Letter to the Post Editor  
Capitalism and the four pillars  
All you seem to hear from the left is socialism.  That we need to end capitalism.  So, before that is move is complete, we should examine what capitalism is. First of all, to me, there are 4 pillars to capitalism.  There are: maximum individual freedom, rule of law, private property, and a free market.  Those four pillars allowed the greatest wealth creation in all of history.  They produced a huge and robust middle class.  They created a system where the poor would be considered wealthy in other parts of the world.  
When you look under the hood of capitalism, you find there is constant mixing of the wealth among the people.  A poor black man in a ghetto, Charles Payne, can become wealthy in the stock market.  When one person become extremely wealthy, usually his descendants spend the wealth within one or two generations.  The middle class can achieve success easily by working hard and producing what is wanted.   
The individual freedom gives people the opportunity to take risks to better themselves.  It means that if you work your butt off, you can have a better life.   
The rule of law is what binds the system together.  If you take advantage and do harm to people, laws will punish you.  If you form a contract with another, the law lets the contract be enforceable.  It establishes a peaceful existence where people can prosper.   
In contrast to more socialized Countries, the wealthy, middle class, & a good share of the poor own their houses.  They take care of the houses because owning them was the result of their hard work.  I have worked on homes as part of Habitat for Humanity.  The future owners work on their home as well.  This sweat equity means they have a stake in ensuring their home stays in good shape.  It is also true if you own a business, your business depends upon your putting hard work and good customer service into that which you own.  It is a huge incentive.   
The free market is like the maximum in distributed computing.  Every minute of every day, someone is buying or selling something.  The price is determined by the wants and needs of both the customers and the sellers.  It varies from moment to moment as those wants and needs for both parties’ change.  Just look at the stock market, it is in constant flux as the buyers and sellers change and change their minds.  
The entire system of capitalism creates wealth because it focuses on giving the consumers what they want.  If someone does that, they can become enormously wealthy.  If they guess wrong, they can go bankrupt.  Capitalism is thus a production-oriented system which reward hard work and innovation.  Even the poor benefit because capitalism raises the standard of living for all.  
Are there shortcomings to capitalism?  Well, if people are religious, any people that can’t cope or compete, because of physical or mental issues, are taken care of.  However, if God is removed, then all bets are off.  Another shortcoming is that the people in power will often do anything to remain in power and that includes destroying capitalism.  I read a book called Dupes, I believe, where the people in the Soviet Union couldn’t believe that people in the US would fall for the outright lies being told by the Marxists/Communists. They played on the emotions of people to think they could get something for nothing, that the government could take care of them, that life was better under a communist system. Hugo Chavez pushed that in Venezuela.  Free schools, free health care, infrastructure, etc.  Venezuela was a prosperous nation before Hugo and now people are starving to death.  The same kind of promises were made and the results were equally disastrous.  
As the US is becoming more socialist, think hard about what it being given up.  Your individual freedom, your being able to work hard, take risks, buy a home, and better yourself are all fruits of capitalism.   
Bill Hamm  
North Royalton