Charles Murray writes in the Review section of the weekend Wall Street Journal, July 28-29/12, Why Capitalism Has an Image Problem.
From the dawn of history until the 18th century, every society in the world was impoverished, with only the thinnest film of wealth on top. Then came capitalism and the Industrial Revolution. Everywhere that capitalism subsequently took hold, national wealth began to increase and poverty began to fall. Everywhere that capitalism didn’t take hold, people remained impoverished. Everywhere that capitalism has been rejected since then, poverty has increased.
Capitalism has lifted the world out of poverty because it gives people a chance to get rich by creating value and reaping the rewards. Who better to be president of the greatest of all capitalist nations than a man who got rich by being a brilliant capitalist?
Yet it hasn’t worked out that way for Mr. Romney. “Capitalist” has become an accusation. The creative destruction that is at the heart of a growing economy is now seen as evil. Americans increasingly appear to accept the mind-set that kept the world in poverty for millennia: If you’ve gotten rich, it is because you made someone else poorer.
The article is a must read in its entirety. The basic summary of his answer is:
- Collusive capitalism which includes crony capitalism where the people at the top take care of each other, and the corruption caused by excess government regulation.
- Timidity on the part of capitalists who value their own work but not the system itself. Ironically this mirrors the very successful who lean left. They tend to believe it was their effort that built their business while their political leaders insist it was not.
- The segregation of capitalism from virtue. this requires that the successful become judgmental, accepting that certain behaviors are more beneficial than others to attain success.