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Capitalism is Spiritual

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In response to this blog post,, I received the following feedback:

“I must ask about #3…since when is social justice anti-American? I had always thought that this Democracy was to be a great experiment in assuring “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all, not just the 1%…”

“And it appears to me that the European Socialist governments are doing quite well in assuring the well-being of their citizens. Why is Socialism considered the work of the Devil? Thanks, Anne”

My Answer:

Thanks for your feedback, Anne.

Although I acknowledge that writing about politics might turn off many readers, I believe it’s important to continue the conversation on these issues because I too believe in “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” for all, and those freedoms are intimately connected with spirituality (e.g., personal fate and free will).

Also, allow me to say that it’s a very attractive proposition: a utopian world where everyone’s needs are taken care of, the government “assuring (all citizens’) well-being…,” and there is no suffering or personal adversity. The problem is that it’s impossible, just as it’s impossible to never have a challenging day or any strife whatsoever in any of your personal relationships.

Equal Rights For Everyone, Not Government Theft of Private Property

While I’m of the opinion that everyone should have equal rights, it’s not society’s or government’s role to divvy up success in equal parts to everyone. You can’t replicate personal destiny, but you can have an equal playing field where everyone is free to seek the opportunities they desire. Please see this article for more information:

The Term Social Injustice is a Misnomer

Thomas Sowell writes eloquently about the topic of “social justice” in this article:
“All kinds of chance encounters– with particular people, information or circumstances– have marked turning points in many individual’s lives, whether toward fulfillment or ruin. None of these things is equal or can be made equal. If this is an injustice, it is not a ‘social’ injustice because it is beyond the power of society.”

Free Market Capitalism, Not Crony Capitalism and Corruption

Considering that I interpret what you are saying correctly, I agree that corporate corruption and specifically financial industry zero-skin-in-the-game, reckless profiteering must be adequately addressed. While we’re at it, let’s also eliminate asinine, Marxist federal mandates that, for example, force financial institutions to make housing loans to those who can’t afford them in the name of “equality.”

The truth is that the vast majority of U.S. corporations conduct business within legal bounds, and more burdensome regulations will only make things worse. It’s inefficient and unaccountable government, along with favoritism, that is the problem. Crony capitalism, not capitalism, is what needs to be eliminated.

The U.S. Constitution Matters

The United States of America’s founding fathers mandated in the U.S. Constitution that personal success can’t be confiscated by the government, even though Congress has been legislating just that for decades. According to the Congressional Budget Office, IRS data clearly show that the most wealthy 1% in America paid just about 40% of all federal income taxes in 2009. It was only 18% in 1980.

The Top 1% Doesn’t Owe You Anything

Let’s be fair about the top 1% of wealthy Americans: most of them are honorable and far from being criminals. They don’t owe you or me anything. It’s much better that the rich get to keep their legally and ethically earned money so they can put it to good use instead of surrendering it to the ineffectual, wasteful, government.

Billionaires don’t wage war on the rest of us, politicians do, with misleading, worn out, class-warfare-forwarding agenda catch phrases like “tax cuts for the wealthy” and “social justice.” And why do they do that? Because it gets them votes–the uninformed, the envious and, or those with an unreasonable sense of entitlement eat it up, hook, line, and sinker.

Instead of demonizing multi-millionaires and billionaires, let’s praise them. They donate great sums of money to worthy charitable causes, and they generate job creation through investment. Government does not create private sector jobs or prosperity, as any honest, unbiased economist will tell you.

There Has Never Been a Socialist or Communist Country With Enduring Prosperity

Let’s also consider that countries that have embraced socialism, or worse, communism, for generations (e.g., Cuba, North Korea, etc.) are infinitely poorer than the U.S.

As for European socialist economies doing “quite well,” surely you aren’t speaking of countries like Greece and Spain. Socialist policies have all but destroyed those and several other European economies.

Or, perhaps you are referring to Scandinavian “socialist” countries, which are really far less “socialist” than most people believe, as this author outlines:

“The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism:”
“Scandinavian nations are not nearly as socialist as leftists claim they are. Although the United States ranks higher than these nations on the Index of Economic Freedom, Scandinavian nations are more free in several decisive areas. Denmark has greater business freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom while having comparable property rights and trade freedom scores to the U.S. Sweden has greater business freedom and freedom from corruption, while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, property rights enforcement, investment freedom, and financial freedom to the United States. Finland has greater business freedom, monetary freedom, and freedom from corruption than the United States, while having comparable property right enforcement, financial freedom, and trade freedom. Norway, the least successful Scandinavian nation, has greater freedom from corruption than the United States while having comparable business freedom, trade freedom, and property right enforcement. Iceland has greater business freedom, fiscal freedom, and freedom from corruption, while having comparable trade freedom and property right enforcement. In many ways, Scandinavian countries are more “laissez faire” than the United States.”

Capitalism is Spiritual—it Offers the Most Freedom of Any System

The problem with big government is that you can’t violate absurd, oppressive laws (such as raw dairy products prohibition) and regulations without legal problems or the threat of imprisonment.

Free market enterprise, however, allows you to simply avoid a company if you don’t like its business practices. It also supports healthy competition, forces down prices, and cultivates more and more attractive offerings.

America owes its success to free market capitalism. Capitalism is spiritual relative to other economic systems, considering it allows for the most personal freedom.

I believe it’s important to support policies that limit government, and allow for complete personal freedom, as long as those freedoms don’t infringe on others’ rights.

“What kind of society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system” Milton Friedman

Copyright © 2012 Scott Petullo

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2 Responses to “Capitalism is Spiritual”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Bravo, Scott, BRAVO!

  2. Scott Petullo Says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Kathy.

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