Stossel: In Defense of Capitalism
People acting in their own self-interest created modern prosperity, says Ayn Rand Institute's Yaron Brook.
Progressives claim capitalism is "immoral" because some people become rich while others stay poor. Yaron Brook, chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, says the opposite is true.
"We have basically made about $2 a day for 100,000 years," Brook told John Stossel. "In other words…we could eat what we farmed and that was it."
"And then something amazing happened."
About 250 years ago, a few countries tried capitalism. For the first time, people were allowed to profit from private property.
"Two-hundred and fifty years ago we suddenly discovered the value of individual freedom," says Brook. "We suddenly discovered the value of leaving individuals free to think, to innovate, to produce without asking for permission, without getting the state to sign off."
As a result, humans "doubled our life expectancy," says Brook. "We have dramatically increased the quality of our life and we are wealthier than anybody could have imagined."
Brook, who's an objectivist, says that "doing for others is fine—but only if that's what you want."
"The key is that somebody else's need is not a moral claim against your life," he adds. "Your life is yours."
The views expressed in this video are solely those of John Stossel; his independent production company, Stossel Productions; and the people he interviews. The claims and opinions set forth in the video and accompanying text are not necessarily those of Reason.