June 29, 2019 By Benjamin Powell
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled his vision of “democratic socialism” during a recent speech at George Washington University. Unfortunately, he did more to confuse the meaning of democratic socialism than to clarify it.
The words capitalism and socialism have meanings, so let’s get things clear up front. Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of property coordinated through voluntary exchange in markets.
Socialism is an economic system that abolishes private property in the means of production -- the land, capital, and labor used to make everything -- and replaces it with some form of collective ownership. Whenever socialism has been implemented at a national level, collective ownership in practice has meant state ownership and government plans have replaced markets as the primary mechanism to coordinate economic activity.
Capitalism and socialism can be thought of as two poles of a spectrum. Some countries are more capitalistic, and some are more socialistic, but all fall somewhere between these two poles. This is where Sanders starts mucking things up.
He claims that “unfettered capitalism” is causing economic problems in United States. The reality is that capitalism in the United States is far from “unfettered.” The Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report is the best measure of where on the socialism-capitalism spectrum a country lies. In the most recent rankings the United States scored an 8.03 out of a possible 10 points, and even a 10-point score would fall short of “unfettered.” .......To Read More....