History demonstrates that it is capitalism and only capitalism that generates enough wealth in the economy to create the standard of living that we all take for granted today. Feudalism, Mercantilism, Socialism, Fascism and Communism all fall far short of the mark. In the 1930’s upper middle class was defined as having indoor plumbing, an ice box, electricity and a radio. Today, by that measure, even those one welfare have such a living standard.
The free market system that this country became great under is the only one that celebrates each man pursuing his own happiness. It was not about being collectivized and forced to work together. It was about individual decisions, either to work for hire, or, to start a business, or to invent that unleashed the creative genius in the human spirit. People in this country had choices. The result was an exponential rise in the national standard of living for over two centuries.
The average American today has the equivalent of some 70 house servants. These servants come in the form of indoor plumbing, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, electrical lights, radio, television, and the commercialized internet, motorized transportation, and ready access to medicine. The sum total of all this individual wealth and services provides an average American with a lifestyle that would be the envy of ancient, medieval and renaissance monarchs.
Milton Friedman defended the free market system better than most. He so thoroughly skewers Donahue some three minutes into the interview that Donahue, reeling, decides it is time for a commercial break. The contrast cannot be more striking, the touchy-feely Donahue is earnestly arguing from a position of profound ignorance, and is gently, but thoroughly schooled on every point by the liberty-minded Friedman — who speaks with authority, and is obviously in command of the facts. This one is worth sending to your liberal friends, if only to make them mad.