Several recent polls, plus the popularity of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., demonstrate that young people prefer socialism to free market capitalism.
That, I believe, is a result of their ignorance and indoctrination during their school years, from kindergarten through college. For the most part, neither they nor many of their teachers and professors know what free market capitalism is.
Free market capitalism, wherein there is peaceful voluntary exchange, is morally superior to any other economic system. Why? Let’s start with my initial premise.
All of us own ourselves. I am my private property, and you are yours. Murder, rape, theft, and the initiation of violence are immoral because they violate self-ownership. Similarly, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another person, for any reason, is immoral because it violates self-ownership.
Tragically, two-thirds to three-quarters of the federal budget can be described as Congress taking the rightful earnings of one American to give to another American—using one American to serve another. Such acts include farm subsidies, business bailouts, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, and many other programs.
Free market capitalism is disfavored by many Americans—and threatened—not because of its failure but, ironically, because of its success. Free market capitalism in America has been so successful in eliminating the traditional problems of mankind—such as disease, pestilence, hunger, and gross poverty—that all other human problems appear both unbearable and inexcusable.
The desire by many Americans to eliminate these so-called unbearable and inexcusable problems has led to the call for socialism. That call includes equality of income, sex, and race balance; affordable housing and medical care; orderly markets; and many other socialistic ideas.
Let’s compare capitalism with socialism by answering the following questions: In which areas of our lives do we find the greatest satisfaction, and in which do we find the greatest dissatisfaction?
It turns out that we seldom find people upset with and in conflict with computer and clothing stores, supermarkets, and hardware stores. We do see people highly dissatisfied with and often in conflict with boards of education, motor vehicles departments, police, and city sanitation services.
What are the differences? For one, the motivation for the provision of services of computer and clothing stores, supermarkets, and hardware stores is profit. Also, if you’re dissatisfied with their services, you can instantaneously fire them by taking your business elsewhere.
It’s a different matter with public education, motor vehicles departments, police, and city sanitation services. They are not motivated by profit at all. Plus, if you’re dissatisfied with their service, it is costly and in many cases, even impossible to fire them.
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