Monday, January 24, 2005

Capitalist Socialism

The Democrats will continue to lose to the Republicans on economic issues not just in America but in the world for the simple reason that the Republicans have read and assimilated DeSoto and the Democrats have not.

DeSoto (who tried to figure out why capitalism creates wealth in some places and not in others) found that man is a naturally capitalistic animal. Thus the more people who can become capitalists in a society the more wealth created. His prescription was to turn peasants into owners.

Now Bush has turned this understanding of man's nature into a slogan: "the ownership society".

This is all some what surprising because the movement DeSoto espouses is essentially leftist: giving the poor property rights in the land they work and the houses they build in a way that enhances capital formation.

Since there is not much free land left in America what Bush proposes is to give the poor an ownership position in the tax on their labor i.e. Social Security reform.

Socialism that is anti-Capitalist is a dead end.

1 comment:

Justin said...

I hadn't made that connection between the two before. It is a good one. But you shouldn't confuse any of the government reforms with real ownership, even if they are a good start.

Also, capitalism and socialism are diametrically opposed. One calls for the removal of the ownership of property. Capitalism is built on private property.

All socialism is anti-capitalist.