By: William Huffaker
What is true economic equality? Does equality mean equal pay across the board to every job in every field everywhere? Does equality mean equal starting? Does equality mean equality of opportunity? In the late 1700’s, the Founding Fathers popularized a western philosophy known as capitalism. It was the idea that every citizen had the right and incentive to compete in a commercialistic economy. Everybody starts in the same place. They all have an equal chance and through hard-work, can create the life they long and hope for. Life is what they make of it. Anybody could do whatever possible to further their economic status by gaining job skills and using their own intelligence to create products. Now it was the consumer’s choice whether those products would be successful. The objective was simply to do a better job than the opponent and create something that fit a need and people desired.
In the early to mid-20th century, a man by the name of Vladimir Lenin proposed the use of a practically unknown philosophy from the mind of one Karl Marx. This was communism, a socialistic society where everything was controlled by the government. All money went through the hands of a few. All business ran through the government. No business was not a government business. All people were paid the same, just as much as they needed. It would lead to a Utopia, wouldn’t it?
Many problems arose and the entire U.S.S.R. ended up in shambles and Russia still feels it today. This idea unfortunately spread to much of eastern Europe, with the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazis) in Germany, Mao in China, The Kim’s in Korea, and Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, which all gradually failed. Today on campuses across the U.S., millions of college students shout that socialism will save America. Capitalism has brought it to its knees. MIllions of people are surviving off minimum wage or barely making it day to day. They struggle to recognize how every government to adopt socialism/ communism has fallen. The citizens of Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea all live in utter poverty.
To put it simply, when a government adopts communism, the entire nation lacks incentive. Doctors go to work and make the same amount as janitors. People go to work and can slack off all day long and still make the same as someone who works hard all day. People begin to adopt the mindset of why am I working hard if they aren’t? Why am I working hard if I don’t need to. Suddenly products become cheaper. They’re produced slower. Farmers harvest less and food is produced slower. Also, no one has control over their own business. Government officials leech off the capital that comes in and just keep getting richer. They soon have no money for the citizens that wait in line all day for a loaf of bread. They depend on foreign aid and soon have nothing to pay their citizens. People stop going to work and go on strike because they aren’t getting paid. No one is fed. Nothing is produced. The government has all the money and suddenly you’re serving time in Gulag for not being able to pay taxes to the state.
Sixty years ago, South Korea was dirt poor. Now, the average citizen in North Korea is just as rich as an average middle class American. Why? They adopted capitalism. It started with factories. People started by making $2.00 a day in factories. Work was long and hard as they produced for Americans across the Pacific. They were a bit overworked, yet thankful because those $2.00 were the only things keeping them alive. They had a skill and with time, could move up little by little in the workforce. It saved their economy yet young Americans wish for their own country to revert to the same form that had previously ruined South Korea. They won’t recognize that the greatest economic strategy is in their own country. They argue that citizens keep getting poorer while billionaires like Bezos and Gates make billions every year, never recognizing that millions are employed by these corporations.They argue that McDonald’s workers need to make the same as physicians so that they can spend the rest of their lives in a starter job. Who knows where our country will go?… but we know where it’s been and unless the future of this nation can recognize that successful path, a long road is ahead of us. Stay strong, stay hard-working, stay rich. God bless America!