Some groups of human beings seem to need to believe they've found the best structures for living and then insist on living within them, accepting only the friendliest of criticisms. They turn religions into such structures. They also turn non-religious structures into these rigid frameworks. In the US particularly, they give a religious strength to the idea that capitalism and democracy, chained together, as we vaguely understand them, mark the height of human development. We also cling to the notion that somehow "rugged individualism" is the height of virtue.
We are all the more deceived because we have absorbed the belief that we are rational and that these economic and political ideas we hold are the results of a rational process. Social science approaches collude in this. Thus, we read voraciously endless studies that "prove" by their statistics that this or the other thing is true. Even more dangerously, we cling to the belief that social sciences not only accurately reflect the present, but also can predict the future; that by stripping out what can't be "measured objectively;" by removing distracting variables, etc, we arrive at some kind of complete knowledge.
We have to get past the idea that capitalism is the universal true religion and that the only alternative is that demon, socialism.
Anyway, read Amartya Sen's article and THINK.