From the April 25 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co:
STUART VARNEY (CO-HOST): Justin, am I right that the -- what's fueling criticism of capitalism and the move towards socialism is, A, income inequality and B, climate change? Is that the root cause of it all?
JUSTIN HASKINS (HEARTLAND INSTITUTE): I actually think that the root cause of it all is the indoctrination factories that have become the American education system. I think that our children are woefully uneducated when it comes to the history of socialism, and I believe -- and capitalism, frankly, and I believe that over the past 30, 40, 50 years, really going back to the 1960s, kids have been taught a completely distorted view of what's been going on in history. They have not been told the truth about the power of capitalism and how capitalism has improved life for more people than any other economic system that's ever existed in the history of humankind. 100 years ago, people were still using outhouses to go to the bathroom and now, the lowest income Americans walk around with supercomputers in their back pockets. This is the result of entrepreneurship and free enterprise, not government control and mandates.
VARNEY: When a leftist comes at you and says wait a minute, income inequality is absolutely extreme, isn't it? Some people would say that it is. What's your answer to that?
HASKINS: My answer to that is frankly, I don't care. Income inequality is meaningless to me. What I care about is seeing the quality of life for people improve. That's what matters. The gap between the rich and poor is irrelevant if the poor -- if the life -- the quality of life for the poor is increasingly getting better and that is exactly what's happened. The poorest one-fifth of Americans live better than many of the upper middle class and even wealthy in many continents on this planet. That's because of our -- America's history of embracing individual liberty and free markets.
VARNEY: OK, let me come at you with this one. Supposing an environmentalist comes at you and says we're trashing the planet and capitalism is to blame. What's your answer to that?
HASKINS: I would argue that I see no evidence whatsoever that capitalism is causing the planet to go through any kind of a [sic] environmental crisis. Usually this has to do with climate change, the argument being that capitalism is causing us to go through some sort of man-caused climate change catastrophe that's going to occur 80 years into the future. Frankly, I just don't see the evidence that that's happening. We're seeing a greening of the planet. We're seeing the quality of life is better than ever. Crop yields are up. Life is better now than it was 20 or 30 years ago and I don't see any evidence that modest warming is creating any sort of a climate catastrophe.