Risk drives progress

The Sunday Telegraph - - Letters to the editor -

As Boris John­son writes over­leaf, at the heart of all hu­man suc­cess sto­ries is a will­ing­ness to take risks. Ex­plo­ration, in­no­va­tion and spec­u­la­tion all re­quire putting some­thing you have on the line in the hope of greater re­ward – any­thing from open­ing a new busi­ness to in­vent­ing some bril­liant new tech­nol­ogy. When the risk-taker wins, every­one else does too. That is the es­sen­tial power of real free mar­kets, and that is one rea­son why we have launched our cam­paign for cap­i­tal­ism: we wel­come Mr John­son’s de­ci­sion to sup­port it to­day.

Too many other se­nior Tories no longer un­der­stand what makes our civil­i­sa­tion tick. Progress is driven by am­bi­tion: Bri­tish so­ci­ety has to re­main free for cit­i­zens to ex­per­i­ment, free to fail (to show what doesn’t have a fu­ture, free­ing up re­sources for what does) and free to en­joy the re­wards of their labour, tal­ent and en­trepreneur­ship.

Ev­ery new tax grab re­duces the fruits of the risk-taker; ev­ery reg­u­la­tion that slows down in­no­va­tion and progress, or makes it harder for new com­pa­nies to en­ter the mar­ket, re­duces pros­per­ity. Labour (and sadly many Con­ser­va­tives) don’t get it. They don’t un­der­stand how the econ­omy works, don’t ap­pre­ci­ate the won­ders cap­i­tal­ism has worked for hu­man­ity – noth­ing has done more to lift the peo­ple out of poverty – and back poli­cies that would de­stroy en­ter­prise and dis­cour­age hard work.

Why doesn’t the govern­ment do more to counter the present cul­tural slide into soft-so­cial­ism? It will end, as it al­ways does, in the crush­ing of the hu­man spirit and ab­ject poverty.

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