Capitalism Versus Socialism

One of the biggest criticisms socialists make against capitalism is that under capitalism a poor individual may starve. But under socialism a poor individual… may starve:

PUERTO CABELLO, Venezuela (AP) – When hunger drew tens of thousands of Venezuelans to the streets last summer in protest, President Nicolas Maduro turned to the military to manage the country’s diminished food supply, putting generals in charge of everything from butter to rice.

But instead of fighting hunger, the military is making money from it, an Associated Press investigation shows. That’s what grocer Jose Campos found when he ran out of pantry staples this year. In the middle of the night, he would travel to an illegal market run by the military to buy corn flour – at 100 times the government-set price.

Queue all of the socialists claiming Venezuela isn’t real socialism. But the military is part of the State and therefore it having a “legitimate” monopoly on food distribution most certainly is socialism.

Scarcity is a law of nature. Because of that, no system can guarantee that every individual will receive everything they need to survive. Socialists claim that they can overcome this rule of nature but socialists countries have been proving them wrong time and again.

The difference between capitalism and socialism is how wealth is distributed. Under capitalism wealth is distributed by one’s ability to serve the market. If you are able to serve the market successfully you can obtain wealth. Under socialism wealth is distributed by one’s favor with the State. If you can curry favor with the State you can obtain wealth.

Neither system can prevent starvation or nefarious people from obtaining wealth. But the former relies on pleasing the masses whereas the latter relies on pleasing the elites in power. To me it seems rather obvious which is more ripe for abuse.