Rebuttal: Capitalism Leads to Death and Disparity
Since the dawn of America, citizens have been told to believe that taxation is bad. The notion that “taxation is evil” reinforces our belief that socialism is bad, as it requires taxation. Albany Student Press opinions author Matthew Noyes claims that taxation in any sense is theft. These are strong words from an individual who goes to a state-funded school. If taxation is theft, does that not make each and every student, faculty, and staff member at the University at Albany a thief? We are in fact using tax dollars to get an education, which is a form of socialism.
Socialism has quite the reputation in the United States. Some might call it a scourge, but to those who have empathy for other humans, it’s fair. It’s the best method of economic governing in order to establish equal opportunities to all citizens, a trait the United States repeatedly claims it has. Conservative pundits have constantly rebranded socialist ideals by using examples from totalitarian regimes, both communist and fascist alike. The fact of the matter is that modern socialism, like what’s practiced in Scandinavia, is much different from the governance of Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler. Modern socialism aims to reduce disparities in socioeconomic status (SES), which is a dirty word for the GOP.
Capitalism in the United States, on the other hand, seems to believe that a low SES is caused by the fault of the individual alone, which results in a continuous cycle of low SES. This belief leads to economic, health, educational disparities, and death at inconceivable magnitudes. In order to better understand this problem, let’s take a look at the issue of healthcare in the United States, followed by the real scourge of mankind: war.
To many, healthcare in the U.S. is a business for economic gain as virtually every sellable item or skill should be. Conservative America touts the pre-Affordable Care Act healthcare system worked, despite the nearly 18,000 lives lost every year due to lack of healthcare. It’s worsened by the fact that America pays more per capita on healthcare than any other country in the world, despite having around 44 million uninsured and some of the worst health outcomes on the planet for a developed country. This issue could be much reduced if healthcare was controlled by a Socialist governmental system, instead of being based on a for-profit system, exploiting individuals’ oftentimes uncontrollable health problems.
The 18,000 lost lives per year may seem like a large number, but it pales in comparison to the number of deaths resulting from wars waged for profit thanks to capitalism. The war in Iraq, which was waged following 9/11, was started for a slew of reasons. We were told it was because of 9/11 (none of the terrorists were from Iraq), and because Saddam Hussein had access to nuclear weapons (he didn’t). The truth is that the U.S. went to war because politicians and corporations made money from it. Estimates put direct and indirect death from the invasion of Iraq up to around 500,000, which is apparently not as valuable to the estimated $40 billion made by Dick Cheney’s old company Haliburton.
Socialism, or “The scourge of mankind” as Noyes puts it, is helping provide an education to around 18,000 at this school. Coincidentally, the same amount of individuals die every year from a lack of ability to receive medical care, thanks to our capitalistic healthcare principals. I’ll take 18,000 educated over 18,000 dead, but hey, capitalism is the way to go right?