Finance / Politics

The Far Left’s Ignorance of Capitalism and Poverty

millennials capitalismAfter 15 years teaching high school economics it never ceases to amaze me how little people understand about capitalism and how it is the poor who need and benefit from it most. Rich people can do well anywhere and would be rich no matter the economic system of the country, but it’s the poorest who do better under American capitalism than almost anywhere else. Having traveled to over 100 countries, including many in Southeast Asia and Africa where abject poverty exists, there are precious few color televisions, automobiles, and microwave ovens among the poor there.

This is not the old “welfare Cadillac” argument here, rather an acknowledgment that poverty will always exist at some level.  In any room of a dozen people, just as in my classrooms of 25 students, someone has to be the “poorest” if you ranked everyone by household income.  But capitalism doesn’t create poverty any more than spoons create fat people.  Poverty has hovered between about 11 and 16 percent in the U.S. for a century.  It’s at the lowest end in prosperous times like now and at the higher end during recessions.  And someone poor today will not necessarily be so in five years.  Only 3% of those poor today will be so in a decade.  Still, consider what Democrat Anthony Clark, a candidate for the 7th district in Illinois, recently tweeted: “If billionaires didn’t exist poverty wouldn’t either!”  What?

This is the classic failure to understand what was taught in the first chapter of all economics books.  A man is not poor BECAUSE of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos; he is poor IN SPITE of them.  Neither Gates nor Bezos stole or took anything from the poor.  The economically ignorant believe the economic pie is the same as the pumpkin pie at the dinner table—if your brother takes a bigger piece, then you get a smaller one.  It’s classic “zero sum” thinking, but it’s 100% a fallacy!  An economy can grow.  Gates and Bezos baked whole new pies.  Think how our lives are so much better because of computers, software, the Internet, and buying low priced items on-line.  We can buy groceries and stocks and book airline tickets in our pajamas because of the value created by these and other millionaires and billionaires.

If you still agree with Clark’s tweet, then you agree with these statements, as summarized by syndicated columnist Alyssa Ahlgren:  “if physically fit people didn’t exist, neither would obesity; if students who got A’s didn’t exist neither would F students; if professional athletes didn’t exist then neither would the athletically challenged.”

Jeff Szymanski works in political communications for AMAC.

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Jean Pizzoferrato
1 year ago

I’m totally shocked at how many people in this country believe socialism is better than capitalism. They are being brain washed by Bernie, Liz, Joe, Pete and if they attend a University, their professors.

EVW
1 year ago

People need to demand the Clark’s of this world prove the assertions they make. It used to be the Media’s job to wave the BS flag when goofy assertions like Clark’s were made.

Joe
1 year ago

Several months ago while interviewing a woman from Africa, I asked her why she came to the United States; she said, because the poor people in America are fat.

Sammy
1 year ago

Sometimes simple logic is so easy to understand. Why can’t Democrats get it?

Rik
1 year ago
Reply to  Sammy

Maybe it’s because they’re simpltons!

Sammy
1 year ago
Reply to  Rik

No need for the maybe, That is a given.

Rick
1 year ago
Reply to  Sammy

My experience is that Libs/Dems run mostly on emotion. It all about the feelings and has nothing to do with facts or pragmatism.

Joanned
1 year ago
Reply to  Sammy

DEMOCRATS do not want ANY change to happen!!!! Example, Dimocraps. = POWER, + MONEY

Suzanne S Pike
1 year ago

Great article! So simple….if we could just get more people to read it!!!!!!!

Pat Kelley
1 year ago

I wish every High School student could read this. The Liberal teacher community would not allow it

Peter
1 year ago

What makes Capitalism thrive and seem like an obvious choice for economic vitality are these three elements which don’t necessarily have anything to do with money, jobs, prosperity or investment. They are # 1 Freedom of Movement… # 2 Free Enterprise, and # 3 Checks and Balances.

D Dean Maltsberger
1 year ago

Nice to the truth once in a while.

PaulE
1 year ago

The author, a former public education teacher tasked with teaching economics to students who, in most cases, probably lacked any real interest, understanding or appreciation of the basic principles of capitalism prior to entering his classroom, must no doubt be aware of how the majority of his felloe educators viewed capitalism and passed on those views to every student they could. The modern public education environment is primarily staffed by educators who are openly hostile and actually quite ignorant to the basic tenets of capitalism or even rudimentary economics. Many of the author’s fellow educators did their level best to fill his students’ heads with fantasies of “social and economic justice”, “economic fairness” and “income equality” that would exist in a socialist world.

Thus the students attending his class would have a fundamental misunderstanding of what capitalism really is, what the benefits are, how an actual free market economy works to fulfill needs and boost prosperity. To get back to creating well educated young minds capable to understanding and appreciating the benefits of capitalism, first we have to purge the public education system of educators both hostile to sound economic principles and the promotion of a socialist ideology that has always been proven to fail consistently wherever it was imposed. Yes, that means crushing the public teacher unions and getting back to real public education versus political indoctrination of our young. Wringing our hands or hoping some magical event will transpire to solve the issue is just idiotic fantasy. We either have the will to force the changes necessary or we will just sit back and watch more and more of our younger generations be indoctrinated into accepting socialism. It really is a simple binary choice.

Rik
1 year ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE, I always agree with your common sense comments. I find it easier to talk to young men because I compare Socialism/Communism with professional sports. 95% of young men are crazy about at least 1 sport and I always ask them to show me what Socialist/Communist country has Professional sports. NONE!!! So I then tell them to say goodbye to their favorite Professional sports if we get Socialism/Communism and I use Lebron James as an example. His 27 million dollar salary is a “reward” for his skills and talents. I point out that without sports his high school diploma would qualify him as a 6’9″ janitor under Socialism/Communism. I point out that under Socialism the government takes at least 60% of your income to pay for all those “freebies” you get. I point out that you don’t have $50 to pay for parking, $100 for a cheap seat, $12 for a small beer, or $9 for a hot dog at a Laker game under Socialism/ Communism. Their eyes get big and I then say: “I betcha your teacher didn’t tell you that though!” … it gets them thinking.

Steve
1 year ago
Reply to  Rik

Rik, all good points except, professional sports DO exist in at least some Socialist/Communist countries. Vietnam is Communist and yet has professional soccer.

Rik
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, most Americans don’t care about soccer except the American Mexicans, And since they’re illegal, they don’t count!!!

Susan Edwards
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

And those athletes are paid well by the government ONLY when they win.

Clark Zellerman
7 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

We sit back and realize how impossible it is to become truly “free market” is why people are disenfranchised. It’s not an acceptance of socialism so much as it is a hatred for late-stage capitalism.

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