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20 Quotes That Explain Why Capitalism Is Better than Socialism

Signs "Capitalism" and "Socialism" over sky

Saying you’re a socialist is kind of like saying you’re a flat-earther. The evidence is in; it has been in for a long time and it’s undeniable to any objective person. The planet isn’t flat and socialism is inferior to capitalism. Socialism is worse for the rich, the poor, and the middle class. Over the long haul, socialism doesn’t produce better outcomes for anyone other than well-connected government officials, bureaucrats and their cronies who grift off the public via bribes and getting around the rules they put in for anyone else. Since many people don’t believe the incontrovertible evidence, maybe they’ll believe these quotes that help explain why capitalism is better than socialism.

1. "America’s abundance was created not by public sacrifices to ‘the common good,’ but by the productive genius of free men who pursued their own personal interests and the making of their own private fortunes. They did not starve the people to pay for America’s industrialization. They gave the people better jobs, higher wages and cheaper goods with every new machine they invented, with every scientific discovery or technological advance—and thus the whole country was moving forward and profiting, not suffering, every step of the way." – Ayn Rand

2. "It is the common error of Socialists to overlook the natural indolence of mankind; their tendency to be passive, to be the slaves of habit, to persist indefinitely in a course once chosen. Let them once attain any state of existence which they consider tolerable, and the danger to be apprehended is that they will thenceforth stagnate; will not exert themselves to improve, and by letting their faculties rust, will lose even the energy required to preserve them from deterioration. Competition may not be the best conceivable stimulus, but it is at present a necessary one, and no one can foresee the time when it will not be indispensable to progress." -- John Stuart Mill

3. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.” — Adam Smith

4. “Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples’ lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn’t feel like it. The market system is so good at getting people—from all over the world—to work together that we barely notice how much we’re cooperating.” – Jonah Goldberg

5. “The growth of world prosperity is not a 'miracle' or any of the other mystifying terms we customarily apply to countries that have succeeded economically and socially. Schools are not built, nor are incomes generated, by sheer luck, like a bolt from the blue. These things happen when people begin to think along new lines and work hard to bring their ideas to fruition. But people do that everywhere, and there is no reason why certain people in certain places during certain periods in history should be intrinsically smarter or more capable than others. What makes the difference is whether the environment permits and encourages ideas and work, or instead puts obstacles in their way. That depends on whether people are free to explore their way ahead, to own property, to invest for the long term, to conclude private agreements, and to trade with others. In short, it depends on whether or not the countries have capitalism.” – Johan Norberg

6. "This isn't new. Those who favor socialism always make the moral case for it. The truth is, maybe they actually believe in it, but in the real world, socialism harms, it weakens the economies of countries that have tried it. It just does. Weaker economies hurt everybody in them. Socialism kills incentive, opportunity, freedom. It is the opposite of what America is all about. Look, socialism always harms the people it claims to help the most. It handicaps them, leaving them weaker, less self-determined, less free." -- Bobby Jindal

7. "Socialism is when government's taking care of you, you send all your money to the government, the government decides how to spend it instead of letting the people spend it and make all those decisions." -- Bob Latta

8. "Socialism values equality more than liberty." – Dennis Prager

9. “I was guilty of judging capitalism by its operations and socialism by its hopes and aspirations; capitalism by its works and socialism by its literature.” -- Sidney Hook

10. “Socialism is for those who think most people are losers. Capitalism is for those who think most people can take care of themselves." -- John Hawkins

11. "Capitalism is about the mutual creation of wealth rather than the pillaging of it." -- Ted Malloch

12. “I’m also a conscious capitalist — I believe economic freedom and entrepreneurship are the best ways to end poverty, increase prosperity, and evolve humanity upward. I believe that all forms of socialism have been proven over time to result in a loss of both economic and civil liberties, with increasing poverty." -- John Mackey

13. "Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity." -- William Howard Taft

14. "People say capitalism is selfishness. No, socialism is selfishness. The idea that I have to pay for you to paint watercolors in your basement is a selfish philosophy." – Ben Shapiro

15. “Well first of all, tell me: Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy, it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history, are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worse off, worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, that there is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by the free-enterprise system.” -- Milton Friedman

16. "What is socialism? The longest road from capitalism to capitalism." -- Soviet joke

17. "In practice, socialism didn't work. But socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy. In the vast library of socialist theory (and in all of Marx's compendious works), there is hardly a chapter devoted to the creation of wealth to what will cause human beings to work and to innovate, or to what will make their efforts efficient. Socialism is a plan of morally sanctioned theft. It is about dividing up what others have created. Consequently, socialist economies don't work; they create poverty instead of wealth. This is unarguable historical fact now..." -- David Horowitz

18. "A claim for equality of material position can be met only by a government with totalitarian powers." – F.A. Hayek

19. “The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office. Every man but one a subordinate clerk in a bureau. What an alluring utopia! What a noble cause to fight!" --  Ludwig von Mises

20. “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” – Winston Churchill