Wikipedia defines capitalism thus:
"Capitalism is an economic system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth, are privately owned and controlled rather than state owned and controlled. Through capitalism, the land, labor, and capital are owned, operated, and traded by private individuals either singly or jointly, and investments, distribution, income, production, pricing and supply of goods, commodities and services are determined by voluntary private decision in a market economy. A distinguishing feature of capitalism is that each person owns his or her own labor and therefore is allowed to sell the use of it to employers." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism).
The definition puts "ownership" and "control" of the capital in the same sentence, but does not stipulate that it is the same individual that both owns and controls the resources.
And therein lies our problem.
Commonly accepted theory of why capitalism is preferable to socialism goes like this: the owners generally make better decisions about allocating the resources than non-owners. When the owners do make sub-optimal decision, they lose their ownership stake to the smarter and more responsible new owners.
So far, so good. Except this is not at all the system that we have in the United States. In the US, the majority of the capital is owned by one set of people - the shareholders - and managed by an entirely different set of people - the corporate management.
The interests of these groups of people are not at all aligned (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2007/12/risk-vs-reward.html), and, what's worse, neither group is truly interested in the long-term success of the business.
As a result, while the executives in younger companies which are still managed by the original owners do often tend to do the right thing, I cannot call the behavior of the managerial class in most American enterprises anything other than looting.
This approach to management has been most visible on Wall Street, but look at any older US enterprise, and you will see the same looting of company resources everywhere, from car manufacturers to steel mills to utility companies.
Comparing to the old Soviet days, the system as we have it right now may actually be worse. At least the bureaucrats in Soviet Union were not paying themselves multimillion dollar bonuses and did not zip around in private planes as the economy crumbled.