Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Defending Capitalism

I can't recall a time when capitalism was under assault like today. The closest was when Nixon declared himself a Keynesian, instituted wage and price controls, responded to the OPEC oil price shock by rationing gas, launched affirmative action, and created the EPA, OSHA, and the EEOC. Yet, even during the days of Nixonian economic meddling almost everyone at least paid lip service to notion that capitalism was superior to socialism and communism (which are really just different shades of the same color). And this was before the Soviet Union collapsed and communism was spreading triumphantly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Today, we can see the wreck socialism and communism has made of countries around the world. As Churchill said, "Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

History shows socialism is a failure and capitalism is a success. Yet, collectively, we're not paying attention to the lessons of the last century. More and more people fail to see socialism and communism as rusty failures, believing instead that they are bright, shiny, beautiful new economic philosophies that are much more alluring than crass, crude capitalism.

It's now chic to wear t-shirts featuring the murderous thug Che Guevara. Newsweek proudly declares in a cover story, "We are all socialists now!" Oliver Stone makes loving documentaries about Castro and Chavez. Michael Moore, the living definition of hypocrisy, releases another propaganda piece where the leftist loon calls capitalism evil and declares that it must be replaced (though Moore's not offering to share his eight figure net worth).

Lots of people are throwing rocks at capitalism. Few defend it these days, which is dangerous. Out of ignorance, the public might just chunk it for socialism. According to a Rasmussen poll, one American in five prefers socialism to capitalism and another 27% aren't sure which system is better. Among adults under age 30, a third prefer socialism and another 30% aren't sure which is the better system. This is truly frightening.

Despite the presence of Ted Turner, one of the best defenses of capitalism, the pursuit of individual self interest, and the profit motive was the John Stossel special on greed. Stossel has been trying to get this shown in schools. After watching it, you might want to show it to your kids. It's in three parts and takes around 40 minutes.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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