The Economic Perspective: “Capitalism, Socialism, and Government Help”

This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at capitalism, socialism, and government help.  Mike, today’s program is about definitions.  The terms capitalism and socialism are frequently used in reference to government help.  Does either system preclude government intervention in the economy?

  • The distinction between capitalism and socialism is based on who owns resources in the economy
  • Capitalism implies private ownership of resources
  • Socialism means public ownership – specifically the government owns everything and therefore makes decisions about resource use
  • Therefore, some say help for distressed parts of our population can only happen with socialism
  • Not correct – US has many programs assisting various components of the economy
  • And look at a country like Sweden – has more extensive social safety net in some areas, yet has private ownership
  • I’m MW

And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics