Capitalism is usually characterized by all of the following except: a. private ownership b. upward social mobility c. the dynamics d. government ownership of industry e. private investment in small and large businesses

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In answering this question it's important to understand what's meant by capitalism. That is to say, whether you're dealing with a theoretical construct or a system that operates in the real world.

In a pure system of capitalism there would be no government ownership of industry whatsoever. So in that case D would be the correct answer. But in the real world there have been few, if any, examples of pure capitalism. For a variety of reasons, many of them based on strategic or national security considerations, governments in capitalist countries have retained a considerable stake in the ownership of certain key concerns such as airports or telecommunications. That said, the commanding heights of the economy tend to remain in private hands, meaning that it's still possible to describe such systems as capitalist, albeit mixed capitalist.

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One strategy for answering questions like this is to look for answers that contradict each other.  Once you find such answers, one of them has to be the right one because they can't both be true.

In this question, A and D cannot really both be true.  Either the government owns industries, or people do.

In pure capitalism, industries are owned by the people, not by government.  This means that D is the correct answer -- this does not usually characterize capitalism.

Of course, our US government owns some industries -- like the Post Office or (in my county) the electric company.  But that's because we're not a pure capitalist economy.

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