It's a Wonderful Capitalism

I am thinking about "It's a Wonderful Life", that wonderful Christmas movie about George Bailey and Henry Potter. The movie seems to contrast two versions of Capitalism. The Potter form of Capitalism is fueled by greed and sees no value in serving anyone but Potter. In stark contrast, George Bailey presents us with a very different variety of Capitalism. One that seeks riches of heart as well as that of bank account.

Yet today we seem to celebrate the acolytes of Potter more than we do those of Bailey. We seem to have forgotten how much we loved George when he rescued homeowners from Potter's slums. And how much we hated Potter when he took advantage of people when hard times hit. George never gave up on people but trusted them to pay their debts even when it was not "good business" to do so. Henry Potter trusted no one but himself.

In the end we came to understand what the angel told George was true: "no man is a failure who has friends.". And perhaps that is the heart of what Capitalism should aspire to? A system where everyone looks out for each other as if they are their friends? A society that understands how much we need each other? In the end our country might look a little more like George Bailey's Bedford Falls than the godless town of Pottersville.

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