- People are ultimately divided more by class than by nationality.
. While this holds some truth, it is false. Ideally, it will not be true as well, but we cannot have a meritocratic society without a class divide. This would help further the economy, because it will naturally boost ambition among the population. However, there should be sufficient social programs, that if a citizen is temporarily disadvantaged due to unforseen events, he would be able to get back on his feet and step back on the contributing ladder.
Put simply, the country should look after a citizen, no matter his social status.
- Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.
With this statement, I am split. While it is important to reduce unemployment numbers, it is more important to control inflation, in order to make sure the citizens with jobs would not be adversely affected, to a degree that would be detriment to their current economical level. If done steadily, when the economy allows, there is usually a connection between the two. With the reduction of unemployment, inflation increases for a set period of time, after which it goes down. That is when you can afford to further develop programs to ensure no person is left without contributing.
- Because corporations cannot be trusted to voluntarily protect the environment, they require regulation.
This is mostly false for a normal economic system that does not allow monopolies to be formed. People are environmentally aware. A company that cares for the environment will be in a higher standing and attract more customer attention and therefore, revenue, so it will be in its own interest to do so. There is room for some regulation, however, since some industrial activities have a direct social impact, such as waste disposal. Ultimately, companies often tend to be as environmentally friendly as possible, even in this day and age, where heavy regulations apply.
Furthermore, it has been proven that certain backwards cultures like Indians, their neighbours and Africans pollute the most.
- "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" is a fundamentally good idea.
This is true. It seems illogical and impractical to allocate resources and jobs based on what someone feels is their need since that is going to be different from person to person. If someone is good in one area, he deserves the rewards he gets from it in its entirety. If he make a product useful for society and requires a product made by someone who follows that same principle, you would make sure no redundant work is done and therefore, no resources are wasted and work is geared to a more productive purpose.
- It's a sad reflection on our society that something as basic as drinking water is now a bottled, branded consumer product
This is false. Sure, people shouldn't be spending loads of money for something they could be getting for way cheaper, but there should be a freedom for a market of items, that seem redundant. If someone finds it necessary, it will be popular. Although the example with the water is bad, since tap water or other sources will often contail a lot of impurities and bacteria. If we take that into account, bottled water is especially valuable as a clean source of water because not everyone lives near a spring. But even in other cases, there are benefits to things that might seem frivolous at first.
- Land shouldn't be a commodity to be bought and sold.
Wrong again. A person owning their land is as natural as it gets. You can do with it as you please and you are free to trade with it for other commodities. You can establish your homestead there and leave it as ancestrial lands to your children.
If you do not have this option and if this is controlled by the state, you lose the leverage you have in society that you have worked for and earned or got inherited from your parents. This will remove any motivation a person might have to succeed in life because more often than not, acquiring property is going to be the end goal most people will have.
- It is regrettable that many personal fortunes are made by people who simply manipulate money and contribute nothing to their society.
This is mostly true, mainly because once a certain group gets a hold of these techniques, through collectivism, they monopolize the industry. If this is controlled by a national government, it might be a net positive, since it will incentivise personal involvement in the economy and financial system. Furthermore, it will provide the people, who are willing to take a risk and play with currency volatility, be that fiat or electronic, a good reward for it.
- Protectionism is sometimes necessary in trade.
This is true. While I am generally for a free market of a sorts, protectionism is needed to control prices of essential living items so that people can afford it even at the poverty line. It does not mean, however, it will apply to all items. If we want a competitive atmosphere, the market should be as free as possible. Mercantilism and the likes needs to be handled by society, the family unit and the Church.
- The only social responsibility of a company should be to deliver a profit to its shareholders.
It depends in what way. If you account for a company working under classic Capitalism, sure. I believe, however, that it will be good if a minimum barebone of a regulation when it concerns their interaction with employees and clients. Think of it as a form of "Quality control". In essence, this means fitting in a good ratio between the satisfaction levels between all three sides, while making sure everyone is profiting as intended. This usually happens on its own, but it will be good to have some sort of assurance when it comes to it.
- The rich are too highly taxed.
I do not claim to be an expert on this topic, but at least in my home country, Bulgaria, that is not the case as there is a form of universal taxation percent based on income and that technically means that everyone is contributing proportionally to what they earn. Now the problem lies in tax evasion, most often than not. Through that, it extends and forms corruption, sometimes in the highest layers. There needs to be tough restrictions and heavy penalties in order to ensure this does not happen, even if we need to make an example of the heavy offenders.
- Those with the ability to pay should have access to higher standards of medical care.
Right on. Your success should impact on the quality of healthcare received. In a proper meritocratic society, for which I have made many arguments, this will motivate others to do better and let people manage their finances as appropriate. The average person can just make an emergency bank account that could handle any damages or hospital expenses in which he deposits monthly the amount of tax he would've paid. And if someone is requesting more than he can afford, too bad. No one should be forced to pay for others healthcare, at least at this point.
- Governments should penalise businesses that mislead the public.
Yes, they should. A business needs to be aware of the threat of government taking actions when a company steps out of line and starts misleading or baiting their clients. There needs to be a system where an objective study can be done on the companies that are accused of that and measure whether action is needed or not, to avoid the threat of competitors misusing this to bring down competition. Although even then, the goods would outweigh the bads.
- A genuine free market requires restrictions on the ability of predator multinationals to create monopolies.
As I have touched before in a previous answer, this is true. If anything, when a monopoly is inevitable, it would be better that it is local than a multinational one. Ideally, there would be no monopolies as the government will oversee this and take appropriate actions for that not to happen. One example would be the handling of oil. Most countries will have a source of a sort that usually is monopolized and as a result, it is served at a higher price, therefore people and governments have to resort to austerity to be able to afford it or to look for a foreign source.
- The freer the market, the freer the people.
This is rather false. As mentioned before, a free market does not mean that people will be necessarily "free" in the sense that their quality of life will improve. Sure, they might have the option to choose, but I would assume that most people would prefer a cheaper option, even if it is standardized and regulated. While the idea of this is good, I cannot see a viable system in which this will be both beneficial to the citizens and be true in its extent.