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Political actors investing taxpayer funds—rather than their own—and investing for political rather economic reasons do poorly at emulating entrepreneurship. Moreover, government routinely impedes entrepreneurship. Distributed Planning.
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Socialist economies are often called planned economies. This is a misnomer. The real question is whether the plans are devised by a central government or whether the planning process is distributed among millions of individuals and business. In a socialist economy, people must conform to the government plan established by political and bureaucratic processes.
In a free economy, markets coordinate millions of plans, and those plans are continuously altered based on what happens in markets. REF Business taxation is highly competitive. Nordic corporate tax rates are lower than the U. REF Nordic countries do heavily tax individuals, including middle-income individuals. REF Unlike the U. As measured by four leading indexes, the Nordic countries are among the most economically free countries in the world.
REF The U. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy.
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Denmark is a market economy. This was not always the case. From approximately to the early s, Sweden, for example, had extremely high tax rates, high levels of government spending, high public-sector employment, and a series of policies aggressively intervening in labor and credit markets. The Nordic economies have not generally performed as well as the U. Average wages and output per capita are lower. REF The average wage in the U.
REF This is the price they pay for their high taxes. Entrepreneurship matters.
REF It fosters discovery and innovation. REF Entrepreneurs also engage in the creative destruction of existing technologies, economic institutions, and business production or management techniques by replacing them with new and better ones. REF Entrepreneurs bear a high degree of uncertainty and are the source of much of the dynamism in our economy.
REF New start-up businesses account for most of the net job creation in the economy. REF Entrepreneurs innovate, providing consumers with new or better products.
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They provide other businesses with innovative, lower-cost production methods and are, therefore, one of the key factors in productivity improvement and real-income growth. The vast majority of economic gains from innovation and entrepreneurship accrue to the public at large, rather than entrepreneurs. REF Entrepreneurs are central to the dynamism, creativity, and flexibility that enables market economies to consistently grow, adapt successfully to changing circumstances, and create sustained prosperity. REF High levels of entrepreneurship only occur under free enterprise.
Government attempts at emulating private entrepreneurship usually end badly. The principle of equal justice under law has roots in antiquity. Libertarians, classical liberals, and conservatives generally support equal political rights, moral equality, and equality before the law. Conservatives and classical liberals also typically support publicly funded education to advance equality of opportunity and republican self-government.
Conservatives and classical liberals are aware of the importance that strong families, a robust civil society, and sound cultural norms play in fostering opportunities and the character formation necessary for pursuing opportunity. The question is whether social cooperation will be voluntary or coerced. You can elect whether to cooperate with a business as an employee, customer, or investor or a nongovernmental organization. While you cannot choose your family other than your spouse , the nature of the relationship is entirely voluntary for adults.
It involves involuntary compliance with politically or bureaucratically determined laws, regulation, and taxes—and the sanctions for non-compliance can be severe. In a free economy, economic power is distributed among hundreds of millions of people, and even billionaires account for only a small portion of a multi-trillion-dollar economy.
One can choose not to do business with a private firm. One must simply comply with government mandates. Private enterprise, private property, and private voluntary associations are the foundation of a free society in which individuals are free to author their own lives. Nor does it consider the federal payroll taxes or state and local income, property, and sales taxes already paid by this group. And, of course, this would be a one-time revenue increase.
Once such confiscatory taxes were imposed, these taxpayers would elect not to work, otherwise earn income, or realize capital gains since they would keep none of it. Middle- and lower-income taxpayers do not bear a high federal income tax burden. In the most recent year for which data is available , the top 10 percent of U. REF The top quarter paid REF Middle-income taxpayers do pay substantial federal payroll taxes, but these taxes fund Social Security and Medicare, both of which are highly progressive once the benefit structure is taken into account. The new American socialist or progressive agenda would require roughly doubling federal expenditures.
As the European experience with generous welfare states demonstrates, socialist or highly progressive policies must be funded by imposing very high consumption, payroll, and income taxes on the middle class. Government expenditures amount to REF Government regulations control or influence virtually all business decisions. REF Electric, gas, and water utilities, the health care sector, and banking are so heavily regulated that they are not privately controlled enterprises in the conventional sense.
Compliance, legal, and lobbying costs have increased substantially over the past decade. Through government-sponsored enterprises, loan guarantees, insurance, spending, tariffs, licensing, and regulation, governments at the federal, state, and local level routinely favor the politically connected and exercise tremendous control over the economy.
But politicians and bureaucrats do not control every important aspect of the economy, either.
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Thus, the U. It is a hybrid or mixed economy. Socialism has a century-long record of failure. Its record is unblemished by success. If seriously implemented, socialism causes mass privation and misery. Free enterprise has a record as well. It has led to a fold improvement in the standard of living over two centuries. Developing countries that adopt pro-market policies thrive. Socialist countries that reverse their policies and make pro-market reforms see rapid improvement.
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Markets and the price system are simply better at providing prosperity because of better incentives to work, save, invest, and innovate; superior development and use of information; and improved allocation and use of scarce resources and competition. Free enterprise lifts people out of poverty and provides civil society or government the means to address poverty. Socialism exacerbates and creates poverty. If implemented, American socialist and progressive policies would dramatically increase taxes on the middle class. Middle-class incomes would decline and unemployment would increase.
The European experience illustrates this. Free enterprise is ethically superior to socialism.
click here An economic system based on voluntary exchange and economic liberty that empowers individuals and families is superior to a system that empowers politicians and bureaucrats.