Your almost there kathyp 8-) . At least you're asking some questions and that alone is a good thing ;) . But you do have it mixed up a bit, not your fault. WE are all indoctrinated from birth to believe a lie that places some at the top of society and others at the bottom, w/ both supported by the middle.
Have you read any Henry George yet? Many can't make it past the introduction of "Progress and Poverty" and then assume they know what's inside, a common human flaw. But all is not lost.
"IF" you are really interested in what I am trying to convey, start there. You may find that we have much more in common than you ever realized, and like a miracle (I'm not kidding) you 'will' experience a shift in consciousness.
"By and large, people have always put conformity above reform."
Capitalists and Socialists 'appear' to disagree about everything. But there is 'one' area of political economy where their views are very similar. Both camps like to lump LAND and CAPITAL under the single heading of CAPITAL and many even include money as capital. This presents us w/ the ultimate confusion, purposely implemented (you'd know that if you read the book or have studied economics for any period) upon the 'sleeping' masses.
This confusion prevents socialists from seeing the possibility of a beneficial free market without the element of MONOPOLY. And it prevents capitalists from seeing the fundamental role of the public sector in a just and prosperous market economy.
Both sides get pretty worked up trying to force one philosophy or the other upon each other and I can assure all readers; That this is NEVER an accident. How am I doing so far?
So, is there any standard of justice that economic policy can be based?
First we must clarify the question of the rightful basis of public vs private ownership. No easy feat w/ all the confusion thrown at us....on purpose and done solely to keep us that way.
Because of all the 'spirited' (largely emotionally driven) back and forth, the bulk of the debate revolves around how much efficiency of free enterprise must be traded for public interference, imposed in the name of equity. OK, still with me?
The question of a 'rightful' balance then becomes one of expediency and political fashion and clearly lacks ANY guiding principles. In fact, so called 'modern' neoclassical economics denies (?) that any such principle exists. Talk about confusion.
However, the principle when viewed w/out all the forced confusion is actually quite clear. Here goes;
"The value of natural opportunities belongs entirely to the community, and the production of wealth by LABOR, using capital, should be entirely unburdened by taxation (I know some are rubbing their eyes and reading that again, heh?).
The important question is not the amount of wealth that should be taken by the community, but the KIND of wealth that should 'rightfully' go to the community, because it is a value that was 'created' by the community. Read that sentence as many times as it takes to get it in your heads, because this is one of the ROOTS.
The EARTH belongs to all people. Always has. It is a simple concept that once completely understood and purposely adopted will result in an END to poverty around the Globe, as well as the END of MONOPOLIZATION by the few.
I sincerely hope this inspires some readers to at least give Henry George a look-see and ask whether its time for his ideas to finally come to fruit in a big way. Although he's been dead for over 100 years I for one believe his theories are finally ready to be implemented on a worldwide scale. I also think 'people' are ready for 'something' different than what we all are beginning to recognise as a great theft upon us all, that is in place ONLY TO BENIFIT the already well-off, welfare culture of leisure. The people have been waiting for this solution for a long time.
I also happen to believe that only when we do so, will we end the monopolization of 'our' planet by a handful of greedy capitalists (anti-socialists ;)) running wild w/ yours and my money, LAND and capital.
As I've pointed out on a number of occasions, the communities that have adopted some GEOISTIC economics have done pretty well by them. And more are enlisting these ideas all the time. America has been lagging behind (w/ exception of Alaska and a few small US communities, many abroad) and needs to play some catch up IMO.