Capitalism: a system wherein individuals are free to pursue their own interests, make voluntary exchanges, and hold private property rights in goods and services.
Capitalism and the entrepreneurial spirit is undeniably the primary engine of economic growth in America. Both are inextricably linked to the inalienable rights enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Capitalism is actually a misnomer for “economic individualism,” which is something that Adam Smith called “the obvious and simple system of natural liberty” in his book Wealth of Nations. The basic premise of capitalism can be summed up as a pursuit of self-interest and the right to own private property.
Unfortunately, what we currently see in America is not truly capitalism. It is much more accurately defined as crony capitalism. Government actions such as bailouts and stimulus spending, special loans, healthcare mandates, government-union cooperation, special tax exemptions and government sponsored enterprises are all antithetical to true capitalism and individual liberty. Instead of protecting individual rights, government has usurped power against the individual's best interest. Government has fostered a system of preferred gains and 'socialized losses.' This is not capitalism.
Let me be even more clear. The multiple bailouts weren’t capitalism, no matter which party supported them. Obamacare is definitely NOT capitalism. Oil subsidies, farm subsidies, education subsidies are not capitalism. And any other form of special treatment where the government is facilitating the implementation of 'special privileges' to corporations, industries or groups, is NOT capitalism.
I believe like the Founders did, that the government exists to protect individual rights. I believe in the freedom to invest, to decide what to produce, and to keep as much of your earnings as possible. And while a completely laissez-faire economy system has never existed, I believe we should strive to be as close to that as possible in order to promote individual rights. Why? Because the rapidly increasing government authority over economic activity has become an undeniable burden and continues to hinder the American economy. I believe that when it comes to government regulation, less is more and good policy should be defined by what protects individuals.
Below are some important articles that further explain my position on Capitalism. I encourage you to read them if you would like to further explore this subject.
Property Rights 101: The Foundation of Capitalism Explained | The Capitalism Institute
'Crony Capitalism' is NOT Capitalism | CATO Institute
Economic Freedom, Human Freedom, Political Freedom | Milton Friedman
The Legitimate Role of Government in a Free Society | Hillsdale College IMPRISIMS
The Morality of Capitalism | Values and Capitalism
Fed up with The Fed | Thomas Sowell