Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is a bad system of government, except when compared to all the others.” Much the same might be said of capitalism. It is a Biblical economic system, susceptible to greed and other shortcomings when not governed by the Biblical principals that came with it. Capitalism is limited until you consider the alternatives, which we will do.
It is better than what we see in the Developing World economies, and better than the socialist economies, capitalism makes it possible for the vast majority of the poor to break out of the prison of poverty; to find opportunity; to discover full scope for their own personal economic initiative; and to rise into the middle class and higher.
Sound evidence for this proposition is found in the migration patterns of the poor of the world. From which countries do they emigrate, and to which countries do they go? Overwhelmingly they flee from socialist and Third World countries, and they line up at the doors of the capitalist countries.
Another way of bringing sound evidence to establish the advantages of capitalism is to ask virtually any audience, in almost any capitalist country, how many generations back in family history they have to go before they reach poverty. For the vast majority of us in the U.S. we need go back no farther than the generation of our parents or grandparents. In 1900, a very large plurality of Americans lived in poverty, barely above the level of subsistence. Most of our families today would be described as relatively affluent. Capitalist systems have raised up the poor within family memory in the USA.
When all the people in a nation, especially the able-bodied poor, see that their material conditions are actually improving from year to year, they are led to compare where they are today with where they would like to be tomorrow. They stop comparing themselves with their neighbors (coveting), because their personal goals are not the same as those of their neighbors. They seek their own goals, at their own pace, to their own satisfaction. So they were free from coveting and happy to see the reward of their own efforts.
In upcoming blogs we want to take a practical look at how Biblical Capitalism is supposed to work. We also want to examine the European socialistic economies, which is of special interest to millennials.
Thoughts from this blog come from a reprint of a Wall Street Journal Article by Michael Novak on Feb. 17, 2017.