Capitalist, Progressive, Liberal and Proud
It’s popular to want to get rid of labels nowadays, but I don’t understand why. Labels are absolutely necessary because they allow people to tell one thing from another. The problem arises not because things are different and labeled as such, but in the treatment because they are different and have been labeled and such. As an aside, this is why “colorblind” makes little sense. The problem isn’t in the differences in our skin color, but in recognizing and understanding why those differences cause us to be treated differently.
Capitalist, Progressive and Liberal
With pride and confidence, I call myself a progressive. I generally support programs to alleviate inequality and poverty that I view as natural off shoots of capitalism and favor state action to do this. An example of this is my belief in a minimum wage. I believe firms have a responsibility to ensure that their workers earn enough to live on for inability to pay its workers enough to live on, means it isn’t a viable business as it is dependent upon wage subsidies. Of course “enough to live on” depends where you live: the cost of living in Brooklyn is considerably higher than it is in, say, Boise, so a minimum wage that would give a reasonable standard of living in Boise is starvation level in Brooklyn.
I’m a liberal. I support the government, where necessary, securing personal freedoms such as voting and political rights. An example of this is my belief in tax credits to spur job creation by making it cheaper for employers to hire new workers. They enable the private sector to figure out which jobs make sense for the long run while allowing crucial decisions about whom to hire and for what kind of work to be made by companies and not directly by the government.
I’m a big capitalist. I believe the pursuit of self-interest and the right to own private property are morally defensible and legally legitimate. I think the state exists to protect individual rights, and subject to certain restrictions, individuals (alone or with others) are free to decide where to invest, what to produce or sell, and what prices to charge. There should be no natural limit to the range of their efforts in terms of assets, sales, and profits; or the number of customers, employees, and investors; or whether they operate in local, regional, national, or international markets.
I believe the government’s role in capitalism is to maintain a level playing field. It should prevent unfair advantages obtained by monopolies or oligarchies. It maintains order with national defense, adjudicates international law, and maintains infrastructure. I believe in taxing capital gains and income to accomplish these goals. The government should also creates laws and regulations that insure free markets aren’t being manipulated and information is distributed fairly.
Back In The Day
I used to call myself a socialist in college. Then I started working. Then I went to law school. Then I went to business school. Then I started a business. I no longer call myself a socialist. Did I change? Did my understanding? Both? Probably, but it’s like an awkward adolescent puberty honing and developing what one believes when it comes to one’s own personal philosophy, politics and economics.
If there were a socialist candidate (his words) espousing populist rhetoric, I probably would have voted for him in 2000, possibly even 2004. I am pretty sure that’s what’s happening now as people are romanticizing something they don’t quite understand, and Michael Tanner helps explain why.
Thank A Capitalist
Polls show that more than a quarter of Americans have a favorable opinion of socialism, including 43 percent of those under age 30, and 42 percent of Democrats. Meanwhile, barely half of Americans have a favorable view of capitalism. Democrats, in fact, are as likely to view socialism positively as they are capitalism.
In the last 25 years, a period during which much of the world has embraced free markets, a billion people have been lifted out of poverty, and the global poverty rate has been slashed from more than 37 percent to less than 10 percent. Infant mortality declines as countries adopt market-based economies. Thanks capitalism!
Sweden and Denmark
The socialism spoken of today seems to want to somehow keep capitalist benefits. Proponents often cite Sweden and Denmark as examples of socialism. Well, Sweden introduced school choice into elementary education, and has even partially privatized its social-security system. Denmark recently cut the duration of unemployment benefits, and both countries have significantly reduced their corporate-income-tax rates; the Danish government has slashed the rate from 32 percent in 2000 to 23.5 percent last year. Not very socialist.
If Science Is In It, It Aint
The more one thinks about it, the more one accepts it. The problem with social science is that it’s not really science. It can’t be tested experimentally and it cannot be reduced to mathematics and therefore be predictive.
As the grandson of the grandson of a slave, I believe the United States of America, functioning under a reasonably free market capitalist economy supported by reasonably reliable courts to enforce contract law and protect property rights, has been the greatest engine for the generation of human knowledge and wealth the world has ever seen. I am liberal, progressive, capitalist and proud of it.