Capitalism: Individualism and Government

1130 words 5 pages
By definition, Capitalism is an economic system controlled chiefly by individuals and private companies instead of by the government. In this system, individuals and companies own and direct most of the resources used to produce goods and services, including land and other natural resources labor, and "capital". "Capital" includes factories and equipment and sometimes the money used in businesses (Friedman, 5).
Capitalism stresses private economic decisions. People are free to decide how they will earn and spend their income. Companies may choose which goods and services to produce and how much to charge for them. They also compete with one another to sell products. Nations whose economies are based on capitalism include the United
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Individuals, free from government interference, pursued their happiness restlessly and produced tremendous amounts of wealth in the process. Individuals took responsibility for their lives: for their education, their health care, their jobs, their retirement, and their money. While individuals acted by right, government acted by permission. In 150 years America became the greatest nation on Earth (Kronen, 72).
Before the turn of the century, however, while America still prospered from its founding ideals, a set of opposite ideals surged and gradually took over the old ones. In 1863, the institution of the military draft set the principle that individuals did no longer have a right to their own lives: the state did. From that day on every American no longer owned his life, but held it by permission.
In 1913, the federal income tax was created and set the principle that individuals did not have a right to their productive effort--their earnings. Government's role reversed from protector to usurper of our rights. From that day on every American no longer owned his income, but held it by permission (Pasley, 10,11)
Along with people's money, government took responsibility for their lives. Government assumed the task of providing the people with education, health care, housing, employment, and much more. The greater the share of people's lives the government undertook to provide for, the more it taxed the people. To appease


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