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... Do you think it’s just a coincidence that people in (gasp) “socialist” countries like Sweden and France are richer, enjoying higher living standards, by a long way, than Americans? Did a giant meteor made of gold hit them? Nope. The reason is that socialism, social democracy, makes you wealthy — and capitalism makes you poor. Now, this is outrageous and bewildering for Americans to hear — but America’s like the Soviet Union now: living in a parallel world, carefully constructed of ideologies and fairy tales, utterly divorced from reality, the world, truth. But the truth doesn’t care what the average Americans believes. It just is. Why is it that social democracy makes people rich — but capitalism makes them poor?

Capitalism is charity — for capitalists. You are giving them far more of your “labour”, as Marx would have said — which means in a modern context, your time, energy, creativity, emotions, imagination, and morality — than they deserve, and getting less than you deserve. When you pay for bank bailouts, gigantic executive salaries, endless privileges for corporate “people” than human people don’t get that is what is really a form of weird, culturally sanctioned, economically legitimated, socially enforced charity, by way not just of taxes, but norms, values, and expectations, too.

So if capitalism is taking care of capitalists — at your own expense — then what is socialism? I’d bet that many Americans really do believe that “socialism” — social democracy, in this case, because nobody’s suggesting an armed government takeover of your favourite microbrewery, except maybe in Rand Paul Ryan’s paranoid delusional fantasies — is charity: something that costs them, not benefits them. Even, maybe especially, the ones who want a better society. Deep down, I’d bet they still think that social democracy is a material sacrifice, with a moral benefit, in other words, charity.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Socialism isn’t charity — it is the precise opposite. Socialism is investment. At least the modern sort, social democracy, because nobody outside a college campus is suggesting communal dorm living by way of the Bolshevik revolution. It is investment that people make in themselves — so that they can enjoy greater wealth — which capitalism will always starve them of.

Let me put that in plain English. Charity makes you poorer — it’s a transfer. Social democracy makes people wealthier. In lasting, transformative ways. It makes them richer. It lets them live longer. They are happier. It makes their democracies more robust. Their living standards rise dramatically as a result, to levels that no other system in human history has been able to achieve — neither communism, socialism, nor capitalism. That is perhaps the greatest discovery of the 20th century. ...
Read full article at umair haque, Medium