“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
– Adam Smith (1723-1790) Scottish moral philosopher and a pioneering
Self interest, what some may call “greed”; wrongly, is a good thing.
Put simply, capitalism, is as natural to humans as breathing. In the first moments of the dawn of mankind capitalism was present. Everyone who has ever lived, has participated in free market economics. This includes, the communist, marxist, socialist and every other follower of a political philosophy that has existed. The self-interest of an individual is the foundation of ‘economy’. This self-interest is a force on both sides of the market. Someone has a need for a good or service, and someone else has the good or service to provide. It really is as simple as that.
When someone performs labor, they have transferred a part of themselves into that which they have done. The task has become intertwined with their very soul. Same with someone who creates a product, that endeavour also is a part of them. This, I believe is the inherent reason that wherever and whenever socialism or communism is experimented with, it always fails. It is because the economic system of socialism punishes the producer and rewards the mooch. It steals the very soul of man. When a person lays their hand to the plow, they do it to better their socio-economic status, not for their health. They do it for their family. This is why the recent remarks made by President Obama about small business owner’s hit such a sour note. “If you have a business, you didn’t build that, someone else made that happen.” The election that we happen upon will be a decision solely won or lost on who we think will do a better job of pulling the American economy out of the ditch. Capitalism vs. socialism. The difference’s, couldn’t be further apart. Our politicians are attempting to mix the two, and have. However, I suggest they are not compatible with one another. One steals from one party, and distributes the stolen money to those without the morality to know that they should refuse to take the money. One, lets the party who earned the money to keep the fruits of their labor, and spend it accordingly to their will. They do not mix as philosophies.
Like all other things, capitalism doesn’t fare well when mixed with immorality. Here is the issue that befalls us currently. The enemies of capitalism use instances of Immorality to attack it. What they fail to do is separate free market capitalism and the immoral act. An excellent example of this is the issue a few years back when it was found that Bernie Madoff swindled many out of billions of dollars as an investor. Communists point out “look that man stole a ton of money from innocent people, capitalism is terrible!” You see, capitalism doesn’t breed theft, or a skewed view of greed, or what the Holy Bible calls covetousness, (the act of wanting after the things that others possess). The act of theft is a fallen, human condition, it develops in the heart before it is acted upon. Capitalism serves those in need of goods or services, it doesn’t steal from anyone. Another argument against capitalism is “look, the housing market collapsed, or the Dow Jones fell 300 points, capitalism sucks!” The flaw of that argument is this, free market capitalism has not been practiced in our nation for better than a hundred years. There are a set of structures built into an economy, a set of laws. Just like physics, an economy is bound by its laws. If a body is at rest, it will tend to stay at rest until something moves it. If a body is in motion, it will tend to stay in motion until something stops it. Equally, if a force outside the market attempts to control it or manipulate it in any way, it has an effect. The effect can be either positive or negative, however, there is an effect. An example of this would be the housing bubble. When congress decided to set new loan rules for housing by demanding banks lower their standards on lending, the market was affected. What ensued from that decision is now remembered as the housing crash of ’08. A lot of finger-pointing came from that market crash. Many blamed the banks, many blamed the people who couldn’t afford the home, however few blamed the real culprit, the set of loan rules that caused the bank to make bad loans in the first place. Pure, free market capitalism doesn’t recommend loaning monies to people who can’t repay. The housing crash has been used to attack capitalism. When the market fell, Americans should have marched on Washington D.C. and demanded that congress pass legislation to remedy loose loan rules pushed upon the banks by the government.
That brings us to GSE’s. The Government Sponsored Entities are those businesses like Fanny Mae, and Freddie Mac. Actually, there are a lot of these. Many would agree that the federal government should not be in the business of owning businesses. Owning a business is not one of the seventeen enumerated powers of the government laid out in the U.S. Constitution. However, the government, through influence and regulation, own or run a plethora of companies. General Motors, Chrysler Corp., Floodinsurance.gov, banks, investment firms, insurance companies, now with Obamacare the government absorbed 1/6th of the U.S. economy, this is a short list, there are many more. A state regulated and controlled market is not free market capitalism, it is state capitalism like China operates. With the latest comments that Obama has made about expanding the auto bailouts to other industries, Americans should be extremely concerned about our direction as a nation. He is espousing marxist theory on the campaign trail, and the sad part is not many Americans know it when they hear it. On the other hand, if George W. Bush would have campaigned in ’04 and told the American people that he was shutting down and selling off GSE’s to private buyers, or “worse” yet, private equity firms, the press would have had a seizure! They would have said that the nation was being transformed for the worse. But, when our nation is being strangled by Venezuelan style business models, (nationalizing industry) the press is silent. That is criminal!
To me, the results of the Founders’ exceptional vision can be summed up in one sentence: Throughout human history, the American Idea has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. – Paul Ryan (R) Wis.
Capitalism has, as Paul Ryan puts it, “done more for the poor than any other system”. The man is right. In the history of the world, capitalism has brought the over all living standard higher than ever before, not just in our own country, but in all countries. It has brought new innovations to the market place like electricity transmission, light bulbs, the automobile, the train, the airplane, oil production, the space shuttle and the personal computer. If you see it, there is a great chance that capitalism brought it to life either through direct or indirect funding.
As long as people exist, free market capitalism will exist. As long as people exist, the threat of someone trying to squash capitalism will exist. Although, It is our inheritance from our founders, economic freedom.
Some just want to live their lives, and some just want to run the lives of others.
It is the battle cry of small government patriots, we need a free market, right away!
Robert E. Stage Jr.