Friday, May 15, 2009

Capitalism for Dummies

An idiot caller on a talk radio show inspired me to write this. Chrysler and GM will come up, I promise.

Capitalism is what happens naturally between free people, it is not an "economic system." Bartering? Trading? Examples of capitalism, my friends. The manifesto's line about "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need?" That would be not natural and qualifies as an imposed "economic system."

If I have a skill that earns me money, that's bartering: I "trade" my skills, knowledge, and experience for currency. I can be a farmer that grows corn who trades my corn (the resulting product of my skills and efforts) to a blacksmith for making a plow, or or I can sell the corn to hungry non-farmers and use the coin to pay the blacksmith. No difference.

If I'm a crappy blacksmith, I won't stay in business very long. That's capitalism at work, no intervention necessary, no imposed system required. Maybe, though, there's only one blacksmith, so I'm screwed. Or maybe I learn smithy, or have a child of mine learn it, or gather some friends and find a better blacksmith to entice to our community. That's capitalism and freedom all wrapped up together. Maybe I have two available blacksmiths, one that works fast and cheap, and one that works slower but better and more expensively. I get to choose which meets my needs: do I save up for a better product or do I need it now, and don't have as much cash? My choice.

The idiot caller (who claimed to be writing a book about this on a $50,000 grant) seemed to think that wages should be capped ($100,000.00) by taxing anything above his pathetic notion of too much income at 90%. Idiot. He didn't seem to think it fair that one person working "just as hard" as someone else should get paid less than anyone else. Idiot. Never mind that silly notion that some types of work are actually WORTH MORE TO HUMANITY, idiot. Let's see, I used to sweep, mop, clean the bathrooms, and stock the coolers at the family bar. Monkey work, no skills necessary. Should I have been paid the same as a teacher? Never mind the Master's required by most districts these days? I worked "just as hard," right. WRONG. How 'bout the doctor's excessive wages? Surely, unless you are an idiot, the time, money, qualifications, experience, dedication, skill to become a doctor that is worth more than me sweeping a bar and should be rewarded as such?


Now, it seems to me that the Dealership closings point out a sad aspect of our modern, messed up version of free markets and capitalism. Dealers that are profitable are being forced to close. The market isn't determining their worth or viability. What is, then? Where does the buck stop in this? Hmm. The reasons the car makers were in trouble are well known, right? Excessive costs took away profitability. They are in debt up past any eyeballs on the tallest member of the board, mostly becoming pension and health benefit providers that make cars to pay for it. In steps the Federal Government with loans and gifts that have strings attached: strings that will them that they have to do certain things for the money. Now we know who decided viable dealerships would be forced to close, don't we?

When you hear the talking news heads say "Chrysler closed nearly 900 dealerships," or GM did the same, substitute "The Federal Government" for the manufacturers' names. That's where the buck stops.

1 comment:

  1. thanks to someone actually finding this post, according to my stats, I found and fixed a typo. I also think this is one of my better bits.... :)