You would think that, by now, the horrors of socialism would be obvious. From the economic failure of Cuba and Venezuela to the mind-blowing brutality of Stalin’s USSR or Mao’s China, every time a country has tried socialism, disaster has followed. So why do so many young people – and even people who’re old enough to know better, like Bernie Sanders – still think we should give this failed dogma another shot?
Well, that’s because they think capitalism has failed. And they’re wrong.
Talk to a socialist and they’ll have a whole list of reasons why capitalism has failed. All these reasons are wrong. Here are the most common reasons, and what’s wrong with them…
• “Capitalism takes wealth from the workers and gives it to business owners!” Except, no, it doesn’t. Capitalism creates wealth, and everyone who helps do that gets a share. The USA is a very wealthy country. The OECD says we have the fourth highest average income, and the highest disposable income, of any nation. No socialist country makes the top 35.
• “Ah, but inequality! The US averages are pushed up by all those billionaires!” No, not really. There aren’t very many super-rich people; definitely not enough to affect the average very much. And the famous 1% we keep hearing about that are taking all the world’s money? Here’s the news; if you’re in a minimum wage job in the USA, you’re part of the 1%. That’s right; almost everyone in the world earns less than a trainee burger flipper in America.
• “Capitalism takes money from public services!” No it doesn’t. Capitalism pays for public services. All that money the government blows on entitlement spending? That’s collected, in taxes, from businesses and workers in the capitalist system. Go look at public services in Cuba if you want to know the alternative. Sure, Cuba has more doctors per capita than any other country. But they’re pimping their daughters to buy medicines.
• “Capitalism is all about greed!” No, capitalism is all about people agreeing to give each other what they want. We want iPhones, and Apple wants money. We give Apple money and they give us iPhones. Nobody makes us do this; we want to.
• “Capitalism causes poverty!” Rubbish. Thirty-five years ago, half of Europe, half of Africa and almost all of Asia were socialist. Forty-four percent of the human race lived in extreme poverty – less than a dollar a day. Now, there are only a few socialist countries left – places like Cuba, North Korea and Zimbabwe – and what percentage of the world population live in extreme poverty now? Ten percent. Capitalism is the best way of eliminating poverty ever invented.