According to academic C. Bradley Thompson, "very few people are willing to defend Capitalism as a moral solution."
Also, as reported in this really great book I'm reading, The Secret Life of the Human Brain, people over age 40 do have cognitive strengths and advantages, and one of those is the ability to "cut to the chase," or to quickly determine the solution to a problem. In the first chapter, author Barbara Strauch, who is also the health and medical science editor at the NY Times, points up that the growth of myelin in a middle-aged person's brain increases during this time of life, especially if that person consistently "exercises" their brain in a variety of areas. Barbara is such a good writer that I can easily forgive her for her day-job, and clearly, the paper's editorial and reporting policy weaknesses don't preclude it from being a home for outstanding individual writers and editors.
That said, this whole "socialist" vs. freedom debate became so clear to me this morning. No matter what you've been "taught," or what economist you've read, or how you think about personalities and yes, even skin color issues, this is what it comes down to:
Which would you rather have: a job, or an allowance?
They do not call it "unemployment compensation" or "unemployment insurance" in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and a portion of Ireland, for those unaware of where and what the UK is). The UK is strongly socialist, thanks to the collapse of Empire and since it's a small cluster of islands, probably the deaths of too many people with brains and initiative in WWII. It is struggling today with the fact that if too few people have jobs and too few businesses produce sufficient income, it's mighty hard for Big Daddy to pay all those allowances. That's right, in the UK, unemployment payments are called "Jobseekers Allowance."
No other discussion or argument is needed. The U.S. is over the breaking point right now. With average people struggling to keep up, and with many people who might otherwise take their ideas for new inventions, medicines, technologies, products and concepts and start new business ventures in full retreat, or simply reluctant to start due to the onerous taxes, regulations and general lack of public respect for anybody who does anything other Parrot Politically Correct Party Lines, there isn't money to pay all the allowances required at present. Daddy's mansion doesn't have anywhere near as many rooms as the real Big Daddy's mansion (in the sky). In fact, there aren't very many rooms left at all, and soon, all the kids are having to double, triple, and even quadruple up in their garrets.
Soon, the kids are going to lose their bathrooms, and have to line up for showers down the hall. They won't have much choice in what they eat soon, either. And there won't be any new Nike Air Jordan releases for them, either. Those big flatscreen HD TVs aren't very exciting when there's just one channel to watch (Current TV, I guess).
Or, as I point up sometimes to students, "Like that gum?" Whatever the cool, tasty new flavor is. Right now I have both packs of Stride Shift gum - Berry Mint (Bmint) and Citrus Mint. They are both pretty great. Stride is made by Cadbury Adams USA, by the way - not a US company. But they pay taxes and employ people here.
Maybe someday money will be eliminated and replaced by (????). But until that day comes, right now the question for everybody in this country is this: which would you rather have - a job, or an "allowance"?
That's the difference between capitalism and socialism. Or possibly, you might ask, would you rather have the ability to a) work for yourself; b) choose which employer and which job you want; or c) get your allowance from Uncle Sam.
Thanks, Barbara Strauch. QED.