- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 4, 2019

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon defended capitalism in his annual letter to shareholders on Thursday, claiming that socialism “would be as much a disaster” for the U.S. as it has been in other failed states throughout history.

“When governments control companies, economic assets (companies, lenders and so on) over time are used to further political interests — leading to inefficient companies and markets, enormous favoritism and corruption,” Mr. Dimon wrote in his letter.

“As Margaret Thatcher said, ‘The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money,’” he continued. “Socialism inevitably produces stagnation, corruption and often worse — such as authoritarian government officials who often have an increasing ability to interfere with both the economy and individual lives — which they frequently do to maintain power. This would be as much a disaster for our country as it has been in the other places it’s been tried.”

Mr. Dimon went on to claim that while capitalism does have its flaws, there is “no question that capitalism has been the most successful economic system the world has ever seen.”

“It has helped lift billions of people out of poverty, and it has helped enhance the wealth, health and education of people around the world. Capitalism enables competition, innovation and choice,” he wrote. “I am not an advocate for unregulated, unvarnished, free-for-all capitalism. (Few people I know are.) But we shouldn’t forget that true freedom and free enterprise (capitalism) are, at some point, inexorably linked.”

Mr. Dimon stopped short of getting political despite an increasing number of Democrats embracing the “democratic socialist” label, including presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

New polling suggests that while Americans are warming to socialism and socialist policies like universal health care, capitalism is still viewed more favorably.

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