In the design of operating systems, there is a notion of policy vs. mechanism. A good mechanism in an operating system is one that enables a number of different policies to be implemented. One such mechanism, found in most modern operating system, is the scheduling of threads by priority. At first glance, this might seem to be a policy rather than a mechanism. But we haven't specified how priorities are assigned to threads. In fact, by assigning priorities in various ways, a number of different policies can be implemented, such as increasing the priority of interactive threads, or ensuring the priority of threads that have real-time requirements.
This mechanism is very flexible and powerful, but it is not without some problems. For example, if locking is supported between threads to control access to shared data, there is a potential for a higher priority thread to be stalled while a thread of intermediate priority continues to run. This can happen if a lower priority thread holds a lock that the higher priority thread needs to acquire in order to continue. As long as the intermediate priority thread continues to run, the lower priority thread will not run, and the lock will not be released.
There are ways to fix that particular problem, such as by dynamic adjustments to thread priorities when an attempt is made to acquire a lock. But the points I really want to make are that priority scheduling, however much it may appear to be a policy, is actually a mechanism, and that it has dysfunctional edge cases that may not be obvious. I claim that capitalism is actually a mechanism, not a policy, and also has dysfunctional edge cases.
I make this claim because arguments about capitalism often seem to assume that it is a policy. In my mind, a policy is a statement of what you want to achieve, and not of the mechanism by which you plan to do it. In fact, when we have arguments about capitalism vs. socialism, for example, those are really arguing about the merits of different mechanisms, and often never touch on what we consider to be good policy. There seems to be an implicit assumption that we all agree on the policies, so the discussion is just about how to implement them. I don't believe there is general agreement on the policies, because any attempt to discuss them is usually sidetracked by discussions of mechanisms.
Even if you're sure in your gut that capitalism is the right mechanism, there is much left unspecified, and edge cases to handle. So there still needs to be a discussion about the desired policies. The basis of those discussions are our values, which in the US are largely shaped by mass media, with many people just accepting certain sets of values uncritically. As it seems that capitalism has reached (or soon will) one of its dysfunctional edge cases, it might be a good time to start discussing values, then move from there to policies, and finally decide what mechanisms to use to implement the policies.