With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street movement permeating the American political landscape like a virus, we see a visceral hatred of free markets and capitalism. We see signs that say “F your unpaid internship” and “Eat the Rich” displayed by people on the far left who seek to destroy out current form of government and implement a socialist progressive state. For some, these misguided individuals can hardly be blamed. The United States government did spend $700 billion dollars bailing out the banks to save them from their alleged reckless risk taking. At the end of the day, TARP remains one of the most unpopular pieces of legislation in American history. However, capitalism is not immoral. In fact, it’s very amoral, but when used properly can be a mechanism to bring a state and its citizenry to a better state of living.
The occupiers should only look across the Atlantic, when they aren’t updating Facebook or Twitter about the evils of corporations, and see the crumbling socialist model the European nations have adopted to see that they’re peddling failed economics. It’s wrong and it’s immoral. It’s immoral that socialists de-incentivize hard work, regard citizen money as the state’s, and use it to pay for lavish programs that eventually leaves succeeding generations in a state of economic despair in the form of debt so astronomical that services previously provided are drastically cut or dissolved leaving millions destitute. Is that the end result of the progressive utopia? I fail to see equality of outcome as anything, but dismal. I mean wouldn’t you go crazy of every ice cream shop just had one flavor. I feel occupiers don’t see that the end result of their agenda, if you could call it one, would turn America into a monolithic, poorly tasting, and dull country high on “sameness.”
What the free market has done for this country is to allow an entire generation of Americans, namely our parents’ generation, to achieve a level of success that was beyond their education background. My grandfather built a manufacturing company from scratch, which at its height, supplied windows as far south as Savannah and as far west as Chicago. It employed 400 people and allowed my family to reap the benefits of its success. Grandpa Vespa only had a sixth grade-level education. That’s just one story.
Let’s go to the far east, in my old neighborhood, to China. China was decimated by the communist policies of Mao Zedong. The Great Leap Forward was a calamity with millions starving due to a failed industrial initiative, namely steel production, that diverted resources from rural farmers. In the end, the Chinese ecnomy was on the brink of destruction by the time Mao died in 1976. It was only after Deng Xiaoping took power, that China’s economy flourished with his market-oreinted reforms. As Michael Elliott of Time Magazine wrote:
The reforms that Deng blessed started in the countryside, where farmers were allowed to sell surplus produce and, in time, were allowed to farm their own land on long leases rather than as part of a commune. “Township and village enterprises” — small firms, many of which grew rapidly in size — sprang up. Prices were freed. As the success of reform became evident in the countryside, it was gradually extended to the cities. Deng endorsed the creation of Special Economic Zones, islands of capitalism in a communist society. (The most famous SEZ, Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong, knows whom to thank for its prosperity; Deng’s statue graces a square in the city.) So China started that long run of supercharged economic growth that has made it the workshop of the world
Furthermore, The loosening of regulations on private business allowed them to flourish and outpace state-run enterprises. The Special Economic Zones, attracted foreign direct investment and culminated with China being the economic tiger it is today. In all, the middle class of China grew from 5-15 million to nearly 300 million during this period of economic restructuring. Yes, these are the horrible results of capitalism and free markets. Occupiers are either jealous, idiotic, or blissfully ignorant. I think it’s a Frankenstein creature composed of all three. However, what is clear is that capitalism works.