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Young Socialists' Vision Blind to Capitalism's Virtues

vision or not of capitalism and its benefits

(Joaquin Corbalan/Dreamstime)

By Monday, 22 June 2020 10:15 AM Current | Bio | Archive

I believe that we too often talk about endless examples of socialist failures everywhere it is applied, while far-too-infrequently explaining and crediting capitalistic social, as well as economic, achievements.

According to a YouGov/Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation survey of more than 2,000 young Americans 16 years and older, 50% of millennials and 51% of Generation Z have continually lost faith in capitalism and tended to embrace socialism.

Nearly half of Gen Z and millennial respondents said they felt the U.S. economic system worked against them — more than other generations.

Just 7% of boomers said they had at least a "somewhat favorable" view of communism — compared to more than a third of millennials and more than a quarter of Gen Z.

Young people's political views often change as they grow older, but their support for socialist ideas and leaders is a sign that the old rules of politics are changing fast.

It seems that more and more of them are being persuaded by prominent far-left socialist figures such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that entirely equate capitalism to consumerism and exploitation of an economic underclass by powerful corporate interests.

Indeed, capitalism is very much about consumerism as expressed in freedom for individuals and businesses to voluntarily engage in trade.

And as for social economic equity, capitalism  — through free enterprise and trade  — has been the driving force behind the most remarkable decline in global poverty ever witnessed in history. According to Our World Data, the number of people globally living in extreme poverty fell by more than 1.9 billion in 1990 to 0.73 billion in 2015, and on average that number has declined by 47 million every year since then.

On any average day, that number has declined by 130,000 people.

This good news can be credited to a boom in American-style free trade and entrepreneurship, our nation’s gift to the world.

In many parts of the world where extreme poverty conditions prevail, it is not because capitalism has failed, but rather because access to benefits of capitalism don’t exist.

It is in places where socialist totalitarian, corruption, war and internal conflict, and political instability prevent the operation of economic markets and capital inflows for investment.

Where given a chance, capitalism is and will always be the best pathway out of extreme poverty.

Capitalism also acts as a propelling force behind continual improvements in our quality of life. This competitive free market system is essential to generate new ideas: for example innovations in clean energy technology, 3D printing, and the leading-edge communications that are opening up third-world countries’ access to the world.

And while we can’t predict what wonderful new ideas will occur in the future, there should be no doubt whatsoever that some will improve the quality of our lives in ways we can’t presently even imagine.

Competition-driven innovation constantly delivers inexpensive access to life-changing products: our mobile phones, the internet, vaccines and antibiotics, and endless other examples.

Many new ideas don’t always work, requiring special profit incentives to attract investors, especially where innovative risks are high. This is particularly true in pharmaceuticals, for example, where companies are now racing to develop life-saving drugs in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic.

Despite its proven benefits, capitalism has come to be blamed as a political scapegoat by some for almost every social and economic problem befalling our society. Take the concept of capitalistic greed for example, where socialism is naively or disingenuously promoted as a more equitable alternative.

Let’s recognize that socialism has never been known anywhere to protect against human greed any more than capitalism encourages it, nor does it in any way encourage "fairness."

Quite the opposite, state-controlled means of resources and production have always served as a toxic recipe for more — not less — mass-scale greed and corruption, benefiting only those who wield that power.

Once prosperous Venezuela is a tragic recent example.

The brutal fact is that no examples exist where state socialism has proven successful. Contrary to inaccurate claims, Nordic nations do not represent any utopian ideal of socialism. While just as in America, Scandinavian countries such as Denmark and Sweden offer generous social welfare programs, they rely entirely upon capitalism to generate the tax revenues — from wages, investment income and corporate profits — to fund these systems.

To quote Winston Churchill, "The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

Let’s remember to recognize and appreciate how much we rely upon our capitalist free market economy to provide for our needs, and to make our lives longer, healthier, easier, more comfortable, and more satisfying.

While we’re at it, maybe we can also do a lot more to educate young generations about how those countless benefits they so richly enjoy really came about.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 600 articles for Newsmax and Forbes and is the author of several books. Included are: "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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Let’s remember to recognize and appreciate how much we rely upon our capitalist free market economy to provide for our needs, and to make our lives longer, healthier, easier, more comfortable, and more satisfying.
market, economy, genz
Monday, 22 June 2020 10:15 AM
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