March 16, 2019

Saturday Learning Series - Defending Capitalism (Part 1)

So many people in America today seem to be clamoring for socialism.  So many have propagated the idea that capitalism is evil.  That notion stems from a complete lack of understanding of capitalism.  Plenty of people have stepped up to defend capitalism and done a terrific job, so I am not going to tread on new ground here.  Instead what I am doing is providing a repetition of what has already been said by many great thinkers, because this message is getting lost.  It needs to be ingested, understood and repeated to those who clearly do not understand the vast array of benefits that they have benefited from by living in such a system.

One of the greatest thinkers was Milton Friedman.  Here are some of his relevant discussions .  As a preamble, the interviewer Phil Donahue puts capitalism in the context of greed.  Friedman did not take exception to the term, but I do.  There is a difference between acting in your own self-interest (which might be termed selfishness) and outright greed.  Greed implies covetousness, hoarding and potentially a willingness to break laws to become wealthier and/or more powerful.

   intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power, or food.
   "mercenaries who had allowed greed to overtake their principles"

 synonyms: avarice, greediness, acquisitiveness, covetousness, rapacity, graspingness, cupidity, avidity, possessiveness, materialism

Selfishness  noun

   the quality or condition of being selfish.
   "an act of pure selfishness"
 synonyms: egocentrism, egotism, egomania, introversion, self-seeking, self-serving, self-obsession, self-absorption, self-regard, self-interest, self-love
 antonyms: unselfishness, altruism, generosity

Those two words are clearly not the same. 

Milton Friedman explains the benefits of self-interest, as (opposed to greed) for society.

Walter Williams explains why this is actually more moral than other systems:

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