to the editor from this week's Chronicle:
No. 31 11/23/15
Some final thoughts for now on some differences between capitalism
and socialism. As asserted in last week's review, capitalism relies on
a climate of FREEDOM: to own property, to choose one's own life work, and
to earn profit from successfully satisfying the needs and wants of others.
It assumes an unequal distribution of God-given talents, and a corresponding
division of labor based not only on the choices people make in earning
a living, but also on variations in ability that occur naturally in individuals.
It assumes that not everyone can be an NFL quarterback, and demand
the millions that expertise in that area can bring. It recognizes that
some are born with deficiencies that require care from more capable people
in society. In short, capitalism requires one to believe that no two people
on earth are exactly the same, and thus can not be expected to produce
the same, or to need the same.
If this is true, then the current hype and demand for INCOME EQUALITY
as clamored for by some today, including several prominent politicals,
simply makes no sense, and indeed is not possible!
And is it not true, that this same emphasis on FREEDOM, with RESPONSIBILITY
for the proper use of one's individual talents is found in Christianity,
the prevailing religion still in our country today? And is it not found
also in the government set up given us over 200 years ago and codified
in our Constitution? Does not our legal system require certain modes of
behavior, and demands punishment for those who violate its basic tenants?
But what about socialism which is creeping insidiously into our national
debate, is being championed by political men of power, by the press in
many cases, and taught as dogma in many of our colleges and universities?
Does not socialism demand the income equality mentioned earlier, achieved
by higher and higher taxes and regulations on the more wealthy and best
producers, while devising laws at the national level intended to raise
the living standards of the poor? Or to give them access to life styles
usually limited to those who can afford them or who have been blessed with
the special talents needed to achieve them?
It seems to me that socialism requires a huge and dictating government
dedicated to the goal of equal treatment for all, to income equality to
use a common buzz word of the "left" in politics. A system similar, as
claimed before in these articles, to the owner of a large dairy herd who
treats and feeds all of his cows as equals, feeds them the same, and eerily,
sometimes simply gets rid of his non-producers or any not fitting into
One can readily see why a capitalistic, free-enterprise economy, lends
itself to individual creativity, as those who study the needs of others
and then work hard and ingeniously to satisfy them, produce an amazing
variety and number of new gadgets that captivate the minds and pocket books
of the consumer. And creates the wealth that flows from it!
At the same time, one can more easily understand why a socialist system
which tries to provide individuals with a minimum life style, tends to
encourage dependency on the one hand, and discourage creativity on the
other! And so grows the debt needed to finance!!
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