SBR Women of Action Hosts a Discussion on Socialism and Statism vs. Free-Market Capitalism

Judy Smith

Women of Action of SaddleBrooke Ranch hosted Doug Cardell, former Congressional aide, veteran, business owner, educator, and candidate for a Ph.D. in economic policy, at their Oct. 25 meeting. Cardell discussed the differences between free-market capitalism, fascism, socialism, and communism in regards to national economic policy. Fascism, socialism, and communism limit the rights of individuals and give those rights to the states (statism), while free-market capitalism promotes individuality and creativity.

He defined economic policy as the allocation of resources. Free-market capitalism distributes resources through producers and consumers negotiating value and exchanging goods and services. In contrast, fascism controls production by the government making decisions about production, and control over the distribution of these resources. There is private ownership, but the government regulates economic policies.

He reiterated that socialism nationalizes the means of production and oversees the distribution of resources, while communism in its truest form does not exist. Individualism dictates that the state has limited powers, only what is necessary to protect the people, while statism dictates the individual has no guaranteed rights, only what the state grants. If left unchecked, he warned, it can evolve into totalitarianism, where the state controls all activities.

He told Women of Action people have two inborn and contradictory urges: they wish for freedom and want others to share their ideas of what is right. On the other hand, while they do not want to be controlled, they tend to want to control everyone else. Individualism places freedom first, while statism places the state to control others first.

He reminded us of our nation’s Declaration of Independence, which states that all men are created equal by their creator with unalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Therefore, equal people have no moral justification for inhibiting or usurping the rights of others. However, as Cardell said, “Medicare is regulated by the state, as well as education and the progressive income tax are all attempts to redistribute income and wealth.”

According to the Heritage Foundation’s rankings of nations with the most freedoms, the United States has fallen from 5th to 21st in the past 25 years, so there has been a steady increase of government incursion into private lives. Cardell gave the group tips on how to stop the attempts of government intrusion:

• Get the facts on the issues facing us today so that you can express your opinion in a logical and factual way.

• Examine the assertions of those who want more government by researching carefully.

• Acknowledge their use of emotional appeal, but counter with facts and questions.

• Acknowledge that free-market capitalism can create inequality, but it also raises the standards of living for everyone. Free markets, according to Cardell, “reward value creation rather than work.” He further told us, “People are paid for the value they create, not the effort they expend doing so.”

He ended his talk by saying, “Free-market capitalism is the only system ever to evolve that uses the pursuit of self interest for the good of all.”