Popular media paints a bleak picture of capitalism and touts the benefits of socialist values. Those views tickle the ears, but do not hold up to scrutiny and critical thinking. Don’t fall into the trap of going with what sounds good rather than what truly is good and beneficial.
Many benefits available to you and the American way of life are only possible in a capitalistic economic system. I want you to take away a viewpoint that capitalism is a positive, compassionate system. Seek out, read and become informed about the fundamentals of Capitalism. Realize how the application of the principles will benefit you and then decide to engage the system to your benefit.
Paladin Pillar Article
This post is a pillar article for the Paladin blog. An article by Sarah Kendzior in Foreign Policy magazine details many reasons that young Americans are believed to be giving up on capitalism. While that article was a gut punch, it exposes many of the maladies of the past eight years or so that have caused young Americans to begin doubting our system. They have begun to feel like our system might not be the best, despite not having personal exposure to a longstanding socialist economic system. As you read the Paladin About page, you will find that this blog is all about promoting Capitalism.
One of the blessings that I have enjoyed in my life is the opportunity to travel the world and gain first-hand knowledge of political-economic systems different from my own. This exposure has reinforced the belief that America has The Best Economic System at its core. It is my belief that if the principles of capitalism were studied and employed by every American, many of the maladies mentioned in Kendzior’s article would have self-corrected. The short sighted actions taken by thousands of Americans led people into traps that impacted us as a whole. The root of these problems goes much farther back than when their impact was first observed. A mix of actions by the government, financial institutions and industries has fed the problems.
To the Young American Launching into the Workforce
So, how does this apply to a young American who is starting out in the workforce? Understanding how the system that you are entering works will help you understand your role and the opportunities that you can benefit from. Of course, you can go out there and experience it first if you want to. Better to study and learn from others how it is intended to work. You will suffer fewer knocks if you know what you are getting into. Words to the wise, it is up to you what you do with them.
An article published in The Federalist earlier this year explains well why Millennials Don’t Know What Socialism Is. “First, millennials don’t seem to know what socialism is, and how it’s different from other styles of government. The definition of socialism is government ownership of the means of production—in other words, true socialism requires that government run the businesses. However, a CBS/New York Times survey found that only 16 percent of millennials could accurately define socialism, while 30 percent of Americans over 30 could. (Incidentally, 56 percent of Tea Partiers accurately defined it. In fact, those most concerned about socialism are those best able to explain it.)” (Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann Feruary 15, 2016)Survey found that only 16% of millennials could accurately define socialism Click To Tweet
Basic Precepts of Capitalism vs Socialism
The most basic principles of Capitalism empower the individual to start and run their own business. This is contrasted against socialism where the government owns the assets of every business and dictates major decisions for the business.
Capitalism has made America the most prosperous nation on earth, giving opportunity to billions of people over the years who are willing to work hard – Bill O’Rielly
The theory of socialism is that everyone works for the common good of the whole of society. The government dispenses substance in accordance with people’s needs. Accumulating wealth beyond the immediate need is not permitted. Everyone is supposed to share the wealth and only take what they need.
One of the most basic flaws in socialist theory is that it runs contrary to human nature. Humans are naturally acquisitive and have an inherent urge to improve their position in their world.
Consider this; if your professor were to give every student the same grade regardless of their performance on an assignment; how much effort world the majority of students put forth? After getting a mediocre grade for hard work, you tend to lose incentive. The same effect is true in a purely socialist system. There has to be an external incentive to put forth your maximum effort.
A capitalist system frees you to accumulate wealth by paying you individually based on your unique contribution. Getting this principle in your soul, motivates you to put forth a huge amount of effort.
Consider if True Socialism Came to America
“However, young people do not like the true definition of socialism—the idea of government running businesses. If socialism is framed as government running Uber, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, etc., it does not go over well. Notice the difference between support for ‘socialism’ versus for a ‘government-managed economy’ in a millennial study Emily conducted:” “The margin of support for capitalism over socialism is only +10 points, but the margin for a free-market system over a government-managed economy is +32 points.” (Emily Ekins and Joy Pullmann February 15, 2016)
Capitalism Fuels Philanthropy
There is something noble about working to earn something that you intend to contribute to another. Philanthropy can best be fueled through capitalism. If the government has taken all your excess away, you will not have anything left to give to those that you have determined deserve your generosity. The government is a terrible dispenser of benefits. Look at the FEMA scandals after hurricane Katrina. Way too many people pilfer benefits from the government that they do not deserve. Welfare fraud is another excellent example of the inefficiency of the government’s ability to dispense benefits. A capitalist is free to contribute to causes close to his heart; socialism would take that freedom away.“Capitalism has made America the most prosperous nation on earth, giving opportunity to billions of people over the years who are willing to work hard”-Bill O’Riely Click To Tweet
Where to Start
A bias within people toward capitalism or socialism tends to ignite dogma. The intent of this as with all my posts is to bring light not heat to the discussion.
The desired outcome for you is to raise the margin of support for capitalism; not by incite-full words, but through insightful words.
By gaining an appreciation for the principles that make capitalism underpin the American economic system, you will be more likely to engage in it with enthusiasm. This will cause a rejection of socialistic programs that threaten our most valued way of life which people flock to this country to enjoy.
To begin learning practical principles of Capitalism that you can employ you might want to start reading with How to Replace Consumerism with Proven Wealth Building Strategies.