Last month President Obama spoke to a group in Argentina and said the following:
“So often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property … I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory—you should just decide what works,” said President Obama.
What works, eh? We don’t need to look further than China to see a dramatic shift from socialism to free-market principles. See a great explanation of this shift in our newest film series, The Real Adam Smith: A Personal Exploration by Johan Norberg.
This quote summarizes the point nicely:
“After Mao died, both the Chinese leaders and the Chinese people recognized that socialism didn’t work … They gradually opened up the economy, allowed private sector to enter in one industry after another, and of course, once the private enterprises entered any sector, they quickly out-performed state enterprises.” – Ning Wang, professor of economics at the Ronald Coase Institute and co-author of the book How China Became Capitalist.