An argument can be made that the history of capitalism is coated in a layer of blood and shame. It’s impossible to deny. It’s an argument that socialists make constantly while making their point that “true socialism has never been tried.”
Well, for starters, if that’s true and all we’ve seen is the devastation that socialism-lite can cause, then they’ve effectively made an argument against themselves. What they’ve also done by introducing this argument is brought up the fact that true capitalism has never been tried.
A libertarian would never consider suspending the Non-Aggression Principle in favor of corporate gain. The bloodshed of the past would not occur under modern capitalism because every western culture has a clear-cut set of rules – whether it be a charter or a constitution. Every person is guaranteed equality and freedom.
All government control does today amounts to removing the incentive for human ingenuity. Why build a more efficient solar panel or a make a better cure if everyone is just going to be forced to pay you anyway?
Socialism effectively stops the evolution of the human race by making it just as rewarding to be bad at something as it is to be good at something. So why bother being good? Why bother building the best product? Why bother to venture beyond our atmosphere to explore the cosmos? Why bother being the best doctor? Why bother being a doctor at all?
We already have a shortage of doctors in Canada because people are starting to realize that a decade of schooling isn’t worth it if there’s a cap on your success. You’ll be recognized for your achievements whether you succeed or not. Why bother striving for success? All you need to do is work the minimum number of hours and meet the minimum government standards – coast as mediocre for your entire, life get the same participation award as everyone else. Johnny gets a trophy.
Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t end with the perpetuation of mediocrity in the market. It’s taken a horrible step further. Socialism has made it so that you’re actually punished for working more hours or exceeding expectations. If you succeed too much, the government will that money from you in the form of taxes.
Working for an electrical company, there was literally a cutoff point where if I worked too many hours, I would make less money overall because I would be bumped into a higher tax bracket.
Working only 44 hours a week meant that my paycheck would be worth more money than if I had worked 47. This is not just arbitrary, it’s irresponsible. It’s what happens when you allow the government to control your earnings like a bank that you didn’t choose.
Under communism, socialism, or even a government enforced union, it’s actually smarter to do less work. This creates a dangerous future, and we’re already seeing the penalties in the form of a lack of skilled workers. You don’t even need to understand politics to understand the detrimental effects of overregulation and socialism. It’s actually physics. All you need to know is that everything in the universe follows the path of least resistance. It’s a concept you can see with your eyes looking at a lightning storm. The problem is that everyone’s destination is different.
We all have different goals. While some may be content with living a modest life, others may want one of luxury. These people should not be punished for their efforts, because they can only reach their goal if they succeed. Success for them is a success for the human race. It’s a safer, more productive, more efficient, and more lucrative world. If you make every path the same, however, we have nowhere to branch. We all end up in the same place no matter how hard we work to get there.
It is not selfish for proponents of capitalism to believe that those who accomplish more should be rewarded more. It is selfish for a socialist to believe someone who does nothing deserves just as much as someone who saves the world – and yet the rhetoric seems to be the opposite amongst supporters of social economics.
Look at our latest greatest accomplishments – clean energy, smartphones, self-driving cars, and even space exploration – all created by private enterprise.
The socialist expects that their government to take their reward by force and distribute it to those who have accomplished nothing – not because they cannot, but rather because they choose not to. If we continue down this path, we will end up just like every other socialist and communist construct that has come and gone before us. It has never ended well. Capitalism isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty damn close.
You can read more by James Wendler on Think Liberty here