Capitalism is what makes the U.S. a success

Friday, August 9, 2013
posted by elizabeth @ 4:43 PM

Contrary to what schools and universities today teach, capitalism is the best economic system in the world, not socialism, collectivism, big government or any other economic system.  Many will have you believe that capitalism is for the rich and successful and that it is bad for the poor and working class.  They contend that it favors the employer or the business owner, and that it holds people down.  Furthermore, many will tell you that capitalism is based on greed and selfishness.  None of this is true.  To teach these things is irresponsible and damaging to a free society.  This is quintessential class warfare based on selfishness and envy.  Envy is one of the most destructive and evil forces in the world often promoted, deceptively, under the auspices of equality.

I am not defending corporatism.  Corporatism is, essentially, when government and industry collude to control the market place by picking winners and losers thus selecting who and which industries and businesses will survive to compete for opportunities.  This is not capitalism.

Capitalism begins from the premise that all have the opportunity to succeed regardless of class or economic status.  Capitalism is an economic system that provides those who are in the lower class, or the proletariat, upward mobility.  By working to improve their economic status in life, the individual not only improves their life, but that of their family and their community.   This is driven by the individual’s self-interest.  This self-interest is a good and motivating force in capitalism.  Self-interest is not the same as greed and selfishness.  These are not good and motivating forces in capitalism.  They are not what make capitalism successful. 

What other economic system provides a path for the lower class to rise up and better themselves and be rewarded based on ability, discipline, achievement and most of all risk taking?  Capitalism is made up of people who look at life and the world around them not as filled with inequity, oppression, envy and contempt for others.  Rather, they look at it as a place of opportunity to achieve what they want and attain what they want and use their success to help others.  The capitalist is the opposite of selfish.  Capitalism is not coercive, instead it is voluntary engagement in the free trade of services and products.  It also respects ownership of private property and values the rule of law.  To have all of these things, there must be mutual respect and honesty by the participants in the system.  

Capitalism allows for self-interested individuals to engage in a risk reward scenario which benefits all participants.  When they are successful and able to keep their wealth, they take the reward from their risk to hire more employees, purchase goods and services from other risk takers which continues the cycle of growth and opportunity for all who are engaged, whether they are employees or employers.   The last time I checked, government does not have a winning track record of determining who should win and lose in commerce.  I disagree with people like Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) whose economic philosophy about wealth and how it is kept and distributed.  He explained his view on profit and wealth when he commented that we have a “simplistic notion that people who have wealth are entitled to keep it and they have antipathy towards the means of redistributing the wealth.”  This belief is repugnant, arrogant and above all irresponsible.  Individuals, not governments, are better suited to determine how much profit they may earn, how much wealth they should have and what to do with that wealth and profit.  Individuals, i.e. capitalists, are better at growing their wealth and in turn using that wealth to improve and strengthen their community by freely giving to philanthropic, charitable and religious organizations. 

An individual who is free to own property, engage in commerce, unfettered by government or a collectivist system of economics, bound by rule of law will, through self-interest and a willingness to take risk, while seeking reward, is the bedrock of a strong economy and vibrant and healthy community.   This is how the poor and less fortunate can break the cycle of dependency and give their children a better life and improve our world. 

-Andrew Biar

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