Posts Tagged ‘capitalism’

The Pope is Wrong

Posted by Troy on 27th November 2013 in Current Events

Sorry if that offends you.  I have never bought into the concept that the Pope is infallible.  If you do, you really have to ignore many times in history where the Pope has made tremendous errors (such as sending an army of children to fight against Muslims in the Crusades because he believed their innocence would ensure victory…didn’t work).

In regards to his comments about an exclusion economy, one really has to consider this.  First, people are, indeed, resources.  No matter how you want to cut it, whatever job you do degrades and breaks your body over time.  This cannot be helped.  If we took a “no harm” approach to the workforce, we would have nothing.  His stance against capitalism completely ignores the fact that capitalism has enabled the highest level of standard of living ever.  We feed more people than ever.  We cure illnesses that wiped out entire civilizations.  And none of this would have been possible without capitalism.  The rich should help the poor, but this is an individual responsibility.  It should not be forced.  Jesus preached charity.  He did not preach taking by the point of the sword to redistribute.  There is a huge difference between these two things.  Saying that someone must help the poor to be a moral person is different than saying that we must steal from the rich so that we can be moral by forcing the rich to “share” what they have.

In regards to his talk of the idolatry of money and the bondage of interest payments upon states that want to help their populace…neither a borrower nor lender be.  These countries opted to go begging to other countries to lend them money to afford all of these programs.  Now they have to pay the cost.  No one made them borrow money.  I’m all for the community pitching in to help someone, but it should only be that to which the community afford.  In a small town, it may be leveling a field and keeping it mowed to be used for little league games.  In a big city, it may be building an actual stadium for such use.  However, the small town should not build a multi-million dollar stadium and then complain that they have so much debt.  They were fiscally irresponsible.  They were poor stewards, and they have saddled their citizens with interest payments.  They are the ones to blame, not those who lent them the money to start with.

Finally, I want to talk about “inequality spawns violence.”  So shall we also blame a girl for spawning rape for being too pretty?  Those who allow inequality to breed violence are guilty of breaking the 10th Commandment (I never thought I would have to educate the Pope about the Commandments…).  They are also guilty of Envy and Greed and Anger.  This is a weakness in THEIR souls, not the souls of those who possess such wealth.  Also, I could not imagine that Jesus would want us to buy everyone a new SUV.  Food and shelter?  Sure.  A new cell phone?  No.

We are on the hook for ensuring that people have the BASIC necessities to LIVE.  No more, no less.  If you want more, work harder.  Even Jesus said, “He who does not work, shall not eat.”  That’s pretty hardcore.  And, as a parting shot, the Catholic church is pretty rich.  Perhaps Pope Francis should practice what he preaches.  Sell off all church assets (other than religious relics, naturally), and live as ancient monks used to do.  Give all the church’s assets to the poor.  The best way to lead is by example.

Long Live the Constitution and Long Live Capitalism.

You didn’t do that! – Explaining Obama’s Understanding of Economics

Posted by Troy on 23rd July 2012 in Current Events, Political

Of course, the easiest thing to do would be to say, “He doesn’t understand the economy” or “He thinks that the government is responsible for businesses.”  I could do that, but I won’t.  I’ll be fair, and I will explain what he meant…and then I’ll tear it apart.

He isn’t saying that the entrepreneurs didn’t build their businesses.  What he is saying is that those businesses couldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the fact that roads exist which allow people to buy their goods and services and schools that teach employees and the like.  And he is right.  If we didn’t have schools and roads and things, our modern day society would be impossible.  We would probably still be agrarian.  However, he still doesn’t get it.

Governments do not build roads and schools so that businesses will flourish.  No, what really happens is that societies grow.  They start off as a mere village and progress to a town and then to a city and then to a metropolis.  At every step of the way, more people move in which creates more jobs in the area.  As the population grows, the GDP of that area increases.  As the GDP increases, the tax base increases.  As more taxes are taken in, the government can then decide how to best serve the interests of their neighborhood by spending their tax revenue on public works.  At first, it might be to improve the roads so that more businesses can move in.  It might be to improve the school system so that the quality of jobs will improve.  However, without a growing economy and population, none of these improvements would do anything nor could the improvements be afforded.  At the best of times, the government is a symbiote (a helper organism) for the citizens (and by extension, the economy).  Unfortunately, with the basic needs accounted for, the government may turn to wasting money by building statues, passing unnecessary laws, paying for government parties or spending money to “buy votes” or reward their backers.  When this occurs, the government becomes a parasite.

It is difficult to make this argument (that the businesses come first in this particular chicken or the egg debate) because there is no way to refute it.  Oh wait, there is!  Silly me.  You see, China built these massive, modern day cities.  They had just finished watching Field of Dreams and thought if they “build it, they will come.”  Well, they didn’t, and now they have these massive, expensive ghost cities.  Why?  Because they thought they could central plan growth, and you can’t.  Growth is determined by more factors than the human mind can process.  At best, we can project growth a couple of years in advance.  A city without a population is just a thing.  It’s a collection of buildings, not a society.  As such, who would ever want to move there?  So they remain dormant until the government figures out a way to force people to move where they don’t want to live (which they will eventually…I have full faith in the oppressive nature of the Chinese government).

No one has any problem with using tax dollars to pay for roads and defense and other legitimate functions of government.  Of course, a lot of the things Obama wants to use Federal funds to do should really be left up to the state and local governments to contend with.  Let’s assume though that the Federal government is the one that’s supposed to be in charge of all government spending.  He thinks that we should have the most modern infrastructure in the world.  Since China has high speed rail, we should have high speed rail.  Quick question:  Suppose you are rich, and your spouse is constantly saying, “Well, the Johns have a new car.  We need a new car that’s more expensive than theirs.  Oh, and the Smiths put in a new pool.  We need to put in one with a water slide.  Oh, and the Jacksons just upgraded their kitchen.  We have to buy a new kitchen.  Oh…and that car we bought last month?  The Crews family just bought an even newer one!  We have got to buy a new car or people are going to think we are poor!”  How long do you think it will take you to go broke?  China and India have been buying the newest infrastructure.  It makes sense that, for the moment, their infrastructure will be newer than ours and will probably be in better shape because they are just now getting around to building it.  However, if a bridge will be serviceable for twenty years, what is the logic of tearing it down and building a new one just to compete with China?  Even if the bridge needed to be replaced, it should probably fall to the state to build it, and there would be plenty of money to do it if we stopped wasting the money on crap that the government isn’t supposed to be doing!  Just look at how New Orleans spent money on other projects when they knew the levy needed repairs.

Of course, there is really only one answer for our problems.  We have to learn to say “No, thank you.”  We have to turn down the money that the government is offering us.  We have to say, “I know that I qualify for food stamps, but I don’t really need it.  I will just cut off my cable and not have a cell phone.  If I do that, I will be able to afford the food on my own.”  Will it be hard?  Absolutely.  Will it suck?  You bet.  But only when this mentality is embraced by the majority of Americans do we have any shot of getting out of this mess.  As long as we demand that cuts be made except when it comes to me, then politicians will not have the guts to cut anything at all.  We can still help those who need help, but those who could work must work.  We accept so many things as rights or as a standard of living that are really luxuries (cable, television in general, Coca-cola, etc).

Long Live the Constitution!

Support Capitalism

Posted by Troy on 22nd May 2012 in Human Nature

Today, one of my neighbor’s kids approached me and asked if I would buy her handmade jewelry.  Looking into her box, I found safety pins with beads attached.  I bought two, and she was thrilled.  Naturally, I didn’t need these pins.  I didn’t particularly want them either.  However, I wanted to reward her capitalizing spirit.  She didn’t ask for money from her dad.  She took ten cents (or less) of materials and tried to turn that into a dollar.

I don’t believe in wasting money.  I was raised to believe that you take care of the things you own.  As I always say, if you take care of the things you own, the things you own will take care of you.  You could, naturally, pay someone else to take care of it for you, but this isn’t the same.  You do honor to the object when you take care of it yourself.  You bond with that item, and no one will care as much for your things as you do.  No one else will do as good a job caring for your things as you do.  This excludes things that you have no skill in.  If you need to replace your timing belt and you have no idea about cars, you are probably best off leaving that up to a mechanic, but you could still wash the car yourself.

That being said, when a neighbor’s kid came over and asked to pick up pine cones for $2, I agreed.  It wasn’t out of laziness.  I wanted to foster that enterprising spirit.  A kid that attempts to earn money on their own and does so is more likely to try in the future.  Hopefully this enterprising spirit will stick with them all their lives.

Long Live Capitalisim!

Occupy Wall Street is against affecting election

Posted by Troy on 2nd May 2012 in Current Events

Supposedly, Occupy Wall Street has a civil war (the few people who are left in it).  Some people are wanting them to affect the election, and others want to avoid that as they believe it will mean they are only a tool for the Democrats.  Naturally, the Democrats want Occupy Wall Street to be the left wing Tea Party.  However, despite the fact that the Tea Party and OWS are both against corporate cronyism, the similarities end there.

The Tea Party was instantly a political movement.  If you talk to a Tea Party member, they are less excited about the general election.  Instead, they are interested in watching their Senators and Representatives, writing letters, and defeating them in primaries if they act in bad faith or do a bad job.

By fighting becoming a voting block, OWS shows their true colors.  There is only one legitimate way to change things in our system, and that is voting.  How else are they supposed to change things?  Well, that comes back to what I’ve always said about them…they are a revolutionary group.  They wish to overthrow the Constitution.  What they want to have cannot be supported by the Constitution.  They are a youth movement, which means they are being manipulated by the old revolutionaries of the 60′s that failed to overthrow the capitalist system back then.  It appears that the movement is dying out.  If they have the numbers though, they will eventually be given the order to riot.  It’s just common sense.  If you want to change the system and you’re not interest in voting, what does that mean?  Isn’t that as suspicious as people learning how to fly a plane and not being interest in learning how to land?

Long Live the Constitution!

Capitalism for Dummies

Posted by Troy on 28th February 2012 in Human Nature, Political

There once was a town.  In this town, people scraped by, just barely providing for themselves and their families.  Then, one of the townspeople got an idea.  He starting making a product, and everyone wanted one.  Soon, he had to build a factory and employed many of his fellow townspeople.  With so many people having gainful employment, others in the town started other businesses such as restaurants and service industries and all kinds of shops.  The town prospered and grew.  The factory owner continued to hire more and more people as his product grew in renown, and he exported his product to other towns.  However, while the number of people he hired grew and grew, their wages did not.  Eventually, his workers grew jealous.  They demanded, “Why should the factory owner grow rich off of their labor?”  A shady gentleman saw their rage and took advantage of it.  He told them that they should join together and ran the factory owner out of the town, taking the factory over for themselves.  The townspeople made this gentleman their leader and did just that.  Unfortunately, none of the other townspeople nor their new leader had the drive or skill to run the company.  In short order, the factory began to deteriorate through mismanagement.  Eventually, the factory closed.  All the jobs were lost.  The restaurants and shops shut down.  There was one silver lining, however.   The townspeople got what they wanted.  They were finally equal…they were just equally poor.

Long Live the Constitution!  Long Live Capitalism!

I Want Your Money

Posted by Troy on 10th June 2011 in Entertainment

I Want Your Money is a documentary about socialism versus capitalism.  It is fairly entertaining.  It centers around the presidencies of Obama and Reagan.  Most of the points they cover are very apt.  I found the cartoon portions to be distracting.  The claymation-esque nature of the animation was just a bit off putting.  The clip of Phil Donahue’s interview of Milton Freedman makes the whole movie worthwhile.  I have never seen such a verbal smackdown in my entire life.  His defense of capitalism was beautiful, eloquent, funny, and absolutely devastating.  I would recommend that everyone watch this movie.  If you are a fan of free enterprise, you will love it.  If you are a fan of centralized planning, maybe it will open your eyes a bit.

The Nature of the Biz

Posted by Troy on 2nd April 2011 in Writing

I don’t begrudge the publishing industry.  However, there are a couple of things the aspiring writer should know.  1)  Any perception you have gotten about agents from movies and TV is probably false.  For the most part, they seem to only want to take people they don’t have to actually sell.  I remember one agent in particular which said they would contact you if they wanted to represent you.  That is to say, they will contact you after you have enough name recognition that you no longer need to be sold.  The concept that you’ll find an agent that will read your work and believe passionately and start so quixotic in it probably won’t happen.  2)  The publishing industry is about product.  They actually do not care how well something is written, per se.  They don’t really care about the message, the intent, the art of writing.  They care about volume.  Remember, this is their business, and they are in it to make a profit.  If they feel like your book won’t sell unless you change it so the guy gets the girl in the end, you had best change the ending, or it’s not going to be published by them.  

Unfortunately, this has been the downfall of most literature.  Ever know that guy that can just play the guitar and sing, and you’re amazed that he hasn’t been discovered?  There are so many cases of that for authors as well–those who don’t fall into the need little categories demanded by the industry.  It used to be that books were commissioned by a patron.  Now they are produced by a corporate machine.  Of course, what you got subjected to under the patronage system was a book which espoused the views of the patron.  What you get under the corporate machine method is the most marketable/popular material.  They both have their pros and cons, but it is important to know what you are up against.

I want to say, I’m a pure blooded Capitalist of the first order.  I do not begrudge publishers or agents or the “corporate machine.”  This is the world in which we live.  However, I am very excited by the new e-book technologies and the vastly improved Print-on-Demand capabilities.  In a way, this is actually superior to the patron system as it allows the writer to become their own patron.  And of course, such innovations would have never been produced without the market forces of capitalism.

Go Capitalism!  Long Live the Constitution!