You suggest that usury can be quantified but not excessive profits. Not true.
Very true. The traditional definition of usury, going back thousands of years, is paying *any* interest on a debt. As a Muslim, I still hold to this definition, and do not borrow any money at interest.
What you’re getting at is the “new” definition of usury, which is “excessive” interest on a loan. And you’re correct, by that new definition, usury cannot be quantified.
I can say that usury is anything over 20% and most people would agree.
I would agree that that is currently true.
I would also say that any net profit (after taxes) over 25% is excessive too.
That’s your prerogative to believe that, but if you were to codify that into law, you’d trash the economy.
Capitalism can be regulated. There is a difference between laissez faire and that which is regulated.
I think we need to distinguish between business practices which can be regulated, and regulating capitalism itself. For example, telling a company (for example) that they can’t pollute isn’t regulating capitalism.
Capitalism works because the principles of supply and demand and profit motive are universal. You can have wise regulation on business practices, and that’s fine, assuming they are not so egregious that they create negative incentives to (for example) employ people or hire domestically.
We know this from history. Uncontrollable capitalism ultimately results in Great Depressions and Great Recessions that devastates billions of people. Of course the wealthy just get a tiny bit less wealthy.
Precisely my point. The Great Depression was ultimately caused by ill advised Fed practices (raising rates when they should have lowered them, and not understanding the implications of allowing banks to fail) along with a really bad decision on tariffs (Smoot-Hawley).
Similarly, the Great Recession was ultimately caused by the removal of regulations which prevented risky loans.
But neither failure on the part of the government was a failure to regulate CAPITALISM; they were failures to regulate certain business practices that lenders were engaging in.