In Western societies, the capitalist system is facing a level of distrust not seen in decades. Economic inequality is rampant. Life expectancy is falling. The environment is being destroyed for profit. Political power is wielded by wealthy elites and big business. For capitalism's critics, it is clear that the system is not designed to help average people. Their solution is a top-to-bottom reform of the "free market" along more socialist and democratic lines. For proponents of capitalism, however, this system has been the greatest engine of economic and social progress in history.