Published on Sunday, May 24, 2009 by The News Journal (Delaware)
Capitalism Produces Rich Bankers, but Socialism Produces Happiness
by Phillip Bannowsky
Socialism is better than capitalism. So say 20 percent of Americans, and another 27 percent say they can’t say which is better, according to an April 9 Rasmussen poll.
When you consider that virtually no newspaper, broadcaster, well-funded think tank, teacher, or anybody’s boss or commander ever said something nice about socialism, it’s remarkable that only 53 percent of us still favor rule by the moneyed class. Perhaps folks are learning how capitalism sacrifices happiness for individual gain.
As Billy Bragg exhorts us in his update of the socialist anthem “The Internationale”: “Stand up, all victims of oppression/for tyrants fear your might/Don’t cling so hard to your possessions/For you have nothing if you have no rights.”
No less a “capitalist tool” than Forbes Magazine let a red cat out of the bag with a report this month that the happiest countries tend to be Scandinavian socialist democracies. High per-capita GDP certainly plays a role in their felicity, but even social democratic New Zealand, with per-capita GDP only 64 percent of the United States’, ranks with the 10 democracies above us in the happiness index. They pay high taxes in these pinkotopias, but folks enjoy entitlements like free college, extensive elder care, and 52-week paid maternity leave.