by Robert M. Traxler
When did we lose our free will? The health problems of Americans, diet-related obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, even according to some, some cancers, coronary heart disease, joint problems and others are blamed on the availability of fast unhealthy foods.
It goes without saying the Satan of all Satans, advertising, is blamed — of course, we cannot blame the person, but the capitalist system. So the question becomes, are we as a group so stupid or weak-willed that we cannot say no? Do we need to have government tax/ban/regulate the availability of fast food, the costs of clothing and luxury items? Are we so weak-willed we cannot help ourselves and make smart decisions?
OK, a few, a very few, truly have a medical condition, but do we trash our capitalistic system because of a few weak-willed or ill folks? We do if we want to see a socialist system, a government that regulates prices and wages, regulates the availability of products, and rations their use to protect us from ourselves.
Designer tennis shoes costing thousands, designer clothing costing $10 to produce but sell for $200 or more, a good bit more. In a capitalist society the free market tells us what is wanted and produced. Folks go to McDonald’s for fries because that is what they want and are willing to pay for; if folks want fresh avocados and are willing to pay for them McDonalds would ask, “Do you want avocados with that?”
Guns are blamed for crime, more specifically “gun crimes,” as if a firearm had free will. Behind every gun crime is a criminal, a human being who loads the firearm, cocks it, points it, and pulls the trigger. Blaming the tool is very “Tres Chic,” but to blame the person is not. Chicago is a hot bed of “gun crimes;” it has very strong anti-gun laws, the laws are not strictly enforced against felons in possession of an illegal firearm. After arrest and trial, a felon there receives on average eight months’ probation or a suspended sentence; state law calls for two to ten years in prison, but after all, it is the firearm’s fault the convicted felon had an illegal weapon, not the felon’s.
I recently discovered the works of Ayn Rand, an immigrant from the Soviet Socialist Republics, who was a champion of our capitalist system. Reading her works, one quickly comes to the conclusion she was correct, but very politically incorrect in her defense of capitalism. Like it or not (and most on the Progressive side of the economic debate do not), capitalism works, and it works much better than socialism. It is not perfect, no form of government or economic system is, but our founders were intelligent enough to understand that the true power should rest with state and local governments; what is good for Colorado is not good for California, Alaska and Florida are different places.
The outcome of all socialist governments allowed to last decades by the people is a tyrannical government, poverty, and anger as “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The socialist government always fails, leaving a tragedy in its wake.
Let’s look to the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics (USSR) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to see how they have flourished, after and only after they converted their economic systems to the dreaded capitalistic system. Limited capitalism for sure, but not socialism; both nations’ economies are much stronger, resulting in a better life for the people.
No economic system is or will ever be perfect, but capitalism with some regulation is as good as it gets; our Constitutional Republic form of government is not perfect, but it is better than all others, and in the long term much better than socialism.
It is time for us to call for limiting the federal vice grips that have been placed on our economy and State and local governments because of the Patriot Act and COVID-19 controls, and others. Time to remind us that we are responsible for our own fate, time to stop blaming all the sins in the book on capitalism, and time to take personal responsibility for our actions.