History and geography teaches us that societies that back free enterprise, freedom and private property more deliver higher living standards. Societies where government regulates, taxes and nationalises on a grand scale deliver lower incomes and less freedom.
The great east-west communism against more free enterprise systems in post war Europe delivered much higher living standards to the west of the Iron curtain. In today’s world the most socialist or communist states like North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba have much lower living standards than western countries. China is still a long way behind the USA in GDP per head.
Socialists argue against more free enterprise, claiming it creates unacceptable inequalities. In communist societies the luxuries of the elite who govern are often extreme compared to the average worker.
Essential to a more free enterprise democratic system is equality of opportunity. To work well these societies need to offer a number of routes to prosperity for the many, and need to be generous to those who cannot walk those routes.
The government needs to revisit pathways to home ownership, to self employment, to personalised pensions saving, to building small businesses , developing co ops and partnerships, and gaining shares in a company you work for. I will be looking at all of these in the days ahead. Wider ownership is important campaign. Everyone an owner is the way to embed free enterprise and higher living standards and greater freedoms.