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Free markets lead to prosperity

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Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign garnered considerable appeal from millennials. These young people see socialism as superior to free market capitalism. Capitalism doesn’t do well in popularity polls, despite the fact that it has eliminated many of mankind’s worst problems such as pestilence, gross hunger and poverty. One of the reasons is that capitalism is always evaluated against the non-existent non-realizable utopias of socialism or communism. Any Earthly system, when compared with a utopia, will not fare well. Indeed, socialism sounds good but, when practiced, leads to disaster. Those disasters have been experienced in countries such as the USSR, China, most African nations and, most recently, Venezuela.” (Walter E. Williams, Professor Emeritus of Economics at George Mason University, published August 2, 2018, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

Free market capitalism promises opportunity and delivers the greatest elimination of poverty the World has ever known.

Socialism promises equality of results and delivers equal misery for all except the political elites.

Free market capitalism, through competition, innovation and entrepreneurship, reduces poverty, builds the middle class, and creates wealth.  Most importantly, free market capitalism spreads its benefits to all of the people regardless of which income quintile or social strata they are in.  Capitalism meshes with human nature and takes into account human strengths and weaknesses.

Socialism’s insurmountable flaw is that it requires that human nature be made pure and good.  That no one will take the easy way out or take advantage of the system.  That greed and avarice can be litigated out of human nature with just the right amount of government force.  Unfortunately, humans, being fallible, the end result is not the “right amount of government force” but virtual enslavement of the people (regardless of race, color creed, religion, or sexual orientation) by the political apparatchiks and deep state bureaucrats.

The irony in the arguments about free market capitalism vs. socialism is that any economic system must have capital and profits if they are to sustain themselves; including free market capitalism and socialism in all its forms.  Both systems must have the capital to produce and distribute goods and services.  The difference between the two is who owns the means of production and distribution of goods and services.  In free market capitalism, the ownership of the means of production and distribution are the people individually; in socialism the means of production and distribution are owned or controlled by government, as are the individuals.

The free market system thrives on private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price system, and competitive markets. Socialism in any form requires command and control, no private property, wage and price controls, involuntary exchanges, and single, non-competitive, providers of goods and services.

None but the economically innocent and/or ignorant can believe that socialism, with its lack of economic sustainability, will produce more for the individual and the people as a whole than free market capitalism will, even if it is hampered by progressive regulations.

The only thing that can fatally harm a free market capitalist economy and a society based on property rights and the Constitution are socialist solutions to cyclical economic variations and/or the solving of societal problems with “social justice” remedies outside of the Constitution.

Free market capitalism allows each person to grow; Socialism makes each person shrink.

About John MacGregor

John "Jock" MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 77 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding. Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs Arkansas. Currently, Jock comments on the role of government in society. Jock believes in a constitutionally limited government, instituted by the people, to protect their rights to life, liberty and property.

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