Capitalism is freedom, and Americans should celebrate it, instead of apologizing for it, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Wednesday.
Many American, even some conservatives, are ashamed of capitalism – but, when they should be singing its praises because of the prosperity and progress it provides, Haley said in a speech at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.:
“This country has lifted up more people, unlocked more progress and unleashed more prosperity than any other country in history. This is America. And, the American system is capitalism.
“Many people avoid saying that word, including some conservatives and business leaders. Some think it’s a politically-incorrect word.
“But, we shouldn’t be ashamed of capitalism - it’s another word for freedom. And, it springs from America’s most cherished ideals.”
“What good are our rights, if our homes and savings can be taken? Are we really free if we own nothing and the government owns everything?” Haley asked, noting that the nation’s founders understood that economic freedom, just like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, is an essential human right:
“We all know the most famous phrases from the Declaration of Independence: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ ‘We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.’ But, while we know these words, we often forget their meaning. Yes, they mean freedom of speech, freedom of religion and other fundamental rights - but, the Founders knew that economic freedom was also essential.”
“What good are our rights, if our homes and savings can be taken? Are we really free if we own nothing and the government owns everything? Of course, not.
“So, while the Founders never used the word, they gave us capitalism in all, but the name.”
“Everywhere capitalism takes root, people do better. We should celebrate this, not apologize for it,” Haley said, explaining how its adoption has lifted much of the world out of extreme poverty:
“But, it’s not just us. Capitalism has transformed the world. Two hundred years ago, 94 percent of the world lived in extreme poverty. Today, it’s ten percent. Much of this drop happened in the last 40 years. After Soviet communism collapsed in Russia and Eastern Europe, and after communist China adopted sweeping market reforms.”