Conservative Capitalism Vs. Liberal Socialism

Dave Johnson over at Seeing The Forest wasn’t pleased with my post that referred to the Federal government ordering businesses to provide paid sick days to their employees as socialism:

There is a move to require companies to pay for sick days. Conservatives say this is “Socialism.”

If basic human rights is “Socialism” then I guess I’m a Socialist! How about you?

…What sorts of things should we, the people, require of the companies we, through the laws we pass, allow to operate? Who is our economy FOR? Discuss.

You’ve got to love these socialist libs and their belief that they’re doing people a favor by allowing them to use their own money, talent, and initiative to create a company. In other words, your life, your labor, your effort doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the state (which is acting on behalf of the proletariat) and it’s only because of their benevolence that you’re allowed to create a company and better yourself — or, to take a step further down the road Dave is trotting happily down,

“From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” — Karl Marx

Now, me? I’m more inclined towards Adam Smith’s words of wisdom,

“But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers to another a bargain of any kind, proposes to do this. Give me that which I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those good offices which we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

It is not the job of a company to provide benefits for society or health care or sick days or anything else. It’s the job of a company to make a profit for its owners and in the process of doing so, it will create things like jobs, taxes, health care for workers, value for its customers, and other such things that are beneficial to society.

Does that mean we shouldn’t regulate companies at all? No, but in a society like ours where people are free to work where they choose, the government shouldn’t get involved with things like what sort of health care a company is providing, sick days, or the minimum wage. If people are unhappy with what they’re getting paid, whether they get paid for sick days, or the health care they’re getting, they’re not chained to their desk. They can try to get a job elsewhere. People all across the country do that every day of the week. To try to force businesses to meet some arbitrary standard for pay or benefits, set by know-nothing liberals in the government, will only make our businesses less competitive.

In a part of Dave’s comments that I cut out, he talks favorably about the vacations and pensions in Europe. Of course, the flip side of those generous pensions and benefits is a staggeringly high jobless rate and stagnant economies. That’s the price they pay for having so much government interference in the market. The more regulations and mandated costs the government piles onto businesses, the more poorly they perform.

It works that way in Europe and the more we copy them, the more we’ll see those same problems crop up here in the United States.

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