The most compassionate nation in the world is the United States of America. We are not compassionate because we have special DNA or are some special form of human species, we are compassionate because of capitalism. Capitalism has given us the gift of excess goods, services, and resources that we share with the rest of the world.
At the heart of capitalism is the ability of individuals to produce and create wealth for their own personal use and their family. As human beings, we first must take care of ourselves by producing food, clothes, and shelter. It is the nature of survival that is first and foremost in the human condition. In most economies prior to the capitalist system of the United States, goods and services were assumed to be owned by some ruling class. Production was stifled because the people producing wealth for others is much harder to manage than a system that allows for individuals to keep what they produce for themselves.
Capitalism rewards the hard work of individuals and is destroyed by the policies of taxation or confiscation without due compensation. It is a simple premise that is rooted in human nature. As we create our own wealth beyond the basic survival needs, we create additional wealth that allows us to become more compassionate. Whether that is on the personal scale of donating food to the local food pantry or the on the corporate scale of creating foundations that help other nations climb out of poverty, it can only happen when we create excess wealth. Excess wealth only happens in a capitalist economic system.
There are people and companies that abuse the system but on the whole most people and companies in the United States are a great example of how capitalism is the only system that works is a free society. As the government tries to regulate business and the capitalist system they impede freedom, freedom of individuals, and freedom of markets to conduct business. This limits wealth, reduces freedom, and smothers compassion.
So as you listen to all of the political posturing in 2012, remember capitalism is the most compassionate economic system in the world. It produces both winners and losers. The losers often come back into the market to become winners. But that can only happen when the government keeps its hands out of the arena. Any business or business person breaking the law should be punished. But any business or business person that fails in the market must be allowed to fail and not bailed out by the government.
If the government continues to distort the market capitalism is dead. Once capitalism is dead so is wealth and compassion. It’s that simple…