Critical Thinking Skills:
Capitalism Questions and Answers for the Millennial Generation
Welcome to the family-friendly classroom! A young Millennial, a nice young man, schooled in leftist philosophy, asks the right person to help him understand Socialism and Capitalism better. It’s a little long, but just enjoy the dialogue, and the true history lesson we all need. ~C.D.
Young Leftist on Capitalism
RUSH: We’re back with Mac in Ithaca, a 27-year-old who describes himself as a — did you say liberal or leftist? Which do you prefer? I don’t want to —
CALLER: Yeah. I’m definitely not a liberal. Leftist. Yep.
CALLER: Yeah. Um, well, I listen to you every day on my way home from work. Uh, actually, I listen to the talk — talk news pretty much all day, and I love listening to you guys but I pretty much disagree with you on everything. I’m a leftist. So, um, I just wanted to… The other caller said, like, you can never — never win an arg… Well, he said “liberal,” but I — I assume he meant leftists in general. So, uhh, I just wanted to call in and say, like, we try to be reasonable. Ha! Ha!
RUSH: You listen to this program on the way home from work so you’re on the way home from work now?
CALLER: Well, um, right now it’s summer. I’m in the education business,
RUSH: My question, if you listen, say, to this program or to F. Lee, how can you — how have you — remained a leftist?How has this happened? I’m genuinely curious.
CALLER: Well, I mean, I read Marx and it just talks about how the fluctuations in the market are going to get worse and worse, and looking through history it seems like since capitalism has been around the fluctuations in the market continue to get worse and worse, you know?
RUSH: Well, what would be the solution to market fluctuations? You think they shouldn’t fluctuate then?
CALLER: It’s not that they can’t fluctuate at all, but, personally, I think that we should tax capital or… Yeah, pretty much taxing capital I think would probably be the way to do it.
RUSH: We do.
CALLER: I know. Yeah. But I don’t think we should have any other taxes. I just think that we should only tax capital.
RUSH: Why? To solve what? What problem?
CALLER: Um, well, I think, like, people who work really hard should get ahead, right? I know a lot of people that work really hard, but they don’t get ahead.
CALLER: You think getting rid of the unions would help those workers out?
RUSH: You don’t like capitalism because you think it’s unfair. Some people make too much, some people don’t make enough, capitalism doesn’t accommodate for the differences, the market fluctuates wildly —
CALLER: Rush, I mean, that’s not quite what I said. Capitalism would be fine. I just don’t think that it’s, like you said, sustainable. I don’t think, like, that’s a big word with my generation, you said, but, yeah, I just think that it’s headed for ruin and —
RUSH: Can you cite for me — and don’t misread my tone. I’m not being contentious. I genuinely am trying to learn the way you think. Can you cite for me anywhere in the world where a noncapitalist form of government has created wealth and plenty for the majority of the population? Or the opportunity for wealth and plenty. Can you cite for me that country where it exists?
CALLER: Well, Japan.
RUSH: Wasn’t kind of sustainable, though, was it? ‘Cause where are they now?
RUSH: Yeah. They’re in massive debt.
CALLER: They’re killing themselves.
RUSH: Japan Inc. came together. They had a combination of business and government that didn’t quite solve the problem, ended up in massive debt. Point is, you can’t find a country on earth with a higher standard of living. You can’t find a country higher than America. You can’t find a place on earth where the opportunity to grow your standard of living, as an individual, is greater than the United States of America.
Capitalism may not be perfect, but it’s better than anything else that’s out there.
RUSH: Your problem is, you’re focusing on punishing achievement rather than trying to figure out a way for people to achieve. Punishing achievement isn’t gonna help anybody. Trying to equalize people by lowering the people at the top, that’s not good. All that is is punitive. Why don’t you find a way to elevate people at the bottom?
It’s like teachers. I often hear that it’s unfair that athletes should make what they make versus teachers, because who’s more important. But that’s not how the market works. Markets don’t sign things. You know what you’re worth is what somebody will pay you. It’s not some arbitrary — the purpose of a company is not to create jobs and health care. That’s not why they exist. And it’s not to create fairness or any of that. That’s not why people form businesses and try to sell a service or a product.
CALLER: Yeah, I hear ya, I just think you’re not seeing, like, the bigger picture. I think it’s headed for ruin if we keep trying to push it, personally. I don’t want to punish those that achieve. You know, I do agree that, you know, businesses are job creators, you know, businessmen are job creators. But it just seems, like, if this level of disparity continues, like, there are gonna be some people that just, you know, it’s asking for terrorism and class welfare —
RUSH: Mac, let me tell you something. There’s a benefit to having lived longer than other people and that is that I have the benefit of having seen more and experienced —more than you have. I’m 66 and you’re 27. I’m gonna tell you something that’s truthful. You think we’re facing ruin now. There have been times in the past where things have been much better and opportunities have been greater. What you don’t understand is why it was better in the past and why it seems to be fledgling right now.
We are under the stifling regulation and taxes of a predominantly left-wing type of thinking and philosophy. The eight years of Barack Obama have shrouded this country in punitive regulations. We haven’t had economic growth higher than one and a half percent for the last eight or nine years, and that was done on purpose.
But your way of doing it is what we have been doing the last eight years. We have been trying to equalize it. We have been trying to take the rough edges off capitalism. Obama has been trying or was trying to transform the country away from the way it was founded, and it is causing misery, and it is causing a lack of optimism about the future. It’s resulted in massive student debt, worthless college degrees, no job opportunities.
CALLER: Well, I wasn’t around in the eighties, but I actually think we were a lot closer to ruin in the eighties than we are now —
RUSH: Trust me on this. You’ve been lied to by people who have been educating you about that. The 1980s were one of the robust periods of economic growth that sustained all the way through the nineties and into the early 2000s ’til the recession. Don’t doubt me.
RUSH: So young Mac thinks the eighties we were close to ruin, but he wasn’t alive then, so why does he think that, do you wonder? Hello, education system. Capitalism, the only system of economics that allows for upward mobility. There’s no other system that does that.
RUSH: Where Mac was coming from is classic. It’s classic Marxism. I don’t know if he’s aware of that; it doesn’t matter if he’s up to speed on that or not.
Here’s a man, 27 years old, and he’s a nice guy, and he identified as a “leftist” and wants to be called a leftist, and he thinks the 1980s saw the United States near ruin! He wasn’t even alive then. So he only knows of the 1980s what he’s been told and maybe what he’s seen in movies and television shows. There’s no way that he could understand that the 1980s led to one of the greatest 20-year economic booms this country has ever seen. He doesn’t know it because the left cannot allow for that to be realized.
The left has been revising the history of the eighties since before the eighties ended.
They have been mischaracterizing the eighties as “trickle-down economics, didn’t work.” And what is trickle-down economics? Trickle-down (what the left teaches young people like Mac) is that we experimented. “We gave the rich all the tax cuts! The theory was that those tax cuts would lead to more money for the rich and that they would share the money and they would spread the wealth or give it away or whatever, and that would cause everybody to do well.”
There’s disparity everywhere! People are different. People earn different amounts of money. People have different standards of living. People have more possessions than others, different kinds of possessions.
People have different material lives than other people do. Marxism capitalized on this disparity by calling it immoral and unfair. It was not fair, not right that some should have so much and others shouldn’t, and the disparity (with young, impressionable minds) works every time it’s tried because it’s rooted in the idea of fairness — or unfairness, depending on how you choose to look at it. And since the United States has always been a capitalist system this disparity — this inequality, this lack of sameness, this lack of fairness — has been blamed on capitalism.
In fact, the disparities that exist in any culture exist because of the differences in people.
There are differences in ambition. There are differences in capabilities. There are differences in intelligence. No two human beings are the same because no two souls are the same. No two human beings have the identical skill set. Never will. Never have. These disparities are as much a part of nature and creation as is anything else.
Marxists Blame Differences in Human Nature on Capitalism
But the Marxists have come along, and they have taken these disparities and have attached them as existing solely because of the unfair nature of capitalism, which captivates young minds because it is unfair that there’s such great disparity. We shouldn’t have so much disparity. People shouldn’t have so much more than others. Once the Marxists — in the form of professors and teachers and moviemakers. Once they have young skulls full of mush ensnared on this premise, they pretty much own them.
You never have to succeed in equalizing things primarily because you can’t. Like I asked Mac, “Can you point to any place in the world where life is better? Can you point to anyplace in the world where there’s more opportunity? Can you point to anyplace in the world where there’s a greater opportunity for you to live your dream than the United States?” There’s an immediate no-answer to that because that’s not the way it’s taught nor looked at. The United States is taught/portrayed as a very punitive place and very discriminating place and unfair place. Elsewhere, like Cuba, is said to have “the best health care system in the world — and China!
“Look at all the railroads and look at all the sameness and the lack of disparity.” The only way you can have a lack of disparity is if most people are equally miserable, because there is no system that mandates — that can offer and deliver — mass prosperity to the tune these people are talking about it. Because people are different. It’s not capitalism that creates these differences; it’s freedom. Capitalism is rooted in freedom, market economics and freedom. You have the freedom to join the union and accept the terms.
You have the freedom to say:
“You know what? I don’t want to join a union. I want to be the owner of the construction company. I don’t want to join a union; I want to own the radio station!” Or “I didn’t want to make movies.” Whatever you want to do in the United States — if you’ve got the ambition, if you’ve got the drive, and if you have the desire — you can do. Desire, I believe, is 80% of achieving anything. If you have that, this is the one place in the world where you can pursue it. Whether you get it? There are a lot of factors involved.
Nothing is guaranteed except the opportunity to make the most of life —
and we’re all going to encounter different obstacles. Everybody’s gonna encounter somebody who’s got more connections than you do. Everybody’s gonna encounter somebody that has more of something than you do. You’re gonna encounter mean people. You’re going to encounter people that will try to undermine you. At the same time, you’re gonna run into people that want to help you. You’re gonna run into people that will be great mentors. You’re gonna run into all kinds, which is what opportunity is.
Socialism, leftism takes all of that away —
and claims to also take the risk away. And when the risk is removed, there’s no pain, right? And since there’s no risk and no pain, if you’re no different than anybody else, or if you’re only marginally different, then the way you end up is considered okay because everybody’s that way. Socialism, communism, literally kills the lifeblood of opportunity and energy and creativity because there is no outlet for it, and yet all of those things are a natural part of the human existence, desire, ambition, energy, creation. We all have those things in different amounts, different allocations. And they change.
There is no Croatian dream. There is no European Union dream. There is no Chinese communist dream, except maybe to get out.
But there is and always has been an American dream.
And the dream is possible. The dream can become real. And nobody in government stifles the dream. You’ll run into people that will try to talk you out of it because there are negativists everywhere. But the United States standard of living is expressed also as, “How are the vast majority of people in our country living?”
Under Communism, Only the Elite get their Dreams
It’s not about whether some have more than others, because that’s always gonna be the case, even in communism! Especially in communism. Especially in socialism. Socialism and communism are set up so that a select few elite get most of everything and the rest of society is equally miserable in poverty and oppression. So if you can be in the ruling party elite, socialism, communism, you’ve got it made. That’s less than one half of one-tenth a percent of the population in those countries.
In the United States, the vast number of people are living well. It isn’t whether some have more than others. It’s how is the economic system for everybody? People in the United States of America today, even after eight years of Barack Hussein O, people in the United States of America today live better than people ever have. The poor in this country would be considered affluent in most poor and poverty ravaged regions of this world.
The poor in this country have a car, air-conditioning, a TV and cell phone.
The United States of America provides the freedom,
I should say permits, allows, does not constrain the freedom that we’re all born with that allows each of us to pursue whatever it is that we define as a quality of life. Access to quality-of-life services, access to quality-of-life products is unparalleled in the United States of America.
Most societies — this is what American exceptionalism really is when you get right down to it. Most people in most countries don’t have anything approaching —I’m not talking about disparity. I’m talking about the population at large, there is no country on earth where the population at large lives anywhere nearly as well as the population of the United States.
Most countries feature societies of populations of people that just barely get by.
Socialism, leftism, liberalism not only doesn’t respect the unique abilities of free people; it attempts to quash them and to eliminate them.
Because it’s unfair not only to have more than somebody else, it’s unfair to be better than anybody else at whatever you do. That’s not fair. So we define everything down to the lowest common denominator. We take the people at the top, bring ’em down to people at the bottom and say that’s equality. We punish achievement if liberalism and leftism rules the day. But capitalism is where the respect for unique abilities and freedom resides.