Views that Australia will turn into a utopia under socialism are wildly uninformed, and that rosy fantasy fails to acknowledge both the destructive aspects of socialism and — conversely — the benefits of capitalism.
CIS research shows that many young Australians have either taken for granted how our society has largely benefited from capitalism, or have not paid attention in high-school economics classes.
Despite claims that the benefits of productivity growth have not been equally enjoyed by everyone, capitalism has enabled millions to escape from poverty and has increased the overall standard of living around the globe.
At home, the poverty rate has decreased from 9% in 1988 to 3% in 2015, and social mobility is high. In fact, the majority of the poorest Australians currently do not remain poor for more than three years.
Furthermore, the free-market economy has become a fertile ground for entrepreneurship, budding creativity and technological innovations that have become a necessity in our daily lives.
Socialism saps incentives to work, innovate and invest, disrupting the fundamental mechanisms of productivity growth and economic well-being.
Unlike capitalism, socialism breeds laziness and contributes to a slow growth environment, deterring its citizens from participating in meaningful work.
Introducing measures such as the unconditional basic income (UBI) will simply exacerbate economic downturn and become a disincentive for individual effort.
Capitalism empowers people to freely decide on how they want to earn and spend their income. With socialism, you agree to have your life choices being dictated by the government, ranging from where and how you have to work, live and play.
Educating the current generation about the consequences of socialism should be a priority.
This is an edited excerpt from the full opinion piece published by The Spectator.