Capitalism will Save Us:
Capitalism will save us, but we have to let us save us. That is the gist I got from a great article I read this morning in Forbes called “Capitalism will Save Us–If only we let it” by Steve Forbes. I read this article because I realized that while I frequently post about the negatives of socialism, I rarely post about the positives of capitalism or the virtue of capitalism. After reading it, I decided that it would make a great review because of how well Forbes defends capitalism and fends off the attacks leveled against it.
Capitalism has had many attacks against it recently. People say it leads to income inequality, or crushing debt, or stagnant wages, or even climate change. Its critics say that because of those problems, capitalism has to be replaced.
Their usual solution is more government intervention, usually in the form of socialism. The more extreme liberals, like Bernie Sanders and AOC, are willing to state that what they are after is socialism. Others are more secretive about it. In this article, Forbes defends capitalism from those criticisms, and describes why less, rather than more, government is the solution.
The Problem of Big Government:
Forbes begins his argument by describing how many of our current and past economic problems have stemmed from government intervention. The government says it wants to help, but often it just causes more problems. Whether that intervention is in the form of tariffs, printing too much money, or state intervention in industries, government action rarely works well. Usually it is a cure worse than the disease and leads only to problems.
Forbes then describes how taxes and regulations stifle the economy. Times of high taxation (unless there are significant loopholes) lead to almost know growth. Instead of being reinvested for further profit, profits are given over to the welfare system and Social Security, where they are inefficiently spent.
Times of low taxes, such as the great tax cuts implemented by the Trump administration, on the other hand, are times of booming growth for America. Similarly, regulation is horrible for the economy. It leads to wasted time and money and forces businesses to focus on complying with arbitrary rules, rather than working towards growing.
Debt as a problem:
Debt is a problem for both students and companies in America. Yet that debt problem, according to Forbes, is not the fault of capitalism. It is instead the fault of big government.
Student loans, especially for graduate students, can become a crushing debt for students that don’t plan them out wisely. Additionally, government grants to universities end up just being subsidies that raise prices for everyone. Those higher prices lead to even more student debt and show why free college wouldn’t work.
Rising Healthcare Costs and Low Wage Growth:
According to Forbes, the problem of simultaneous huge increases in the costs of healthcare, combined with low wage growth, is a problem of government. Programs like Medicare and Medicaid only prop up higher costs.
Additionally, they mean that no one has to look for innovative hospitals that have lower costs. Either they have insurance that will take care of the ridiculous costs, or the government will pay for it. That is unlike any other industry (other than college) where prices matter. If the government would just get out of the way of free markets, then healthcare costs would fall. The field would be more open to innovators that lower prices, rather than hospitals with the best negotiation teams.
The low rise in wages are related to taxes and healthcare. Both of those costs have skyrocketed for businesses. Instead of being able to put thousands of dollars each year in the pockets of their employees, businesses are forced to spend money on ridiculous insurance plans, high taxes, and government regulations. If those problems weren’t there, then wages would rise.
Free-markets and capitalism are the solution, not the problem. Government interventions lead to higher costs across the board, more wage inequality, and more problems. Yes, there will always be some who have more than others.
That is what is beautiful about capitalism- it rewards the innovators rather than the employee. It helps spur those with new ideas because they will be rewarded for it. That is why wage inequality isn’t a problem; it rewards risk taking. But if the government would just get out of the way, that would be able to happen. Instead, businesses can’t innovate or grow because of regulations and high taxes.
I thought this article was great because in it, Forbes is able to explain why he supports capitalism. At its root, capitalism is a system that rewards the best. It pays to have a new idea that you can spread effectively. Socialism isn’t a solution, it is a disease. Socialism is a creed of envy that doesn’t want to make everyone successful, it just wants to strip success away from those who have it. We can’t let that happen here.
Furthermore, I think Forbes does an excellent job of explaining why capitalism’s supposed problems are really just problems with government. If the government would get out of the way, those problems would go away. The free market will solve our problems and capitalism will save us.
By: Gen Z Conservative