To the Editor:

In response to “Capitalism’s day as dominant measure of social success is over,” A View From the Hill, Feb. 4, 2021, I’m afraid I don’t share Tamara Burke’s optimism about how modernizing regulatory review will put an end to capitalism — much less prove to be a boon to the common man.

Firstly, the memo itself, as quoted in Burke’s piece, lists economic growth as one of its priorities. How does one read this and infer that the capitalist model of endless economic growth — that Burke so rightfully critiques — will be challenged?

Secondly, to expect the industries responsible for polluting our planet, poisoning our bodies and guzzling our tax dollars to suddenly change course because of a memo that sports flowery language like “the interests of future generations” strikes me as hopelessly naive.

Regulatory agencies form a series of revolving doors with the most lucrative posts in the industries they are tasked with policing. Do we believe that suddenly, thanks to this document, they shall take up the cause of the common man?

While we may indeed be witnessing the end of capitalism as we know it, what rises in its stead is a shiny new brand of fascism, wherein the final vestiges of the free market are cast aside along with our privacy and civil liberties — anachronisms no longer viable in the new age of global pandemics and racial justice.

Burke interprets this memo as evidence that government agencies will finally be tasked with a righteous mission of restoring health and prosperity. I see new tools for the federal government to subjectively determine which elements of our society and economy may continue to exist, and which may not. Something tells me that the large, corporate interests most responsible for creating the current crises of poor health, environmental degradation, economic collapse and racial inequality will find themselves well equipped to meet these new regulations, while many small businesses will not.

I sincerely hope that we do look back at this moment in history as the start of a revolution, but to create the future I desire for my children, I have more faith in community organizations, barter economies and backyard gardens than government bureaucracies empowered and entitled by grandiose memorandums such as this.

Gabriel Roberts

Craftsbury

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