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Friday, November 18, 2005

Capitalism is gone!

The left often argues that the days of capitalism are past and that more and more people see the glory and humane efficiency of socialism. This, the near-collapse of capitalism, has never happened. True, voters in many liberal democracies have used their votes to increase taxes and so on - but exactly this anti-market behavior, based on ignorance and blind faith, has jeopardized the state of the western world.

Here are the most economically liberal countries today (according to The Heritage Foundation and Fraser Institute):

(Hong Kong), Singapore, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada, United Arab Emirates, Australia.

Compare these relatively liberal economies to France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. In these European countries the labor markets are less dynamic and the government sets more rules and regulations. Unemployment rate stands at almost 10% or above it and GDP growth is, on average, weaker than that of the liberal democracies mentioned above.

Even the Scandinavian welfare system suffered during the last decade. Some social services had to be cut, unemployment rates increased dramatically and the strong economic growth of the 80's stopped (although there were various reasons for that). The purchasing power in Scandinavia is relatively weaker than elsewhere in the western world. In the state of New Hamsphire alone people make more than twice the amount of money that people make here.

Some days ago a socialist weblog, Kampanja, reported that 2/3 of the French oppose Capitalism. How can this be? The country is practically in ruins because of social programs, inefficient anti-market legislations and protectionism. Yet they have invented to blame capitalism for the fundamental flaws of socialism. France is one of the LEAST free liberal democracies in the world.

What the French should do now is to get familiar with what happened in Australia and New Zealand. A taste of socialism and government control almost ruined the two countries during the 80's. The medicine was liberalisation and it worked - now both countries enjoy a relatively strong economic growth and low unemployment rates.

Eastern Europe shows the same pattern. Most liberal ones, such as Estonia and Poland (and soon - even Romania, a country that has achieved a lot just during the past 2-3 years as a result of liberalisation, driven by their will to join the EU), are a lot more stable than oppressive countries such as Russia (ranked 115th by the Fraser Institute), Belarus and the Balkans.

So it's not capitalism that's gone. Our problems are caused by those who don't stand up for capitalism. Socialism (the expansion of government's control over people) creates problems - capitalism solves them.

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