What are the Benefits of Capitalism?
Capitalism is the economic system that has raised the quality of life for people far above anything imaginable before it. It is the system that has provided for all of the industrial, technological and social advancements that has made the world what is today.
Compare even the poorest in our society today to the poorest in the feudal times. Comparisons of infant mortality rates and average life spans demonstrate that people are better off today. In fact, people are much better off today than they were even 300 years ago.
Another more recent comparison. A study by “The Economist” from OECD data in 2013 shows a “Better-Life” index. This is a compilation of 10 indicators observed in various countries, to arrive at a quality of life index and it is split between the bottom 10% and the top 10% of a country’s socioeconomic status. What does it show?
People in the in the bottom 10% have a better life in the U.S, than all but 3 of the 17 countries in the group. Countries that are more socialist, like Germany, France and Britain have a lower standard. In fairness, Sweden has it slightly better.
But wait there is more. Our bottom 10% are better off than the top 10% of Russia, Portugal and Brazil. By a lot.
Indeed, another study from World Bank data shows Americans in the bottom 5% of the U.S.’s income distribution are wealthier than 68% of the rest of the world. Our poorest people are about as rich as the richest in India. Why?
Capitalism, while not practiced perfectly here, is the engine that drives economic growth. It is carried on by self interested individuals in the pursuit of profits and it benefits everyone. The basic tenant of liberty in our country gives individuals the freedom to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors and when they succeed, it benefits everyone.
Can a government controlled and centrally planned system do better? It does not appear so.