Property Rights are the key difference between Socialism and Capitalism. Ask many on the street to define these terms and they will stumble for a comprehensive explanation. They may –perhaps- mumble something about capitalism being about greed and socialism being about generosity. The facts are quite the opposite. Here is a working definition.
Capitalism: The free exchange of privately owned goods and services
Socialism: An economic system focused on state control and state-ownership of industry and property.
Notice the difference? Do individuals own their businesses and property or does the government? Do we want “free exchange” or “control” of our lives by some larger innocuous entity? The key concept of comparing and contrasting these two is a question: Is the state more important than the individual or is the individual more important than the state? Was Spock correct in Star Trek when he said, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?” Does the Borg’s collectivism justify assimilation of the individual?
The Biblical worldview has a clear and unapologetic answer to this question. C.S. Lewis said it best.
Again, Christianity asserts that every individual human being is going to live for ever, and this must be either true or false. . . . And immortality makes this other difference, which, by the by, has a connection with the difference between totalitarianism and democracy. If individuals live only seventy years, then a state, or a nation, or a civilization, which may last for a thousand years, is more important than an individual. But if Christianity is true, then the individual is not only more important but incomparably more important, for he is everlasting and the life of the state or civilization, compared with his, is only a moment.
– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 74-75
An economics teacher was contrasting to his class why capitalism produced incentive and socialism did not. They didn’t buy it. So he waited for the first test. Everyone got back a “C+” Many students had studied hard and got “A’s”, while others had blown off the test and failed. The teacher said that he wanted to treat everyone equally –just as they had suggested. He averaged the efforts of the class and gave everyone a “C+”! Well, guess what? Next test, the A’s students who had been robbed for their efforts, didn’t study as hard… The F students continued their bad study habits since they were quite happy with the rewards of their efforts on the last test. At the end of the day, everyone’s averaged grade was a “D.” The class was catching on. They saw that treating everyone equally leads to a downward spiral. It robs the hard workers of the gift of labor. The fruit of their hard work.
So what is Godonomics? It’s the beauty of God’s wisdom applied to economics. The power of His wisdom in a personal, family, or even national economy. It is the blueprint and framework where everyone can experience liberty, prosperity, and generosity.
For more information, check out www.godonomics.com