One of the dumbest traps that Republican candidates fall into is taking seriously the question, “What will you do about income inequity?” The answer should be, “Celebrate it! Income inequality is one of the best features of capitalism. It means that people are rewarded with monetary incentives if they work hard, are innovative and create products and services a lot of people like, and all of those traits are good for everyone in society.”
You know where you’ll find income equality? In communist nations like Cuba, where everyone has nothing. That is, unless you count the leaders, who always seem to live like kings. No wonder the people who whine the most about income inequality tend to be socialists. They want us to institute an unjust economic system that’s failed miserably everywhere it’s been tried because they picture themselves being the power brokers who prosper under that corrupt system. Ask any regular working person who fled to America from a socialist nation if they want to import that garbage here.
There are three factors that make capitalism such a powerful force in creating wealth and growing the economy: incentive, innovation and competition. Profit isn’t a factor; it’s the very purpose of all three of those factors. Profit provides the incentive that makes everyone who engages in capitalism believe their efforts can pay off in gaining wealth and improving their lives.
Leftists may see colleges as socialism indoctrination centers, but the only reason most people take on the time, effort and debt of getting a degree is because they assume it will result in a bigger paycheck (gender studies majors are in for a rude awakening.) People take risks that benefit us all, whether going to college, opening a business or patenting new inventions, not just because they’re following their passion but in hopes of making money.
All this creative energy that powers capitalism is generated by people motivated by the knowledge that the system can and will reward their success. This opportunity didn’t exist under the feudal system, it’s severely hampered by socialism, and it’s nonexistent under communism. That’s why those systems are so economically stagnant and far behind capitalist nations in innovation. Capitalism is the true “economic justice;” it’s lifted more people out of poverty worldwide than any other system.
If you want to see the perfect A-B comparison of communism and capitalism, look at a nighttime satellite photo of Korea. Capitalist South Korea is so prosperous that its lights shine brightly enough to be seen from the moon. Communist North Korea is in the dark, figuratively and literally.
That’s also a perfect illustration of how the “unequal income” generated by encouraging incentive, innovation and competition helps the entire society. Innovation that responds quickly to market demand brings us new and better products and services that improve everyone’s lives. Young people today who claim to hate capitalism couldn’t imagine a world without Amazon, Uber, smart phones, streaming entertainment and other innovations of capitalism that didn’t even exist when I was their age. Competition improves services, keeps prices lower and provides choice (Russians in the USSR used to wait in long lines for everything because the government was the only supplier.)
Capitalism can even be better for the environment. When consumers began demanding cleaner processes, greener products and more fuel-efficient cars, industry quickly responded. You can now find countless organic products available at Walmart, and the air and water are far cleaner than they were 50 years ago. Capitalism is so much more efficient than government planning that while President Biden is trying to mandate that everyone drive electric cars by 2030, I would bet that long before then, private industry will have developed new auto technologies that make today’s lithium battery EVs look as obsolete as Model T’s. That is, if the government will quit thinking it can predict the future and pick winners and losers with subsidies, and just get out of the way.
When you hear someone ranting about “income inequality,” remember that you’re hearing someone so lacking in brains, skills and ambition that the only way they could ever get rich is by being a socialist politician (see Bernie “three houses” Sanders.)
(Partially adapted from “The Three C’s That Made America Great” by Mike Huckabee and Steve Feazel: