Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of dall, let’s be outspoken.
Capitalism vs Socialism. The age-old debate was initially sparked by Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and the rise of Ludwig von Mises’s economic ideology. Throughout the 20th and 21rst century, the world has been split apart in both ideological and literal warfare.
With the rise of the Chinese Communist Party and the implementation of Marxism–Leninism in Russia came the destruction of many nations. The division of West and East Germy with the Berlin wall sparked global controversy. President John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech and President Regan’s “Tear down this wall” speech both contributed to the debate over communism.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is reasonable to think people around the world learned the destructive nature communism brings to socioeconomics and geopolitics. However, a new surge of socialism has taken over the modern political sphere.
Let me assert that socialism has never worked. The basic definition of socialism is the government taking over the means of production. This is achieved through the nationalization of major industries and corporations. In modern politics, Nordic countries are used to justify advocacy for socialism.
While it is true Nordic countries are economically successful, they are not socialist. They are a free market-based system with social programs. This oversimplified description can apply to the United States economy.
While the US embraces enterprise, markets, and entrepreneurship, it also implements social security, Medicare, and minimum wage laws. One can have social programs and still be a market-based economy. To further expand this contention, an analysis of the Nordic model is necessary.
First, Nordic countries have a bevy of privatized industries and market forces. Nordic governments do have social programs but have not participated in the nationalization of industries. It is also important to note minimum wage laws do not exist in Nordic countries like Denmark due to the high rates of trade unions.
Also, while government-subsidized healthcare is widespread, private insurance is still considered a public option. Second, private hospitals and clinics are a viable option to receive medical care to thousands of Nordic citizens. Third, free college and healthcare are regulated, but not to the extent that it interferes with the private sector of the economy.
Venezuela is an example of when the government takes over industries.
In 1999, Hugo Chavez became the president of Venezuela. He claimed that poverty in Venezuela was the result of evil capitalistic corporations. He tore up treaties with leading oil and gas companies and implemented an immediate government seizure over the companies.
His justification was that the government can rule these companies better than the companies themselves. He said the profit he made from these companies will be shared.
As expected, the companies left because of the high taxes Chavez implemented. By the end of his term, the poverty rate was 76%. Inflation increased making Venezuela one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is running desperately low on food and medicine.
While crony capitalism and corporate greed exists, embracing capitalism has helped thousands escape poverty and stimulate job growth.
Remember, let’s be polite; let’s be respectful, but most of all, let’s be outspoken.