Socialism continues to influence conversations and proposed policies and procedures despite the historical fact socialism has failed everywhere its’ tried. Although advocates lack data to support their conclusions, the idea continues to be posited that socialism offers a more caring and moral system than capitalism.
America was founded on the premise each of us is sovereign with an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. America has earned a reputation around the world for providing equal opportunities. Americans admire the success of hard-working individuals who strive to advance their standards of living. People from other countries wait years, enduring hardship and expense, for a chance to live in America, where they know the opportunity exists for them to enjoy a better life.
In America, the economic pie is forever expanding, creating new opportunities and wealth. Jealousy and resentment have never been characteristics associated with Americans or used as a reason to take away another’s rightfully earned wealth. This change in attitude is encouraged by politicians taking advantage of the lack of economic knowledge prevalent today. Free stuff from the government sounds good when economic ignorance rules the day.
Capitalism is the economic system that recognizes the individual’s right to think, create, produce and voluntarily trade for mutual benefit. It’s the system more compatible with the Constitution. Capitalism is the only economic system proven to offer the best way to lift humans from poverty and reduce inequality.
Having defined property rights protected by law, Americans have an equal opportunity to pursue their own interests and benefit from the fruits of their labors. Without freedom, no economic system will be responsive to the wants and needs of citizens.
Equal opportunities don’t mean equal outcomes, however. Wealth is the result of hard work, resolve, discipline and luck, none of which is distributed evenly.
Socialism penalizes a work ethic. Socialism takes from the productive and redistributes to the less productive. A society needs every able-bodied citizen to contribute. Economist Thomas Sowell addressed this issue of fairness upon which advocates for socialism base their arguments when he said, “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?” As prime minister of the United Kingdom, Margaret Thatcher summarized the narrative this way: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”
Since socialism is an economic and social system planned by the government, the assumption must be made the state is wiser and more capable of directing the lives of citizens than individuals directing their own lives. History shows this assumption is incorrect.
Socialism depends on government taking from some, giving to others and denying the individual rights and private property of its citizens.
Capitalism depends on individuals having the freedom to make decisions governing their own lives and resources. The loss of individual freedom associated with socialism makes capitalism the better system.
Phyllis Hunsinger is founder of the Freedom & Responsibility Education Enterprise Foundation in Grand Junction. The foundation provides resources to students and teachers in Western Colorado to promote an understanding of economics, financial literacy and free enterprise. For more information, visit www.free-dom.us.com. A former teacher, principal and superintendent, Hunsinger wrote “Down and Dirty: A ‘How To’ Math Book.” Reach Hunsinger by email at email@example.com.