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Why Does Capitalism Still Need Defending?
Last comment by timeontarget 1 year, 1 month ago.

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Given the evidence of the superiority of capitalism in achieving prosperity, isn’t it astonishing we still debate its merits?

Filmmaker Michael Moore actually made an anti-capitalism “documentary” called “Capitalism: A Love Story.” Moore says: "Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil. You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people." Is it relevant that Moore’s net worth is reported around $50 million, give or take a few mil, and that his accumulation of wealth occurred within the system of free markets that he trashes?
Another Hollywood leftie, Ed Asner, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. In a tax-the-rich cartoon video narrated by Asner, an evil rich man urinates on the poor. Charming.

Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, wrote “Wealth of Nations” in 1776. How do nations prosper, he asked? The answer, Smith said, is to encourage competition between suppliers -- whether of goods or services -- to please customers. Smith wrote, “In general, if any branch of trade, or any division of labour, be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be the more so.”

Abraham Lincoln was not an economist but would have been quite at home with the free-market school: “There is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life…. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own account for another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is … the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way for all -- gives hope to all, and … improvement of condition to all. If any continue through life in the condition of the hired laborer, it is not the fault of the system, but because of either a dependent nature which prefers it, or improvidence, folly, or singular misfortune.”

Booker T. Washington, a former slave, wrote “Up From Slavery” in 1901, 36 years after the Civil War: “When a Negro girl learns to cook, to wash dishes, to sew, to write a book, or a Negro boy learns to groom horses, or to grow sweet potatoes, or to produce butter, or to build a house, or to be able to practise medicine, as well or better than some one else, they will be rewarded regardless of race or colour. In the long run, the world is going to have the best, and any difference in race, religion, or previous history will not long keep the world from what it wants…. This is a great human law which cannot be permanently nullified.”

This brings us to a standard denunciation of capitalism: greed. Bill Gates, the legendary software pioneer, reportedly once denounced a business for its lack of aggressiveness. “They have finite greed,” Gates sniffed. In the movie “Wall Street” Michael Douglas famously said, “Greed is good.”

Greed freaks out people like talk-show host Phil Donahue. He once told Nobel laureate Milton Friedman. “When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries, when you see so few haves and so many have-nots, when you see the greed and the concentration of power -- did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism and whether greed’s a good idea to run on?”

Friedman responded: “Is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course, none of us are greedy; it’s only the other fellow who’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The great achievements of civilizations have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about --the only cases in recorded history -- are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade.”
U2 frontman Bono, the rock star, agrees with Friedman.
Bono has spent three decades raising money to alleviate poverty and combat AIDS and HIV in the Third World. In a speech last year at Georgetown University, Bono talks about his epiphany: “Rock star preaches capitalism. Wow.

Sometimes I hear myself and I just can’t believe it! But commerce is real…. Aid is just a stop-gap. Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid…. In dealing with poverty here and around the world, welfare and foreign aid are a Band-Aid. Free enterprise is a cure.”

We end with this quote from Mark Twain: “I’m opposed to millionaires, but it would be a mistake to offer me the position.”


Latest Activity: Sep 15, 2013 at 4:13 PM

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JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 17:30 PM

Excellent Blog, Funk. However, I won't take the bait of defending Michael Moore and finding fault with capitalism. I will say that he is rather adept at shining a light on the disparities between the haves and the have nots when it comes, to health care, leadership, and the acquisition of wealth.

One does not have to agree with him, but I think he is successful at putting many in a position to question or explore the points he attempts to make via his films.

This, IMHO, is a proven tool of the Left and is becoming more prevalent on the right: to agitate and aggravate.

But one must be careful about what one wishes for though and/or at the very least be prepared to reap the whirlwind that follows provocation.

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 18:42 PM

Thanks for your excellent comments Jimmy. I worked for Planters Peanut Corporation upon graduation of High School in 1978 and was laid off several times before working food service jobs and ultimately joining the US Army in February 1983 and retiring after 21 years in March 2004. In general free markets need to set wages for individuals according to what they can offer the business and the better you become the higher your wages will be. My salary has increased 107% since 2004.

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 18:45 PM

My bad, I stand to correct myself. My private sector earnings have increased 107% since my initial 2004 salary with two promotions in 2008 and 2011.

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 19:15 PM

Well Funk my man, I have exceeded, monetarily at least, my prognosis for failure, projected upon me by all them psychological tests inflicted upon my person.

Now if you recall, I said all them tests said I would amount to nothing, and would end up probably pi$$ing off a lot of people during my lifetime.

Economically speaking I have proven them wrong. No mortgage, nice house, savings and want not. Feel very fortunate.

However, I think the part of the all them tests were correct in that I have secured a position in life where I Pi$$ off many.

Oh well. You cannot have it all, right?

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 19:22 PM

Bravo, a successful American in our free market economy!

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Sep 15, 2013 at 19:45 PM

You might want to run that comment of yours by Tot. He lives two or three doors down and we are similar in many ways. Materially done alright, great extended families, but politically on strongly opposite different sides of the aisle.

My problem, I think, is his Neanderthal way of expressing his devout Conservatism consisting mostly of a MASS blaming of Liberals for all the wrongs of society, yet on the other hand his libertarian views regarding cannabis, flying directly into the face of Liberal thinking.

Anyway, that's another blog for a different time.

Good Night,

timeontarget commented on Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 07:06 AM

TOT is proud to say that capitalism and private sector employment are the backbone of healthy and happy prosperity.

A lifetime spent in public sector employment is not at all the same thing.

Government employment is not anything but relying on other taxpayers to foot the bill for your own comforts.

JM not trying to pick at a scab but just exactly what line of work or business did you participate in during your working years.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Sep 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

No scab picking here, Tot. Though you are clearly trying to paint me and thousands of public servants into some sort of evil corner for being a government employee and thus worthy of some sort of public scorn, I have no shame for having served my state and Federal Government. It just so happens that our society needs certain folks to get in between some parents who beat and abuse their children and them. I doubt you would have the time nor inclination to do that while unplugging a stopped up toilet. It's also probably foreign to your DNA to be able to foster supporting aid and training to a disabled individual in order that they can return to productive employment. You also are probably lacking in the insight and need in administering measurement techniques to intervene in a developmentally delayed child such that they can learn compensatory skills in order to succeed along with non-impaired children.

I could go on Tot, but what's the use? Seeing the need to have folks take a child that has been purposely scalded in a tub of hot water from their parents is clearly something you do not have the capability to wrap your head around.

Such it is with many of the John Deere hat wearing conservative private sector types such as yourself.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 06:20 AM

I'm glad we have agencies which step in to protect children from abusive parents.

Such incidents deserve praise.

Now virtually encouraging young females to have multiple births of out of wedlock children is wrong.

I know several personally.

They have no shame.

I simply believe they are wrong.

Had it not been for the private sector types you would not have been as fortunate in your working years.

All real revenue in the treasury comes from the private sector.

Any payroll funded by government is simply a matter of government taking money from it's right pocket and placing it in it's left pocket.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 09:00 AM

You cannot have both sides of the argument Tot. You have made it clear to all here (cept for your personal Eva Braun She-run-run) that you are against government as it exists today.

So was Timothy McVeigh.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 13:25 PM

jm I simply believe in less intrusive government like our founding fathers wanted.

You and your kind have slowly effected change that has resulted in less self reliant people and a dependent mentality of our society.

Don't equate me to McVeigh.

You take yourself way to seriously.

All you do is stink up the room.

I admire your writing skill but I detest your approach in your dealing with those who have a different opinion.

You are the sole reason that many have ceased to participate in discussion on this site.

When I attend gatherings of old locals your names mention evokes negative response almost always.

Take your medicine and try to maintain.

Report me as often as you care to Mr. Watkins.

I have just as much right as you to post my opinion.

The Courier blog site is not a place to use foul descriptive words which evoke sickening images to the mind of one reading it.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 15:11 PM

Delusionary thinking is your hallmark Tot. And if it is as you state about attending gatherings of old locals evokes negative response almost always...then I must be doing something right.

And you Tot need to get accustomed to me and my kind: we've won the last Five national popular votes and are going no where.

You hatred of government motivates atrocities committed like that of Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Posse Comitatus.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 15:52 PM

"And if it is as you state about attending gatherings of old locals evokes negative response almost always...then I must be doing something right."

Jimmy you said that I did not.

And you are proud of it.

I personally don't enjoy stinking up the room.

Sorry that you do.

We are very different and I can't imagine that will ever change.

As HMJC said tell us your opinion don't attack me or anybody else personally because we don't share your opinion.

Those nasty little barbs serve only to leave our readers either amused because of the humor from the dark side of writing or turned off by the tabloid character of the blog site.

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