How Capitalism Made Americans Poor, and Socialism Made Europeans Rich
umair haque

I came to this piece with a recommendation from a friend, and found it extremely sad.

“Capitalism doesn’t make us rich, and socialism doesn’t make us poor — socialism makes us rich, and capitalism makes us poor. “ is a very bold statement, and sounds like a propaganda rather than a proposition. And then the article says: “That’s OK. Let me prove it.”. We all agree that proofs need to be rigorous.

“80% percent live paycheck to paycheck, 70% can’t raise $1000 for an emergency, and so on”. I highly doubt these numbers, also they are not backed. Here an article that says, 34% live paycheck to paycheck.

The article is preaching is exactly like televangelists. Take a problem that exists, bloat it up, and complain. And people will take you for a messiah. This brings nothing on the table that already exists. We all know this is a problem.

“Healthcare — 2000%. Education — 1000%. Rent — 500%. Food — 400%.” These inflation numbers comparing 1970 to 2018 are also fishy. Inflation is measured in terms of per capita income, not absolute currency. If healthcare costs rise from $1 to $20, so does per capita income, that doesn’t mean there is inflation. Moreover these number are not backed by any references.

“ And yet, Europeans have grown richer than Americans” Very flawed argument. The data shows only Scandinavian and rich economies. Doesn’t show Greece, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Romania, Georgia, Croatia and other European countries are have slightly worse economies. This is annoying cherry-picking by the author.

“While American incomes flatlined in the 70s, and never rose, and American net worth went into freefall, no such thing happened in Europe” Despite this all the billionaire tech companies started off in 90s and 2000s, and not in 70s or before. To cite, EUR has fallen by more than 15% in last 5 years compared to USD.

“ Europe built great public systems of healthcare, education, housing, finance, media, retirement, and so on” This again is a generalization, and is true only for Scandinavia, France and Germany.

This is where I stop reading this article. This article is a rant, and absent of good ideas. Now problems exists, they exist with Capitalism and they exist with Socialism. No system is the best system. This doesn’t mean we should completely disregard one over other.

It is sad that, “People want an authority on how to value things. But they chose this authority not based on facts or results. They chose it because it seems authoritative and familiar [exactly like this article].” — The character of Michael Burry, The Big Short.