“Economic equality” is only possible by treating people politically unequal.
Capitalism is the social system based on individual rights, with a free-market operating under objective law.
In capitalism, the government’s job is not to regulate the individual’s affairs, but to act as an impartial referee, who equally protects the right to life of all individuals by banning the initiation of physical force (and fraud) from all relationships, leaving the individual free to determine the course of their own life.
Capitalism is based on an ethical system of rational self-interest (i.e., the pursuit of happiness) which anti-capitalist intellectuals find unacceptable (morally as they are for altruism — literally other-ism or self-sacrifice — and economically because it does not produce equal economic results, e.g., egalitarianism.)
Under capitalism’s system of political equality, where rights are protected equally, some individuals will do economically better than others, i.e., a high school educated entrepreneur who innovates (like Sam Walton) can make more money than a Ph.D. in progressive gender studies. Economically, everyone is better under capitalism to the extent that it is adopted.
Socialists, however, are for economic equality (equity) and would prefer that everyone is equal in results, even if that means they are equally poor, then to have some do better. Egalitarianism is just a doctrine to justify envy. “Economic equality” is only possible by treating people politically unequal, i.e., unequal tax rates, etc.
Most of the problems America faces are in those areas that are government regulated; the banking crisis, out of control health care costs, the sub-prime housing crisis, illiteracy in school graduates, etc. are all caused by government intervention in the market. After the market “fails” due to their regulations, they blame the remaining freedom in the market as the cause and seek to amp up further regulations until full socialism is achieved.
Those areas that do better — from making computers, phones, TVs, etc. — are in areas of economic freedom where entrepreneurs are left free to operate under the rule of law, but with fewer regulations (rule of man).
Observe: CON (certificate of need) regulations limit competition between hospitals. FDA regulations increase the cost of developing a drug to 3 billion dollars. The “war on drugs” creates criminal black markets. Government financial regulations created ‘moral hazard’ in financial markets with ‘too big to fail’ and bailout policies, etc.
Observe that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of these “healthcare” regulations were temporarily suspended. Observe the cell phone — developed in the ’40s — did not become commonplace until the regulations (of the airwaves) that prevented its introduction were repealed in the ’70s.
Socialists tend to believe any problem can be solved by expropriating the wealth of capitalists (and everyone else) and transferring the money to government, to be forcibly directed by politicians and state technocrats. Capitalists believe that problems are solved through innovation in a free-market and figuring out how to do things with less money and resources. One believes that state experts should plan for everybody, which requires the violation of individual rights, the other that people should plan for themselves so long as they respect the rights of others. It is two mutually exclusive mindsets (not ignoring the fact that people can hold contradictions, in this case, advocates of a “mixed-economy.”)
Such socialist rhetoric gets air-time and support because the vast majority of journalists, media publications, academics, etc. are against capitalism, and they use their social media platforms, mass-media, newspapers, the university system hiring process to keep capitalist professors out (some end up working outside the university system in think-tanks). This is known as “academic freedom.” The classic example of this was Ludwig Von Mises, the leading economist for laissez-faire capitalism in the 20th century (Milton Friedman was for a mixed-economy, or semi-socialism).
Capitalist professors are smeared as “market fundamentalists” while socialists are claimed to be the heralds of “science” when, in fact, it is the exact opposite. Thus, even business people — from Bill Gates, Ted Turner to Warren Buffet — do not have an inkling of the moral foundations of capitalism. They are capitalists in their roles as businessmen, but philosophically they are mixed or completely against capitalism, i.e., Engels was a capitalist as a factory owner, but politically was an advocate for capitalism. It is even worse in the humanities and “social sciences,” which is founded on the anti-capitalist foundations of post-modern philosophers.
I also recommend Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality (https://amzn.to/2AGNU84) by Don Watkins and Yaron Brook, if you are particularly interested interest in this subject.