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Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 3-4 of Georgetown University philosopher Jason Brennan’s brilliant 2014 book, Why Not Capitalism? (footnotes deleted):

51tmnu8owdl-_sx323_bo1204203200_Consider: The United States puts the poverty line for an American living alone at about $11,500.  A person living in the United States off this meager [annual] income, adjusting for the cost of living, is still among the richest 14% of people alive today, earning more than six times the income of the typical person worldwide.  In contrast, the countries that tried socialism – the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Vietnam, Cambodia, and North Korea – were hellholes.  Socialist governments murdered about 100 million (and perhaps many more) of their own citizens….  In socialist countries no one got rich, except maybe a few Communist Party officials.  Socialism was especially bad for poor proletariat workers, the very people the system was supposed to help the most.  So, sure, capitalism has problems, as [filmmaker] Michael Moore and OWS [Occupy Wall Street] can show you, with perhaps some exaggeration here and there.  But socialism was a disaster.  In short, we had the debate between capitalism and socialism, and capitalism won.

In this book, Brennan defends capitalism not because capitalism is by far the best set of economic institutions and attitudes for enriching the masses, but because capitalism is also morally superior to socialism – even to ideal socialism.


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