Should Capitalists Be Added to the Endangered Species List?

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”- Ronald Reagan

These days, it seems as though capitalism is under relentless attack. We hear almost daily the demagoguery of such terms as “economic inequality,” “the income gap,” “price gouging,” “obscene profits.” Just yesterday the Senate overwhelmingly passed an increase in “the living wage” for “the working class.” On any given day, politicians use this language to show how much they “care” about us poor working stiffs and lament the rewards for high achievers.

John Edwards likes to give his “Two Americas” speech to illustrate how unfair it is that some Americans, through hard work, investing, perseverance, and making difficult choices, make disproportionately more than those who make poor choices and underachieve. Hillary Clinton wants to take the profits away from “BIG OIL” and “invest” in government programs to find more efficient, cleaner, and less expensive alternative energy sources. Never mind that government has been investing in such programs for decades with very little return.

Capitalism has always had its adversaries but where are its defenders? They are not in the halls of congress and certainly not in the Oval Office. President Bush, ever the “compassionate” conservative chastised business leaders for “overpaying” executives. Meanwhile, only three Republican Senators (no Democrats) voted against raising the minimum wage. With all this angst against profit makers, it’s only a matter of time before these same politicians will want to impose a “maximum wage” with higher “windfall profits” taxes or by some other means.

Where are the Republicans who stand for small government? Where are the disciples of Ronald ReAgan, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand? Is it time to put capitalists on the endangered species list?

Maybe, maybe not.

Wayne Dunn writing for Capitalism Magazine seems to believe that this type of anger towards achievement is as old as time. In Dunn’s article “An Open Letter to Businesspeople” he writes about how its time for the achievers to stop apologizing to the low achievers for being successful.

Throughout history, those of you who actually invent the things the rest of us use, who create the jobs the rest of us need, who produce the goods the rest of us merely purchase, haven’t been awarded even so much as a shred of recognition from traditional moral codes. Instead you are maligned as “materialists,” condemned as “profit-chasers,” reviled as “ruthless,” vilified as “greedy,” disparaged as “worldly.” They who couldn’t create a match stick or run a dog pound sneer at you who create microchips and run factories.

But when the castigators need money, or a labor-saving device, or a bridge built, or a building erected, or a disease cured, to whom do they run? They who renounce “this world” rely on you who do not. They who scorn “mere” human achievement depend on you who achieve. They who repudiate money bank on you who earn it. They who proclaim that the mind is impotent benefit from minds that are not.

It’s high time that we who believe in capitalism stand up and extol its superior values and support those who will do the same if we do not want to see our free market system go the way of the dinosaurs.