The form of socialism “lite” defined by Matthew Johnson (“A new kind of socialism” in the Aug. 30 edition of the Daily Journal) doesn’t change the fact that socialist-leaning Europe has lower wages and much higher unemployment than the capitalist United States. Over the past five years, gross domestic product in the United States grew at 2.4% while the European Union grew at 1.6%. Sweden only grew at 0.56% a year under socialism since 1981, and its 62% personal income tax rate has caused it to start reverting back to capitalism.
Capitalism flourishes in the United States because our Constitution protects the rights of individuals and limits the power of government. In contrast, socialism allows the power of government to grow unchecked which leads to corrupt and authoritarian governments (i.e. Cuba, Venezuela, etc.).
Capitalism has done far more to raise living standards in the world than any other economic system. While socialists decry the rich, the richest 1% in the United States pay 37% of all taxes collected. The richest 50% pay 97% of all taxes. The rich also donate over $400 billion a year to charity, which is close to half of what government spends on welfare. Charitable giving in EU countries is 80% lower.
Rather than “walking us over a cliff,” capitalism and entrepreneurial freedom provide the best hope for developing new technologies to save the planet. Margaret Thatcher nailed it when she said, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually, you run out of other peoples’ money.”