Monday, February 20, 2017

Capitalism is not the enemy

The fact that Pope Francis is a strong critic of capitalism bothers me. Matthew Lau says:
In another speech in February, Pope Francis said that “capitalism continues to produce discarded people” — an ill that, according to him, is thankfully curtailed by taxes which promote “solidarity” and “mutual care.” He then told the over 1,000 listening to his address that “we must work toward changing the rules of the game of the socio-economic system.”
There is nothing inherently wrong with capitalism, and many things right about it. Greed and excess etc.--is a product of man not capitalism.

For over fifteen years my husband and I owned and operated a small business. We created jobs for people, we provided goods and services, we provided our children with a good and honest work ethic, we contributed to the economy of our country. This is all good and healthy. It is not evil.

After those years of running our company we both took jobs for the next fifteen years in the government. The amount of money wasted and squandered in government was horrendous--those taxes Francis talks about are frequently mismanaged and wasted. The way many people were treated and abused in government was horrifying. Managers on power trips, and employees too lazy to work sprinkle themselves throughout the bureaucracy. Managers who couldn't manage produced "discarded people", not capitalism.

As business owners we never wasted money, we worked hard and didn't abuse people, we added to the GDP. There was nothing nefarious about the fact that because we lived in a capitalist society, we were able to make a good and honest living as well as provide people with jobs. All because of capitalism.

I would argue that communist governments like Cuba, are evil. The people there suffer from low wages, lack of goods and services, lack of motivation, lack of basic property rights, lack of something to strive for. These kinds of living conditions do not occur to this extent under capitalism.

In third world countries where there are very poor people, is it capitalism that's at fault, or is it corrupt leaders, wars and terrorists that are at fault?

Certainly there are greedy and evil capitalists. Just like there are greedy and evil people in dictatorships, in socialism, in communism, and in terrorists.

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