Capitalism is a winner-take-all game
Right. Which is why Jeff Bezos has all the money in America and the rest of us live naked on the sidewalk for the few weeks that it takes us to die of starvation. </sarcasm off>
Free market countries tend to have the largest middle and upper classes, which means that most people who “play the game” do quite well. In fact, capitalism’s “losers” are mostly people who don’t play the game.
Capitalism creates inequality
Nature creates inequality. Different socioeconomic systems amplify different natural inequalities – intelligence and physical health, strength, and beauty – by the incentives they create. Capitalism rewards thrift, honesty, persistence, hard work, and prudence. Socialism and communism reward ruthlessness.
Capitalism makes people compete for scarce resources
People compete for scarce resources because resources are scarce. Another complaint with Nature. Socialists seem to have a lot of those.
Why are conservatives afraid of socialism?
During a visit to the United States in 1933, George Bernard Shaw declared, “You Americans are so fearful of dictators. Dictatorship is the only way in which government can accomplish anything. See what a mess democracy has led to. Why are you afraid of dictatorship?”
Silly Americans. Unhappy that nice people like Stalin, Mussolini, Tojo, and Hitler were in power. Good thing Shaw set them straight.
Capitalism drives corruption
There’s an odd argument cropping up more and more these days that goes something like this: Capitalism rewards merit, so smart, creative people naturally rise to the top in a Capitalist system. These people are adept at lobbying government for special favors, thereby corrupting Capitalism into Crony Capitalism.
While this argument is plausible (ignoring, by the way, its implication that in socialist systems stupid and uncreative people naturally rise to the top), it requires quite a bit of historical amnesia by its adherents.
Though the United States has always – almost before the ink was dry on the Constitution – suffered from the abuses of political privilege, the party didn’t really get started until the Progressives took over the government in the late 1800s and early 1900s (see Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism and Murray Rothbard’s The Progressive Era). During these years, Progressives sought to, and largely succeeded in, cartelizing industry and banking through government regulatory agencies such as the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Reserve Bank.
So, Progressives – Socialist, and Socialist-leaning, intellectuals and politicians – injected Socialism into American Capitalism, and today’s Progressives now blame American Capitalism for the unfortunate results.
Capitalism rewards merit and meritocracy is discrimination
Well, yes. Selecting people on the basis of merit is discrimination – that is, it’s the “recognition and understanding of the difference between one thing and another.”
But if I’m faced with the necessity of choosing between candidates – whether for a job, a promotion, or for admission to a university or club – I’m forced to, well… choose. And if I have any basis at all for making the choice, then I’m looking for differences between one person and another; I’m discriminating.
My responsibility to the organization I represent requires me to discriminate on the basis of “merit” as defined by those traits that I, or my organization, deem will best help advance the goals of the organization.
The left demands that, instead, I choose people who will best help advance the left’s political goals. Note that they’re not demanding an end to discrimination, but that I discriminate in a way that will benefit them.Published in