The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries
I recently read a study which indicates that “Generation Z” (adults aged 18 to 24) preferred socialism to capitalism
. This is undoubtedly an indictment of the poor-quality of economic education in the American secondary and post-secondary educational system. AND, perhaps it’s an indictment of parents who have raised children to believe that anything that is not equal is somehow “unfair” and therefore requires parental intervention to make it so….
How can this generation of Americans blessed by the greatest abundance which has ever existed in the history of humankind believe that socialism is a superior economic system? Are they not aware of the depraved living conditions, suffering and human rights deprivations
of citizens in bastions of socialism like Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?
What’s the difference between North and South Korea?
Answer: Economic and political freedom. The same genetics run through both societies, but the opportunities provided by capitalism has lifted all boats in South Korea. How disparate are these societies? According to the most recent economic data the average South Korean has 22X more income than does his or her North Korean counterpart. That’s in one generation!
Socialism’s appeal has always been “fairness”. Who can argue with the premise of making life fair? Parents are familiar with the refrain from children “but that’s not fair” as a request for the parent to “make it fair” (or in other words – equal). Rather than indulging this complaint, good parenting requires teaching an important principle about life – that it is inherently “not fair” but the child has the ability to improve. Poor parenting is this regard will not only raise entitled children and teenagers but put their offspring on a path to frustration and less than full realization of their children’s inherent capacity.
It’s a fact we were all born with significant variations in intelligence. None can control their genetic gifts or challenges – they are God given. Those who embrace the aspects of life in their control work harder to develop skills, talents and abilities in all aspects of their lives. Surprise: this work produces better results. They take their reality and improve it - becoming more and more capable and independent. The opposite holds true for those who are so focused on economic inequality that they fail to embrace their ability to improve their lives – complaints about lack of fairness lead to indolence, frustration, self-indulgence and less for everyone. In the words of the late Margaret Thatcher: “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”
The newest generation of American socialists are led by hip, media-savvy personalities with “fresh” ideas which have failed miserably for two centuries. They lead a movement which seeks to redistribute what others have created as opposed to taking responsibility for producing themselves. However, history has taught us - and the data clearly affirms that socialism (or making life “fair” economically) has been an abject failure. We need to do more as individuals, parents, neighbors, voters and citizens to teach principles of economics to our kids and help the rising generation understand that while capitalism is not perfect – it is not only the best but also the freest economic system