John Stossel – Communism vs Capitalism

the Moscow subway it's almost beautiful stained glass and chandeliers in some stations and it's very efficient the government decided it needed to move lots of people without creating surface traffic jams and more air pollution so it poured money into the subway the result is clean fast trains that come so often you seldom have to wait during the rush hour a train stops every minute oh I was young then that was one of my 20/20 reports from the days when Russia was still communist and the subway was nice I think there were plenty of Communists at ABC to who wanted me to point out good things about communism at ABC people would say things like hey in communist countries you don't have to worry about health care finding a job you're taken care of but then of course the people in the Soviet Union rebelled that it became clear that communism did not work thousands and thousands of West Germans come to make the point that the wall has suddenly become irrelevant I thought now finally people will understand that communism and socialism are not good ideas but despite the failure of central planning everywhere lots of people still passionately believed in it Jesse Meyerson is one he hosts a podcast called disorderly conduct Tyl refers to things like the Occupy Wall Street protests and you call yourself a communist that's what you advocate that's why you invite me on the show right but are you nuts or how could your smart guy talk to you what's your reasoning well just like you could point out all of the many failures of the Soviet regime and all sorts of other totalitarian communist regimes or communist party lead regimes it's very easy to point out lots of failures in capitalist regimes like ours millions of people living in poverty you've got millions of people locked up in prisons you go got Wars constantly extraction of natural resources countries which are both failures the program that I lay out I wouldn't call it communism but one of guaranteed jobs and income the taxation of land value public options for banking these sorts of things are what I would propose in the United States and I think that none of them require anything like gulags or the the you know sparrows is it making the question it wondering why this hasn't succeeded there are good reasons it hasn't succeed and I think that a lot of people have done the most significant inquiry into why it hasn't succeeded have been leftists who have still have the dream of universal material security guaranteed by collective ownership of wealth and want to do it better than it's ever been done before we are the richest country in the history of riches and countries we could guarantee material security for everybody and can you imagine the explosion of personal creativity and individual expression that would happen if people were not grinding say working two three jobs just to make ends meet just to feed their families I think would be a dream of a sort of perversely a libertarian fantasy to have everybody with the freedom to pursue happiness I think they do have that freedom now and even the Pope compared to human history they live much better lives poor people in America on average have more than one car they have air conditioners TVs refrigerators this is not like suffering under communism I think it's very much like suffering under communism I think you'll find that in the Soviet Union they had TVs and refrigerators I mean that these are simply not the trappings of a full free dignified life I spent ten days in the Soviet Union under the time of communism and my observation was that coming to some sucks the life out of people people just looked sad they kept their heads down and it wasn't just fear of the secret police its communist economics I went to a restaurant that was supposed to cater to foreigners I had a reservation and I was on time Stossel reservation yes yep of course if I were an important official or as my russian-speaking friend points out if I'm an important foreigner then I get in the sign on the door said no places but inside there were empty tables diners wait for their food while the waitresses sit around and drink tea the restaurant belongs to the state there's no profit seeking owner around to push the staff this waiters hiding out in the back I watched these two guys play with the wine bottles and talk to each other for 10 minutes meanwhile the diner's wait my point is that without that gree profit-seeking motive people don't try very hard and when they are driven by profit and they try hard they feel good and they create stuff that's good people create stuff for all sorts of reasons not just profit the reason the musician makes work or the reason that a sociology researcher is not prominent sure it's not probably everybody there's tons and tons of ways that we could reward people who show what you might think of as entrepreneurship right like the spirit of creativity wanting to self express there's lots of ways to do that without depriving millions and millions of people of the means to subsist unless they go and lock themselves in ruthless competition with millions of other people who are also out of work Oh in Russia the only place I found any life was where people risk their freedom by illegally trying to practice capitalism it's illegal to buy from foreigners or foreign reporters but if you stand around on a busy street looking like an American tourist I guarantee you'll be surrounded by buyers maybe something for sale you want to buy sure the hot item turned out to be my running shoes the sneakers you know Snickers this New Balance you know the brand name what I know I kept it didn't matter that they were worn out how much we paid for this for secrets I think like $60 dollars if I give you one pocket ruthless that's like a hundred and fifty dollars and that's almost three weeks pay in this country this is a really distorted economy well I would say that look there were markets for thousands of years before capitalism came to be and there are markets that are gonna exist after capitalism is over one way or the other communists love a good farmers market the point that I'm making is that we have to break the power of the market over everyone's lives and liberate ourselves to be dignified human beings with guaranteed material security dignified human beings with guaranteed security from the state and then we will live and like income you from the station ring from the state and will famiglia Brad and we'll just be all happy together John that sounds so wonderful to me I can't wait for it capitalism is an evil system set up to benefit the few at the expense of the many okay that's filmmaker Michael Moore we've come to expect nonsense like that from him but he's not alone my last guest was big on communism and when I interviewed people in Times Square about capitalism and poverty some said things like this capitalism might be the problem that creates so many poor people capitalism creates poor people I suppose that's true of your definition of poor is having less than certainly wealthy people but where capitalism is allowed it's true there's income inequality many people say that's immoral but iron and who grew up under communism wrote very popular books that said so what if some people have more than others that's part of freedom and it's totally moral you're on Brook runs an institute that's based on her philosophy you're on this is just selfish and the Communists who just left would say it's mean well but that's ridiculous I mean the idea to take the last comment about the poor right before capitalism 300 years ago 99% of the population of the earth were poor everybody but the caddiebuddy except the king who stole they were the real stealers we're basically poor today everybody including the poor a much much richer than anybody was back then and it's all due to capitalism it's all due to the freedom to property rights the ability of people to go out there and make and produce at whatever level they can and to feed themselves and one other thing I think we need to be careful not to conflate what we have today with capitalism I mean what we have today is this mixed economy right we have run schools come and run schools we have minimum wages we have a welfare state that writes you a check it tells you that you won't work tells you not to work so so we don't have capitalism today but when it's tried in to the extent that it's tried China today millions of people rise out of poverty one of the untold stories really of the last 40 50 years is the fact that 800 million people have come out of poverty in Southeast Asia 800 million people out of poverty in Southeast Asia because they've implemented a little bit of capitalism and before they did that tens of millions of people were starving to death to sit here and argue for communism when communism is being directly responsible for the brutal murder of will of a hundred million people if you take well he would say that with us were just bad leaders but the idea of sharing is good no the idea of sharing is what it directly leads to those kind of the gulags and and why should it have to because it the fact is we're not all the same we're not all equal just look around any group of people some of us work hard and some of us don't solve this are really smart and some of it's not the only way then to make us equal it's to take from those who've created and to give it to those we're talking take sounds soft sounds nice right take but no we're talking about take we're talking about pulling out guns sticking a hand in your pocket and taking out the money stealing that's what and and you may say well that they don't do that in America but try not pay pink tape not pay taxes men with guns will come to your house and force you to pay or put your jib absolutely and then of course the more you make the more productive you are the more wealth you create the more innovative you are the more you use your mind the harder you work more they take from you and that's in my view that is inherently unjust equality is massively unjust the idea that we should all be forced to be the same when we're clearly also different when I was in communist Russia people told me some people anyway that they like the security that communism gave them they knew they had a job I can be sure of tomorrow you see does the think I like I can be sure my work you say I never had any doubts what kind of freedom in the United States stuff freedom it's uh you have to worry about your life of your apartments Americans have to worry life requires wooing life requires certain amount of stress that's what that's what it is so they want to live off of somebody else warn somebody actually has to produce the stuff that they live off of look they're always going to be people who want it easy who want to just get by I I worked I worked for a while with somebody who had come from the Soviet Union it was complaining that he had to go into the grocery store and choose between eight different types of toilet paper and that really upset him he just wanted to be told but the fact is and you said it earlier in the show they were gray they were unhappy they looked miserable and and that is what that kind of life if you don't challenge yourself if you don't have a little bit of anxiety in life if you're not a little pushed if you're not trying to strive towards something life becomes dull and boring and meaningless and I think to a lot of these people it did and it's still dull and bad in much of Russia but in some countries Estonia Czech Republic Poland they have brought excitement and wealth and joy in its vibrant and exciting and dynamic and you go and the reason in Russia is that they took one authoritarian system communism and replace it with another authoritarian system call it fascism but statism its state control either way

50 thoughts on “John Stossel – Communism vs Capitalism

  • oh yea in Poland it worked so well that at the end we had 639.6% inflation until a capitalist came and did a shock therapy

  • Go and start your own country and have communism there, I look forward to seeing how it goes and you saying afterwards, when it fails spectacularly, "yeah but that wasn't REAL communism", good luck.!!

  • Communism is based on the idea of people not being selfish. Hahahaha so far from the truth. Im sorry but I'll let my neighbor starve before I start being forced to give him what I work for

  • Its no coincidence that's the US and The Romans whom were both capitalist democracies were the most successful in history.

  • I am very much on the low end of the totem pole when it comes to money and these socialists make me sick listening to there stupid ideas

  • "The goal of socialism is communism"
    Vladmir Lenin

    Its quite ironic that the guy on the left is vouching for communism but he would ever EVER step foot in a communist country or live their for the rest of his life…yknow cause he likes capitalism… But in his eyes REAL communism has not been tried yet……..even though it's resulted in the death of over 350 million people….

  • Completely restructure Government?
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  • "We are the richest country in the history of richest countries."
    "So let's build communism."

    Logic of these people…

  • I’m for capitalism but aren’t are government leaders just like the kings of the past, taking our hard earned money from us or we end up in jail and they take our property away from us.
    They say we get representation by voting for one crook or the other. That to me is not fair. If I think that a park in my community should be built and my neighbor does not want to contribute to building it I don’t believe he should have to. Use the resources of those who would like it on a voluntary basis.
    Right now the country is divided about building a wall on the Southern boarder. I believe that those of us who think that it should be built should put up the money and build the wall.
    We pay a gas tax to build highways and everyone who uses it helps contribute to it. If you use it a lot you pay more. If you use it a little you pay less.

  • Zuckerburg, Gates, Bezos, the Twitter guy. Because of capitalism, they became rich. Under communism, they would have been forced to work at mediocre jobs at mediocre pay. And we wouldn't have the internet.

  • Social engineering fails every single time.

    Yet indigenous tribes who know nothing of us, have successfully existed in the exact same state for thousands of years.

    Who's stable here?

    The point is a political or governmental system will NEVER WORK!!!

    Places without government or politics are stable, and have never experienced war, let alone poverty and hate.


  • This guy should go to the prison. Quick. Also Michael Moor talking about evil capitalism, while he is rich and fat like hell by not producing anything valuable, just propaganda.

  • China is capitalist and it its citizens do try every bit to turn a profit. Even if it means replacing food with cheaper poisonous synthetics, improper pollution to natural environment to cut costs, etc.
    And its government is definitely big-brother keeping watch on every little move you make through cameras and their internet. You cannot speak up against the government or you risk getting jailed. So in a way, they are having the worst of both worlds.

    Obviously mankind needs to re-evaluate its objectives.

    On the flipside, if you are a manufacturer of security cameras you'll be making a killing.

  • I am poor and still have enough to not need to beg. In a socialist country everyone but the leaders need to beg and fight.

  • Move to China then, I am sure you will love to be told how many kids you will have, what job to work, no car or single family dwelling and a host of every day freedoms you have in America. So don't hesitate leave now & tell me how you like it in 50 years. This way i'll be gone and wont have to listen to you BS.

  • To all Leftist: communism/ socialism DOES NOT WORK. I suggest viewing the following: "Yuri Bezmenov Full Interview & Lecture HQ" – . Former KGB Agent explains: The destruction of America from within, through subversion.

  • The main issue with socialism and/or communism is it's based on the envy of others. This is the leading principle. That's the common grounds for as called equality. The thing is envy is not fortune specific. There are many more reasons to envy the others. That's why it always ends up with gulags.

  • This guy Jesse Myers Cleary has had no contact with a “communist” society. It absolutely destroys not only the people living under it but future generations who are brought up by those people that lived under it.

  • He is an educated dellusional academic. He has a high ideal of human behavior. People are naturally lazy. Set up a system to encourage it it will get worse.

  • He equates dignity with all your material welfare coming from the state? Does he not realize that giving the state that much power over every aspect of your life is the very abdication of dignity and individualism? It reduces you to becoming a state-guided drone, dependent on the higher power for everything, and controlled in every aspect of your life. It robs people of motivation to improve and attain goals. It eliminates the pressure which leads us to become creative. It stifles the spirit of enquiry, exploration and discovery. Most young people today want to be controlled, because its too hard to fend for yourself, and they have been taught to be weak and lazy. How is that dignified???

  • Anybody else think it’s odd to see someone Moore’s size talk about how bad capitalism is? You don’t get that big in socialism nations

  • In the Soviet Union, MOST did not have refrigerators. We had an exchange student come live with us from the USSR in 1989 and he told us they didn't have a refrigerator nor a car, nor quality clothing,nor quality anything. They had nothing. Only those in government had money. Everyone was in poverty and no one had any freedoms and most were miserable. Those who have never lived in communism nor studied it don't understand it.

  • Whoooohooo! American tv channel mentioning my country Czech Republic and not saying it's Czechoslovakia, cool! Thanks!

  • This communist guy is great. I like him. He really tries to argue smartly! I love the way that "rightists" don't fear to discuss their ideas with the opposite sides with any attacks. Great work!

    I would like to point up one big mistake, which communist makes. He argues that people don't do things for the profit. Surely, he means just financial profit. But if we took the word "profit" to the more general meaning, we would discover that everyone does everything for his profit and only for his profit. Because there is no point in doing things without the profit.
    The reason why people are altruistic is not that they are not "greedy" in the traditional sense, but it is the fact that they are happy to serve others. They are gaining profit from the fact of helping dispite their costs. How would you otherwise explain charity? How would you otherwise explain parents taking care for the kids? How would you explain the fact that people buy bread when they are hungry? The reason is profit, not financial one, but satisfying whatever needs they have.

    Finncial profit is just of the many kind of profits and is the most emphasized one, but only because it is universal. You use finance to obtain things that gives you your personal profit – you work and with salary you pay tuition, toys or food for your kids.

    No, my dear communists, there has never ever be a person in this world which would all the time do things without any profit. Because profit is the definition of motivation.

  • The "true" communism was never tried out, always socialism as the way to get there. But there were and always will be greedy leader and a higher class that owns way more than the rest, that is just the human nature and so communism doesn't work for a large population!

  • Capitalism is merely the freedom of individuals to earn a living from competing to satisfy consumer demand. The market system is the environment of laws and regulations that dictates how capitalism is practiced. There are two kinds of capitalist markets- free and captive. Free markets are characterized by the absence of manufacturing and publishing monopolies. Captive markets are characterized by the dominance of manufacturing and publishing monopolies. Socialism and communism mistakenly blame capitalism for the consequences of monopolism.

  • This idiot uses the same, tired old argument about the failure of Socialism/Communism: oh, it’s just that it’s never been properly implemented before. I’d bet his very first measure would be to make private ownership of gums illegal. And someone should tell him America is the richest country in the world precisely because of capitalism

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