The media tells us we are facing an epidemic of loneliness. Everyone is writing about loneliness, and I have done so as well. But we must reject one of the reasons sometimes given for loneliness in America. John Stossel quotes from articles and magazines that argue that capitalism is what makes us lonely.
In his new video interview with Johan Norberg, the historian explains, “There is no empirical data that actually shows that we feel lonelier now than we did in the past.” John Stossel pushes back that more people live alone now than in the past. Norberg responds, “What they never tell you in the reports, is that people who live alone and spend less time surrounded by other people are also happier with those relationships.”
What Norberg explains in the video and his new book is the “complete opposite of what people expect.” It turns out that loneliness is less in capitalist countries and much worse in socialist countries. This is not what you hear in the media. Instead, one socialist on YouTube argues that “Material incentives of capitalists isolate us from nature, each other and ourselves.”
But when we discussed this on my radio program, my guests countered by saying that in a free market, the way you attract buyers is by producing a product or a service that meets the needs of another person. “In the market economy, we do each other’s services constantly. That’s how we get richer,” adds Norberg. “No deal ever happens unless both parties think that they benefit.”
Capitalism doesn’t make you lonely or isolated. The free market requires you to consider another person’s wants and needs. Once again, we find another benefit of the free market system.
This post originally appeared at https://pointofview.net/viewpoints/capitalism-and-loneliness/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=capitalism-and-loneliness