“Some critics view socialism as something warm and fuzzy (free health care, like in Sweden!), while others drip with hostility at the inequality of market-based economic systems. There was widespread agreement, however, that U.S.-style capitalism has somehow failed….Many social conservatives dislike capitalism because it undermines their cultural values by promoting materialism, vulgarity and hedonism. Even those in the political center, who might be expected to boisterously defend the market, have some doubts. They seem to view capitalism as a ‘lesser of two evils’ and not a good in itself….Market capitalism lets individuals and companies make society’s key economic decisions as they pursue – gasp! – profit. Every modern ‘capitalistic’ system has extensive government regulation of the private sector. They all tax people and provide redistributionist programs. Nothing is pure, but people like me – that is, libertarians – believe there should be lower taxes, fewer programs and less government control of the economy. Whatever their ultimate societal vision, self-described socialists believe there should be more government control, more programs and more redistribution. They are winning the day because our side keeps making excuses for markets and the flaws in our society. Yet market capitalism truly is moral, even though it cannot provide what some moralists seek, which is something approaching Nirvana….A system that lets us make our own decisions about our own lives is more moral than one that transfers them to powerful strangers. Freedom is better than coercion. Prosperity is more uplifting than poverty. ‘The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries,’ Winston Churchill said in 1945.”
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