A couple of months ago, I was with a group of radical anti-capitalists. They thought that government was the answer to life, the universe and everything. They thought that businessmen secretly cheat on their wives and beat their children, whereas the poor starving individual was heroically beaten down by the brutal financial leaders. Capitalists are tyrants and the poor are victims. This was their childishly oversimplified view.
When I announced to them that I was a capitalist, they just gave me a blank stare. This is the ultimate “evil” thing to be, according to almost every Hollywood movie, plenty of churches, and millions of professors around the world. They were simply repeating the same angry arguments they’d heard from others — there was no rational analysis of the pros and cons of capitalism.
“How can you be a capitalist if it’s so evil?”, was the simple question they asked me. The following is a summary of my explanation.
First I defined capitalism as being a simple idea. It’s where the government leaves people alone, enforces contracts, and protects property. It’s when governments don’t try to do business work in a senate committee with people who have never done business. Capitalism is economic liberty.
There are six reasons I like capitalism. They are as follows:
6. I like big business
Restrictive economic policies target big business. No, this doesn’t mean it’s good for the workers. Think about it. Hurting big business hurts the whole business — workers are part of the business.
Every restriction for big business ends up trickling down and hurting their workers, either through fewer pay upgrades or through laying people off to increase efficiency. Restricting big business is restricting the little guy.
Oh. And big business is actually good. Why? Because they became “big”. How did they become big? The market — or, for the socialists — society liked them. Big business only gets that way by offering the people nice stuff. If the people like it, then they aren’t evil.
It’s really not complicated. But we’ve been told by the restrictive forces of the world that big is bad, that little is good. I propose an alternative: both are good. Speaking of which, that brings us to reason number five.
5. I like small business
I own a small business. My parents own a small business. These small business are based on our family working incredibly hard, serving clients, and helping others enough that they’re willing to pay us for it. Both sides win. We’re not evil. We’re good. We help other business by helping them market their products and advertise to increase their profits. We help regular people learn how to manage their money, get out of debt, invest appropriately, and retire securely.
By working hard, we only succeed through helping others succeed. Capitalism allows us to do that unhampered. But restrictive policies severely restrict our ability to do business.* Restrictions that might not seem like much to us on paper can be devastating in real life. Real people go under every time we pass another law. Every restriction destroys lives.
4. I like rich people
Rich people aren’t evil. I don’t care what Hollywood wishes me to think about “The Capitalists”. I won’t buy the commie propaganda. I like rich people. I don’t like snobs. There’s a difference. Poor people can be snobs. Rich people can be snobs. Rich people can be jerks. Poor people can be jerks.
The rich that I’ve met in my life are the hardest working individuals I’ve ever known. There’s a reason they are rich. And I appreciate their work, and recognize that their hard labor paid off both for them and the countless people who gained from the micro-economic impacts of their labor.
The idea that most rich got there because of ripping others off is just stupid. It’s out of touch with reality. It’s just people making an excuse for hating those with more — envy, the most destructive of all emotions.
The idea that most rich got there because of an inheritances is equally wrong. Very few rich got rich through inheritance — and those that did didn’t get the money until way later in life, long enough to build their own wealth. The fantasy of rich people just inherent everything without working is essentially a classroom lie.
3. I like poor people
Liberals paint themselves as loving poor people. So they increase government programs, welfare, restrictions on the rich, etc. But their restrictions on business cause unemployment — liberalism causes poverty. Their welfare encourages dependence on federal aid, psychologically keeping the poor in their poverty. I am a capitalist because I hate poverty.
I am a capitalist because I hate poverty. I am not a liberal because I care about the poor enough not to buy into emotional arguments that realistically destroy the working class. Freedom brings prosperity. This is absolutely inevitable — anyone who disagrees simply needs to read economic history.
2. I like justice
Capitalism is where everyone is allowed to unleash their minds in order to produce and achieve. You don’t get rich being a moron, with the notable exceptions of almost everything on E News. You have to use your mind or muscle. Or, for most, a mixture of the two.
Capitalism rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy. It’s the only economic system on earth that does this. This is why it works.
As Ayn Rand said:
“The moral justification for capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.”
1. I like money
I know. I’m supposed to pretend like the only thing on earth important is people and puppy dogs. But guess what? I like nice stuff too. And so does the liberal. And Obama. And Edwards. Especially them. See, they like being commies in theory. But in reality, they like “capital”. They like money. They like private jets, private islands, nice food, nice clothes and $500 haircuts.
And you know what? That would have been fine, if only they didn’t pretend that it was evil. In their hearts, they know there’s nothing wrong with working hard and establishing a fantastic house, expensive car and great lifestyle for your kids. They know there’s no reason to think that we should restrict business owners, or try to go against wealth.
But in policy, they stop. They pretend that greed is wrong, because other people want your money (read that a few times, and see what’s amiss). But when it comes down to it, they know that capital is good. They live like rich cats.
Ironically, it’s for the same reason as me. There’s nothing wrong with material wealth. The whole goal of economics is understanding how to get our wealth to be maximized. Well, I have news for the news people and the politicians of the world:
Try Capitalism. Capitalism sets mankind free to work and achieve his values. It allows people barter freely and exercise choice rather than being manipulated by Washington elites. Capitalism works because it’s based on that age old principle that the human mind works best when it’s set free.
Capitalism works because freedom works.
So that’s why I’m a capitalist. I didn’t get much of a response after explaining these concepts, and I rarely do. The reasoning for this is pretty simple. Anti-capitalistic arguments are based on anger, emotion, and completely disregard the scientific principles of economics. Because a rational view of the evidence should lead us all to become capitalists.
*Our family business is an oldies radio station. The FCC’s policies are often random, restrictive and expensive. They hurt our customers and communities by forcing us to keep prices artificially higher than they would be if we didn’t have the nearly random restrictions.