Both forms of economy run on generalized laws that treat human beings as numbers.
Capitalism gives people the chance to rise above their peers if they know how to play the game, and -Want- the Patrick Bateman lifestyle. But as with any human-run system, it can be woefully unfair and exploitative. Ask the Irish.
Socialism, however, errs on the other side of the Zero Sum Diversity/Equality equation, valuing equality over diversity. Allow me to explain:
The precept of Marxist socialism is “From each as their ability, and to each as their need” So it’s great if you’re chronically sick or can’t fend for yourself, and shitty if you’re Say, Tony Stark. Tony works hard and invents a ton of stuff, but only gets out of it what has been decided his ‘Needs’ are.
Here we run into two problems: It is required that there be a central authority to determine ‘need’ on an individual basis. Secondly, it can be hard to motivate people (Especially brilliant or gifted people) if they’re receiving the same compensation as a Fry Cook. So, Tony’s unhappy, he works hard all day designing wonderful stuff, and goes home to a big bowl of soylent green.
The other issue we run into when deciding on a ‘need’ based economy is a gigantic restriction on personal freedoms. Drugs, alcohol, chocolate, Big Macs, shiny cars, videogames, even Tumblr… They don’t fall into the ‘Need’ category, so they’re banned. Otherwise people will get fat on the beer and hamburgers and spend all their time playing videogames.
Now, you could say that we’re not gonna go with the ‘Need’ based economy. We’re gonna take the GDP of our country, and distribute it back in equal shares.
But anyone who’s a gamer knows that sooner or later, someone who’s clever and unhappy with their cut will start to try and game the system. they’ll engage in grey market activities, under the table dealings, etc. They’ll take their share and leverage it into something bigger. They’ll break the system.
Again, you can have equality OR diversity. Because the second you have even a teensy bit of diversity in a population, you’ll have people arguing over who’s -Better-. And if you have huge diversity, you’ll have the least amount of Equality: Too many factions to ensure there won’t be some that get ganged up on and stomped into the dirt.
Remember, only half of us can be Above Average. The goal should be to work that Average score up over time. The methods are Irrelevant.
((BTW, for the record, Socialist Republics tend to be really nasty places to live, especially if you’re an ethnic minority. Government doesn’t Cap how Evil people can be.))