Conservatives should be shouting about the economy from the rooftops. Because the August jobs report released on Friday didn't just show a continuing economic boom, it evidenced a 0.4 percent increase in average hourly earnings over those 31 days.
That might not seem like much, but it now reflects an annual increase in earnings of 2.9 percent. When you consider the average U.S. household income was just under $60,000 in 2016, a 2.9 percent increase would represent an additional $1,740 in the average family's paycheck each year. Oh, and 201,000 new jobs were also added in August for a sustained unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.
This exceptionally positive economic data matters far more to many Americans than the fight to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, the Spartacus pageantry of Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and President Trump's chaos. And the data should matter to conservatives for a secondary reason: It is a triumph of economic ideas that make people's lives better. After all, the central causal factors for these wage increases are the corporate tax reforms introduced by Congress and the Trump administration's action to reduce regulatory friction on businesses. It's not just about the wages. The economy is now growing at 4.2 percent.
Put simply, these statistics show that more lives are made better by unleashing of free-market capitalism.
That brings us back to the need to preach this economic data from the rooftops. That demand is more urgent in the context of the increasing appeal of ideas like the raised minimum wage and expanded social programs. While those ideas exist on proven fallacious foundations, they are cleverly presented as the markers of a more just society. Yes, in part, that's because it's an easier populist message to say, "Take money from the faceless corporations and give it to the people," than it is to say, "Let the corporations retain more of their own earnings and we'll all benefit." But it's also because conservatives are too often scared to speak up for capitalism with the same vigor the socialists speak up for their ideology.
That must now change because the facts are clear: Capitalism incentivizes effective investment, ingenuity, and hard work. Communism is an ideology that incentivizes impoverishing tyranny. Socialism is an ideology that incentivizes a collective race to the economic bottom.