Fox host encourages guest who argues “capitalism is good for your health” to “keep preaching capitalism”

From the April 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

Video file

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): 2020 Democrats pushing further to the left, pledging to take on capitalism if they win the White House. 

PETE HEGSETH (GUEST CO-HOST): But our next guest argues in a new op-ed in the New York Post that capitalism is actually good for your health.

EARHARDT: Here to explain is chairman of economics at George Mason University, Tyler Cowen. He's author of the book Big Business. Tyler, good morning to you. 


EARHARDT: Good morning. So why is capitalism good for your health? 

COWEN: There's plenty of evidence that people who have jobs, they commit suicide at lower rates. They're healthier, they live longer, they're happier. America has a lot of the best companies and best managers in the world and workers benefit from this. 

HEGSETH: Yeah but we're being told that capitalism leaves too many people behind, leads to inequality, the 1%. What do you say to those who seek to tear down capitalism?

COWEN: Well a lot of the inequalities in our system I would blame on our education, that a lot of it's mediocre. Workers with good skills have never had more opportunities than they do today. 

EARHARDT: In the report it says that women feel happier at work. Why is that? 

COWEN: Well not all of us have entirely happy home lives. Work is a place of protection, of respite. A lot of your social network is there. If you have problems in some other part of your life, work is very often a place simply of support and, of course, they pay you. 

HEGSETH: That's true. Tyler, but -- socialists might say yeah, but if things are free and everyone is earning more because you've got a minimum wage and universal base income, money is coming in no matter what, that you're happier. 

COWEN: Well if things are free that really means you have a world where businesses don't care about consumer demand. They're not motivated to do the right thing and produce the correct product. Many countries have tried that. Cuba still tries it. Cuba is a disaster. So I think that would be a big mistake. 

EARHARDT: So what do you say to these politicians that want to do free health care, free college, pay off all your debts, your student loans? 

COWEN: It's distressing to me that there's a new revival of interest in socialism and socialistic ideas. And I think we need to push back against that. And that's a big reason why I wrote my book. 

HEGSETH: Absolutely. What about your students? Are you seeing students at George Mason who are understanding of capitalism and the healthy benefits it brings, or are they seduced toward the idea of socialism?

COWEN: I think George Mason is a pretty healthy environment. Students there are pretty moderate or centrist, or are just outright sensible. So at my school no, but at many other schools the trend runs a different way. And you see this in polls where young people often approve of socialism more than capitalism.

EARHARDT: What's the future of our country?

COWEN: I think the future of our country is up to us. It is not preordained, it will be fought in the world of ideas, and we need more people to be articulate defenders of capitalism. 

HEGSETH: Tyler, please keep preaching capitalism. We appreciate it, good stuff.


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