There are books upon books about the differences between and the merits of both Socialism and Capitalism. I’d like to simplify it a bit.

Socialism exists under the premise that rights come from government, or man. Under Socialism, the government controls the economy and society lives to serve it. People rely on the collective for everything and the governing body attempts to impose – not equality of opportunity, but equality of results.

American Capitalism presupposes that rights do not come from man, but from a higher power. And the rights are not specific to conditions like being employed or the “right” to a driver’s license. They are not specific to outcome. They are, instead, broad rights that say we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, we all have the right to decide and pursue our calling to the best of our ability. This does not guarantee success, but only the opportunity to try.

For nearly 245 years, the United States has been the most important, charitable and powerful nation in the world – built on a foundation of capitalism. The free market system reined in the human propensity to act in one’s own self-interest and turned it into the engine that propelled the United States into the nation to which people from all over the world emigrate.

Meanwhile, everywhere Socialism has been tried – from Europe to the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany to Venezuela to North Korea to China – it has failed. Every state in the United States that has been run by liberal politicians, from Michigan to New York to California to New Jersey is about to go bankrupt. Every city run by liberal Democrats, from Detroit to Cleveland to Washington D.C. has failed.

Conservatism and free-market capitalism has allowed the United States to be a beacon of freedom for people all over the world. It has enabled the most compassionate nation in the world to give more aid in the form of money, time, supplies and even military support than any other country in the world – by far.

The standard of living in the United States is, person-for-person, unrivaled in the rest of the world. People are able to move up, or even down, the social strata in ways they cannot in other countries. Poor citizens can turn themselves into millionaires, and anyone can start a successful business.

Capitalism pulls people out of poverty. It creates opportunities and job expansion. But more importantly, it builds communities because it requires that we all rely upon each other for services. I may be a self-employed contractor, but I need, to be successful, carpenters and electricians.

Meanwhile, citizens in socialist nations are born into classes that they cannot escape. Once a plumber, always a plumber. Like working for a union, there are no incentives in Socialism to work hard, and in fact, Socialist countries in the world vacation at a pace that is far beyond workers in the United States. We produce more, and we’re happier, at the same time.

Where Capitalism requires more reliance on your neighbors, Socialism creates an every-man-for-himself atmosphere. Because more people rely on the government, everyone is more prone to look out for themselves, which, since there’s a finite pool of money, means one person’s gain comes at the expense of another.

Capitalism and conservatism are, in many ways, synonymous. It is conservatives who champion capitalism, and capitalists who champion conservatism. And after nearly 245 years of both, the United States still has one of the greatest economies in the world. Yet, liberal politicians over the last few years have declared that the current economy is all the evidence one needs to see that capitalism doesn’t work. This is a ridiculous and self-serving conclusion.

The main reason the economy was stagnant before 2017 is because the government got involved and tried to direct market forces. Government meddling is the opposite of capitalism and the free market. Yet, the government gets involved, tanks the economy, and then turns around and says “well, that proves capitalism doesn’t work.” Never mind the hundreds of years of evidence that Socialism clearly doesn’t work.

It is counterintuitive to believe that Socialism, which has served as the philosophy of failed countries all over the world, is somehow superior to capitalism, a philosophy that led to the rise of the greatest country in the history of the world – the United States.

Before we declare capitalism and conservatism dead, let’s remember to take a longer view of history and exactly what the United States has meant to people all over the world.