Extract From ‘Capitalism for kids : growing up to be your own boss’ by Karl Hess
How do you feel about yourself? What do you think about your place in the world? These are the most important questions you can ask yourself.
Do you believe that you can think for yourself? Or do you have to wait to be told everything?
When you read a book, do you try to understand it on your own? Or do you wait for someone to tell you what it meant?
Do you believe that you are important as an individual? Or do you feel that you are important only as part of some group or another?
When you do something, do you do it because you really enjoy it? Or do you do things because you think that’s what other people expect you to do?
Do you believe that when you are older you can work for yourself or with people who get together voluntarily to do something? Or do you think you’ll just have to go to work for someone else and do whatever they tell you to do?
Do you believe that people who make and sell things are good and useful? Or do you think that business is bad and greedy and needs politicians to keep it in line?
Do you believe that if you work harder, or smarter, that it’s okay to have more as a result? Or do you believe that everybody ought to have an equal share of everything no matter what they do?
Do you believe that you ought to be graded in school on how well you do as an individual? Or do you believe
that the entire class should “share” grades and everybody get the same grade no matter what they did?
If most of your friends said that it was okay to steal, would you still say “no it isn’t”? Or would you go along
with the crowd?
Are there things you have decided are right for you, things that you won’t give up just because most people
don’t agree? Or do you wait to see what most people are doing before you make up your own mind?
Do you enjoy solving puzzles and thinking about things? Or do you always want to have other people
Do you think that when you grow older you and your friends can take care of yourselves? Or do you think that
only the government can really take care of people?
Do you think that making money is a reward for doing things that other people want? Or do you think that
making a profit is bad and greedy?
Do you think that poets and scientists should make money for the things that they do to delight or help people?
Or do you think that creative people should “serve” society and not be rewarded for what they do?
Do you think that taking care of yourself first is the only way you’ll ever have enough time or wealth to help
take care of other people? Or do you think that your first thought should be to sacrifice yourself to the needs of
Do you think that a person should do good deeds because he has thought about it and wants to do it? Or do
you think that people should be forced to do good things whether they want to or not?
Do you think that people should be free to do what they want as long as they don’t prevent other people from
doing the same? Or do you think that everybody should live by a single set of rules?
Do you think that people should have their own rules which they agree to with the people around them? Or do
you think that a special group of people should make all the rules for everybody?
Do you think that the way to end poverty is to create wealth? Or do you think that the best you can do is to take
things from people who have things and give them to people who have less?
Do you think that the best way to make money is to do something that you are good at and that you enjoy? Or
do you think that you always have to do things you don’t like in order to have a job and make money?
If there was something you wanted to do, something you loved doing, would you try to do it on your own as long
as you could and not expect anyone else to pay for it unless they wanted to? Or do you think that just because you want
to do something that “society” should support your doing it?
Do you think that you are responsible for the choices you make in life? Or do you think that you are always forced to do things by forces you can’t control?
Can you go anywhere and hold your head up because you respect yourself? Or do you feel ashamed of yourself
unless other people like you?
If the whole world wanted to go north and you wanted to go south, would you still try to make the trip? Or
are you always trying to follow someone else’s roadmap?
Do you think that there are things worth taking a risk for? Or do you think that “society” should make sure that
everything in life is absolutely safe?
Do you think that “society,” after all, is just a fancy name for other people? Or do you think that “society” has
a mystical life of its own and is more important than individuals?
If you answered “yes” to the first question in each of those paragraphs, and if you answered “no” to the second
parts, then you are a believer in freedom, the individual, and the free market already.
ILR Note: Welcome to the club
If you answered the questions the other way around, then you are more of a socialist and may not like what this book is all about.
ILR Note : Please continue reading some more articles here, and maybe you’ll get in to our club. Just kidding, we don”t really care !