To the Editor,
Re: Homework needed on socialism, Letters, July 23.
Brad Wiebe’s letter has much misinformation and shows his ignorance of socialism and capitalism.
For example, he states: “In a capitalist economy, the wealthy own everything and dictate the price of goods….”
As a capitalist, do I own Wiebe’s underwear, his body, his spouse, his children, or any of his chattels? The answer is a definite no.
The wealthy pay most of the income taxes in British Columbia and throughout Canada. Income taxes and consumption taxes help pay for the social benefits including health care that Wiebe is entitled to.
Moreover, the capitalist system provides efficient economic prosperity. This prosperity yields profits that are distributed as dividends to its investors, including the Canada Pension Plan.
Without a profitable economic system, our standard of living will be poor. As to controlling the price of goods, competition among producers and suppliers ensure that consumers pay a fair price.
In a socialist economic system, the state controls the resources, the production facilities, pricing and distribution facilities. The individual incentive to produce better goods and more efficiently (e.g., lower cost, improved profits, more competitive prices) are missing in the socialist economy.
The former Soviet Union is one of many examples to show the failures of a centrally controlled economy. Long lineups to buy a loaf of bread, endemic corruption, and if you qualify, having to wait at least several years before you are permitted to buy an automobile.
We should be happy that we are not living in a socialist economy. The wealth and prosperity that we enjoy would not be sustainable under socialism.
Anthonie den Boef