Wednesday, May 6, 1937

“Old Bill” Suggests—

The essence of the “capitalistic” system is one that is seldom mentioned by agitators but is nevertheless so simple that a 7-year-old child can grasp the idea.

Under capitalism every enterprise must pay its way or be supported by the voluntary contributions of those who do. The very word profit is derived from the Latin profectus, meaning progress or advance. Anyone can try anything up to the limit of his own savings.

If the plan doesn’t work, no argument or evasion will save the enterprise from being closed up. When that operates promptly, industry is healthy and vigorous. When unusually dense idiots get control of so much money that they cannot go broke there is a long-drawn industrial agony. But eventually the result is the same. You have to show a profit to win—or even to stay in the game.

Many different systems of society are workable, particularly when supported by force, but capitalism is the only one that is self-energizing. Believe it or not, that is the fact. No other system has ever brought about a comparable increase in national wealth.


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