Letter to the Editor

Capitalism allows choices to citizens

Re: “American debtors must find a new capitalism,” by Sebastian Meyer, April 10.

Capitalism is the greatest economic system ever imagined. It best rewards those who serve their fellow man, respects the individual and makes every person wealthier. Government creates mediocrity, tramples on the rights of the individual and destroys wealth.

Capitalism rewards performance. Managers who run their firms well are well compensated for their performance; those who don’t are pushed out the door. Risk-taking entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates who give the market what it wants get rewarded for taking a chance. Entrepreneurs with bad haircuts who sell the Flowbee go out of business. Athletes who perform well and bring pleasure to fans make lots of money. Tiger Woods plays golf better than any man in the world, and millions of fans benefit and enjoy watching him perform. And when Tiger performs well, he is compensated well.

Government creates mediocrity. In schools, teachers who perform well are paid no more than lazy teachers. Pleasant, quick clerks at the Department of Motor Vehicles are paid no more than rude, lazy clerks. Consequently, most clerks at the DMV are rude, lazy and mediocre. Government-licensed monopolies, such as telephone companies and airlines before deregulation, were expensive compared to today’s prices. Cable franchises, monopolies granted by municipalities, are notorious for their terrible and expensive customer service.

Capitalism allows individual choice. In the United States, people are allowed to choose their meal, the brand of toilet paper they wipe their behinds with, the clothes they wear and the shelter they take. In centrally planned economies such as Cuba, Fidel Castro rations food and toilet paper, and allows citizens to wear only “revolutionary” clothes. Government doesn’t allow choice.

Capitalism and mutual, voluntary exchange make each party better off. Whenever you walk into a store and make a purchase, you give money to receive goods and services. The government taxes go to pork barreling. Government takes your wealth from you.

Capitalism allows choice. A person who chooses to manage his or her debt will stand to benefit. A person who fails to manage his or her debts learns and is granted forms of amnesty and a chance to try all over again.

Capitalism, in sum, allows people to make their own decisions. Perhaps those who seem to disparage capitalism are simply too lazy to go out and learn to make decisions for themselves.

Jeremiah Pederson is a senior double majoring in accounting and economics is the former SG senate president pro tempore.

John Caleb Chapman is a senior at Florida Atlantic University majoring in economics.