I have covered a lot of the subject of socialism before. I believe, however, that socialism deserves a lot more attention because of the rising popularity of socialism and socialist programs. But, explaining the pitfalls of socialism might not offer the best approach.
Maybe, explaining capitalism might provide a better approach. Most of the advocacy for socialism amounts to complaints about “capitalism” as the advocates know it.
But, none of these people have experienced true, unfettered, capitalism. The economic system in the United States has more socialistic characteristics than it does capitalistic characteristics. So what would you get with genuine free-market capitalism?
Capitalism arises naturally as an outgrowth of a free market. How would I briefly describe a free market?
A free market has no form of intervention — no regulation, no government spending, and no tampering with the monetary system. Individuals play the primary, and fundamental, role in a free market. Each individual does not, however, operate in isolation. He or she interacts voluntarily with other individuals for his or her own benefit. The voluntary nature of these interactions means that those transactions benefit both parties. People choose their own friends, acquaintances, employers, and trading partners.
The voluntary and reciprocal nature of these human interactions means people in free markets live in liberty, not democracy—in which the majority tells the minority how to live. Liberty and free markets provide freedom and voluntary interactions for all individuals, not just for the majority.
Liberty and free markets don’t sound too familiar; do they?
Advocates of socialism complain about “wage slavery,” income inequality (on a large scale), inaccessibility to education and healthcare, and many other economic benefits deserved by lower-income citizens. Although these complaints might have some merit in our current system, does that represent free markets and “capitalism?”
I will soon examine the system about which people complain.