Capitalism: Six popular misconceptions
- Capitalism encourages selfishness.
The only successful capitalist is the one who satisfies his employees, suppliers and customers. Capitalism requires an almost obsessive regard for the other’s point of view.
- Capitalism encourages greed.
It encourages independence, initiative, hard work, saving and investment. Greed is everywhere. Misers make poor entrepreneurs.
- Capitalism encourages individualism.
Most capitalist activity involves people working together. It requires, promotes and rewards collaborative action.
- Capitalism is good for the rich and bad for the poor.
Then why do the poor flock in such numbers into the capitalist world? All our experience shows us that capitalism is the best way of moving people out of poverty. Capitalism is good for everybody.
- Capitalism increases inequality.
No inequality, of income, prestige, power or privilege, is greater than that found in totalitarian societies: Asiatic princedoms, post-colonial tyrannies, real-world communist regimes.
- Capitalism promotes materialism
Capitalism acknowledges the material dimension of our lives. Under capitalism we are free to yield to or reject the claims of materialism. Under socialism the shortage of basic necessities compels the non-privileged majority to take a disproportionate interest in goods such as bread, soap and toilet paper.
- By capitalism is meant a free market economy, where prices and incomes find their own level.
- A free market economy is a necessary constituent but not a sufficient cause of the good society.