“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher
We live in a capitalism-based society here in the United States of America. We are a free nation to, more or less, do as we please. We are able to go to school, start businesses and save our money. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, you can reap the benefits.
We run on a market-based economy. The prices of goods that we consume are based on supply and demand rather than set down by the government. If businesses are supplying products that people want, they set the prices. The more of a good there are, the cheaper it is. The less of a good there are the more expensive it will be. Capitalist economies encourage innovation and invention. We’re a free society that encourages people to always grow and create new products. There are more products and services available for public consumption. I enjoy shopping. Certainly, I like going online or to the mall and browsing for things, I may not necessarily need but want. I also like the fact I can buy those things.
In a socialist economy, you may not get to go browsing for things ‘just because.’ The means of production in socialism, such as money and other forms of capital, are owned by the state or public. If you’re living in a socialist country things are based on greater social needs rather than just the individual needs. Of course, they expect the individual to contribute equally and pay higher taxes. You may think that the wealth will be distributed equally, but what are you going to do when your neighbor Joe Schmoe isn’t working? Will you work double the time to make up for him? Another thing to remember is that the government will determine how wealth will be distributed. Capitalism goes by the profit system. If a business is successful, they determine how much their employees are paid and how far/fast they will grow and expand.
China is a socialist country ran by The People’s Republic of China. One of the most controversial laws from their government is the two-child policy passed in 1970. In 1979 they became even stricter with a one-child policy. In the mid-1980’s they loosened this up a bit by going back to a two-child policy with strict exceptions. In some cases, there are forced abortions or massive fines that not a lot of families can afford to pay. Check out this article on China’s forbidden babies.
Hugo Chavez became president of Venezuela in 1999. He enacted three policies that would see the downfall of the country. The first being widespread nationalization of private industry. The second was currency and price controls. And finally the widespread expansion of fiscally irresponsible welfare programs. Between 1999 and 2016 he had 6 million hectares of land from its rightful landowners to ‘redistribute’ to the poor of his country. In his mind, by robbing the ‘wealthy’ in his country to give to the poor he would end poverty and social inequality. And as we know the government can’t control everything. By nationalizing businesses the government floundered. They have been unable to run thousands of businesses.
That’s not the worst though. As the government grew and took control of everything. Their produce production began to fall. In the twenty years that socialism has been in the country, it fell by 75%. However, their population didn’t stop growing. In fact, it grew. A lot. It grew by 33%. Do the math. People started, and are currently, starving. Starving people don’t remain peaceful. Since January 11, 2019, the people of Venezuela have been rising up in order to restore their country.
One final example is Brazil. They are currently coming out of the worst recession in their history with the aid of their new president, Jair Bolsonaro. Looking at their recent past, Dilma Rousseff turned extreme with her socialist views upon her win to the presidency in 2011. She raised the minimum wage while forcing the state-run banks to lend out more money. (Sound familiar?) She increased public spending. (Hmm…) The central bank lowered its discount rate from 11.5% to 7.25%. Because of this inflation rose to staggering heights. She took things a step further though and started reducing prices on goods and cutting sales taxes. This actually ended up hurting profits for the state-owned oil company. Business leaders were scared away. They didn’t want to invest with such big government intervention everywhere. Things got worse in 2015. If that’s possible. Oil prices began to fall while our dollar strengthened. Oil was Brazil’s primary export at the time. With the dropping oil prices, the Brazilian companies had to cut production and lay off their employees. This caused a weaker currency resulting in an increase in imported goods prices and increased inflation.
Rousseff was impeached in 2016.
“Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country, America was founded on liberty and independence – not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” Trump said to cheers from many in the audience as he addressed the chaotic situation in Venezuela and alluded to politicians like AOC.
Thanks to capitalism in America, we’re able to live freely. Completely free. We can make our decisions for our lives. We work. Go to school. Start businesses. We have the freedom to chose. We can be born into one economic stance and end up in a completely different based on the decisions we make rather than what the government thinks we need. So many people decry capitalism as economic inequality. However, it’s the complete opposite. Capitalism is nothing but equal. It doesn’t care what your skin color is, religion or gender. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can possibly succeed. Everybody has the opportunity to advance in life. It’s only how much you put into life.
Remember, no matter how much you polish a turd and put sprinkles on it, it’s still a turd.