If socialists really wanted to help people they’d be capitalists

Thursday's Editorial - March 14, 2019


1. Newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a Democratic-Socialist, continually criticizes capitalism - our U.S. economic system. In this editorial, Mr. Puzder explains why capitalism is better than socialism. Mr. Puzder addresses Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s opposition to capitalism and promotion of socialism with the following arguments:

  1. As Rep. Ocasio-Cortez notes, the motive in a capitalist economy is profit.  But, here’s what she seems to be missing: Capitalist societies create abundance and prosperity by taking our natural desire to improve our lives - to profit - and directing it outward to satisfying the needs of others.  This much-berated profit motive is precisely what incentivizes us to meet the needs of others because...that’s how you profit. (from paragraph 4)
  2. Whatever your business, you can only succeed in a capitalist economy by meeting other peoples’ needs – your customers.  This applies to every business from a roadside lemonade stand to Amazon.  The greater the benefits you provide - to others - the greater your success. If you fail to provide benefits to others, you fail, your business dies, and you lose your investment.  (from paragraph 5)
  3. You don’t succeed in a capitalist economy by meeting the needs of a group of government elites or by producing the products they set.  You succeed by meeting the needs of ordinary consumers who direct the economy and vote with their dollars on which products entrepreneurs should produce. (paragraph 7)
  4. Henry Ford didn’t build Fords for the aristocracy, he built them for ordinary Americans.  Steve Jobs didn’t create the iPhone for government elites or to meet some government mandate.  He created them for you and me, and if they hadn’t met our needs, he would have failed.  Amazon isn’t a government-run distribution system.  It is totally and solely consumer driven.  It is superior to any government-run distribution system in any socialist nation in history.  It stays efficient because, as consumers, if we don’t like it, we won’t use it. (paragraph 9)
  5. In reality, socialists simply don’t trust people to make the right decisions.  They really don’t have confidence in what they consider the unwashed masses.  If they did, they would be capitalists.  This is why socialist governments are, or inevitably become, totalitarian. (from paragraph 12)

What is the general idea of these statements?

2. For each of the points listed in question #1, write agree or disagree and explain your answers.