Letters of Liberty
                                                            Capitalism vs. Socialism  

                Several months ago, I was in the checkout line and noticed a magazine cover with hands shaking.  One hand represented capitalism and the other socialism.  I paused for a moment and considered purchasing the magazine because I thought it was ludicrous.  Let’s look at the two systems and compare the differences between them and you will see they are incompatible.

                Capitalism has been around for thousands of years.  It has allowed people to trade goods for other supplies either produced or grown in other areas.  The barter system was not perfect; however, it was an effective means to buy and sell without the need for currency.  As civilization became more modern and the population more diverse, there was a need for some type of currency.  This made it possible for trade between distant areas and countries.  Let’s look at capitalism during the last century in our country.  In the 1970’s after I started college I decide to purchase a calculator.  It cost $385 and it only preformed basic mathematical functions but it was much easier to use than the slide rule I was currently using.  People complained about the bulky size and wanted more functions.  With the complaints and improvements in technology, a calculator today costs less than $4, does more functions, is lighter, and is solar powered.  Is it a perfect system?  The answer is no.  It manages to evolve with time but does not always keep up with the economy.  However, it always corrects itself over time.  Having been in the mining business for over 30 years, I have seen great progress in this industry due in large part due to capitalism.  Capitalism is a two way street.  My employees have ideas and I pass them on to my supervisor and engineers.  If they cannot solve their problem, then they call in vendors.  I enjoy my employees talking to company officials and vendors who work together to resolve the problem.

                Socialism is relatively new and used in various countries around the world.  Its history on how it affects counties and their people are still being determined today.  Basically it is a political process to control both production through regulation combined with distributing money more equally to workers.  Although it sounds palatable to some, it will unfortunately fail as it is very dependent on government control and decision making.  You must ask yourself some questions prior to deciding if socialism is the correct path for our country.  Do socialist countries produce, innovate, or create as efficiently as our current system does?  I can remember my father always telling me how much better his German camera was than anything we produce.  Is that the case now?  Does socialism retard or restrain innovation?  If the government is making all the decisions, will my employees no longer be needed to have input in decision making that pertains to safety and production?  Socialism, to be effective, would require taking over companies and private property.  This is a big step because in other countries they have a different government system.  We have the people’s Constitution which, as a mentioned earlier, is a republic, and the property of our country resides within the borders of the sovereign states.  It also requires a government to be fiscally solvent during any economic cycle.  The government would be required to create jobs and people would be force to take these jobs whether they are desirable or not to continue to receive benefits and compensation from the government.

                It would be prudent to research different socialist governments and monitor them over a long period of time before making such a drastic change in both our political and economic system.