Arthur C. Brooks: Capitalism is the greatest force for human advancement that we have

National Post
RBC's headquarters stands on Bay Street in Toronto National Post | James Alexander Michie

RBC's headquarters stands on Bay Street in Toronto in a file photo from Aug. 29, 2011. Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

That said, it is necessary to indicate that capitalism is a mode of production derived from the usufruct of private property over capital as a production tool, which is mostly constituted by business relationships linked to investment activities and obtaining benefits, as well as of labor relations, both autonomous and free subordinated employees, for commercial purposes.

In capitalism, individuals, and companies usually represented by them, carry out the production of goods and services privately and interdependently, thus depending on a consumer market to obtain resources. The exchange of these is basically done through free trade and, therefore, the division of labor is carried out in a commercial manner and the economic agents depend on the search for profit.

Do not turn your back on capitalism

Thus, the fact of turning our backs on capitalism is to turn our backs on people from all over the world whom we have never met and who we will never see, but who have the privilege of lifting with our system.

Certainly, according to the best data in the world, compiled by the World Bank and economists at MIT and Columbia University, four-fifths of world poverty at the level of hunger had been eradicated since the 1970s. That is a humanitarian achievement beyond our wildest dreams.

Two billion people had emerged from poverty. What happened? It was globalization, which is very defamed today. It was free trade, despised by the right and the left. They were property rights and the rule of law. It was the culture of entrepreneurship that brought your ancestors to this great country, which brought two billion of your brothers and sisters out of poverty. That is the essence of how capitalism saves lives

This is not a partisan or political statement. We have the humanitarian opportunity to repeat the achievements of the last 50 years, not holding back capitalism or getting rid of capitalism, but spreading capitalism more widely. People need to get rid of the tyranny of their poverty and the tyranny of leaders who want to keep them in statist regimes.

The debate before us is whether we should turn our backs on capitalism. As I said before, reform it. Find better ways to regulate it. People taxes more. But to turn our backs on capitalism per se is to turn our backs on the people around the world whom we have never met and who we will never see, but who we have the privilege of raising with our system, with the gift to the world Those are our values of freedom and competition. To reject that is to pull the ladder behind us. Not well.

Source: Arthur C. Brooks | National Post

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