Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Food for Thought

Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude. People ask, "Why is there poverty in the world?’" It's a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition... The interesting question isn’t "Why is there poverty?" It’s "Why is there wealth?" Or: "Why is there prosperity here but not there?" At the end of the day, the first answer is capitalism, rightly understood. That is to say: free markets, private property, the spirit of entrepreneurialism and the conviction that the fruits of your labors are your own... In large measure our wealth isn’t the product of capitalism, it is capitalism. And yet we hate it. Leaving religion out of it, no idea has given more to humanity. The average working-class person today is richer, in real terms, than the average prince or potentate of 300 years ago. His food is better, his life longer, his health better, his menu of entertainments vastly more diverse, his toilette infinitely more civilized. And yet we constantly hear how cruel capitalism is while this collectivism or that is more loving because, unlike capitalism, collectivism is about the group, not the individual... Meanwhile, billions have ridden capitalism out of poverty. And yet the children of capitalism still whine. - Jonah Goldberg

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