugly, really quickly. In a purely capitalist setting, where everyone has to provide for themselves, a recession can be injurious, deadly, humiliating, and a cause of social unrest. In socialist settings, a recession does not have such disastrous results, as there is something for people to fall back on. However in socialist settings, there are serious bureaucratic impediments to economic growth, and socialist economies do not produce wealth at the same rate as do capitalist economies.
There are people who believe in the middle path; but I don't just believe in the middle path, as the middle can be found in any number of places, many of them completely inadequate. I believe in the positive middle path that combines the virtues of each side while doing away with their flaws. A positive middle path would allow people to have virtues of both systems while having none of their flaws. Thus, as in pure capitalism, there should be growth-supporting policies and minimal to none impediments to economic growth. And as in democratic socailism, there should be provisions that allow people to remain afloat when economic times are bad, as well as effective efforts to train people in marketable skills when their jobs get outsourced or lost for any other reason.
In any system, there are positives and there are negatives; and the challenge is not to maintain strict adherence to any system, but to maximize virtues of all systemes and minimize their flaws. It is to achieve an optimization scenario in which benefit is maximized and wrongs are minimized. People should be able to live in the best of all worlds, where benefits of both capitalism and socialism are extended to the people while the downside of both systems is contained. That means: Minimal regulation, minimal trade restriction, and effective growth-sustaining policies to maximize economic growth; combined with a working social safety net to reduce the ugliness that takes place when capitalism flounders or moves away.
The result being: Benefit optimized; misery contained; and a system that works for people in it, whatever the times and whatever the economic situation.