The Confused Rant on Capital Capitalism
"Capitalism is a capital idea, Gentlemen, if only we could agree on the meaning. What's this Capital spoken of so... so favorably? Where is it?
And, why? Why should we turn such attention to some kind of Capital? From where comes this infringement on states' rights? on individual rights? ...absolutely no, I'll have none of it.... D.C. makes rules no one there bothers to observe... Why should we bow to the feds like de facto jingoists?
... that would be Capitol... with an O... Yes, yes, I see... Well, then---I should say Ladies and Gentlemen (please excuse)--- What is Capital? I thought it was the Top... most important... capital 'A' ...Um...ahah, you extend: Capital gains, Gain... Well then, 'gain' I understand that means to add to... so Capital... is an adding of value.
What's that Ma'am? Capital goods... Yes, Capital as best! Of course, that would be like Loyalty, Honor, Integrity, Bravery, Intellect... these invaluables without price tags... No?! you say? Then surely we mean resources---the very best resources, yet to be applied. Hard work, ethics, due dilligence--in short 'People,' because after all my good folks, if I do say so myself, what is more important a resource than a Human Being...?
What? What's that!? I must be going hard of hearing... did you say it's about putting people to work to create Capital? Paper? on paper? I don't understand... have I missed something here?
... yes, by all means give the man a microphone... I just don't follow."
Wealth is artificial.
It's a gimmick, a bizarre social construct to ensure civilization's longevity. This incarnation of us anyway.
Think about it... today, you probably frequented a cafe, ordered a hot beverage, and either handed over a plastic card or paper or more pieces of plastic (Australia uses plastic notes), and in return, some person behind a machine produced your order. In tandem, some machine (half a country away) acknowledged the transaction, and deducted from some figure stored on another machine to indicate you have less capacity to order more hot beverages (or whatever else you wanted).
The concept of ownership is equally baffling. Think about it... we possess clothes, electronic devices, vehicles, houses. Our nearest evolutionary cousins, the Chimpanzees, missing out by a handful of chromosomes, have nothing (at least not legally).
Wealth and by extension, power and influence, is an illusion created between those who have lots and those who have none. And for those who are born with silver spoons in their mouths, they'll never fathom what it means to struggle.
So, NO. We are not all equal. We may bleed red, are susceptible to the same viruses and bacterium, breathe air, eat and defecate. But we are all different. We may all shit, but some of our shit don't fucking smell!
This is such a mind-fuck, isn't it? The filthy rich get filthier, and the rest of us, the 99% of us who only have access to 1% of the pie; we'll just keep running after our cheese (because some jerk keeps moving it!).
Therein lies the trap:
The more you earn,
...the more you feel obliged to provide your family with better things in life;
...the more you feel the need to give your children an advantage so they may gain a better chance at success;
...the more you feel disenfranchised when compared with others who were more blessed;
...the more depressed you get;
I wish I could escape. But I can’t.
The reality of it is that I’m a slave, pawn, puppet, expendable red-shirt in the grand scheme of things. I like to think that an individual, or groups of individuals sit out there in their plush comfortable leather chairs, smoking cigars, indulging on caviar pulling the strings from high above, dictating what happiness should be…
But I dare not. We are the ones to blame. Us. You and me, and that guy across the office, and that girl who works at the coffee shop.
We choose to sit tight, hang back, subscribe to the idea of capitalism—a bastard of a way of life...
...for rats like us.
#WhoMovedMyCheese #OnePowerBall #MyRantForSep
Image taken from: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-tot-cartoons-pg-photogallery.html
I’d Like Some Money, Please
This is being written strictly because there is a $77.7+ prize and I want it. Why do I want it? I have been raised to want it by people who have been raised to want it by people who were raised to want it themselves.
I am a product of a capitalist system and I understand about as well as I know how to read that money is the language of that system. If I sell my labor, I essentially receive a number of syllables I may then use to speak that language. By speaking that language, I obtain goods and services.
Now, having slightly exceeded the minimum amount of labor required for this, I would like to be designated the winner and receive my capital, please.
Capitalism and my father
In the 1980's my father and his brother started a company installing fiber-optic lines. They started with two trucks, four men, and more work than they could handle. They set their own prices, paid their employees a decent wage, and grew their company. My father was out of town a lot. He would start in Texas with a job that was scheduled and work his way back east to Georgia picking up jobs along the way from people who heard about how fast his company ran their lines. They were regarded as one of the quickest fiberoptic teams in the south. Bussiness was booming. My father was saving money left and right with no end in sight. Until a telephone company, now owned by AT&T, started taking over the 'free market'. Bellsouth had always been there, but they hadn't been a big competitor until the mid 90's.
Around this time Bellsouth started to dominate the market. They were able to buy trucks in bulk, at a lower price. My father could only buy 1 truck at a time. They were able to buy extremely large quantities of fiberoptic lines at large discounts, where as my father could only buy smaller increments at higher prices. The market became flooded with corporate trucks that charged a few cents less per foot and paid their employees a few cents less per hour. No longer could my father compete. His lowest possible price was still more than the huge company was charging. No matter how fast or high quality his company worked, Bellsouth was able to do it a little better because they could afford the new technology that his company and previous competitors could not. He was forced to give up his dream and shut down his company in the late 90's when I was just four years old.
This is just one example of how small companies have been consumed by larger corporations. Most children learn in school about the antitrust laws that are in place to ensure that no monopolies can dominate the market, but there are ways to get around everything. No, Bellsouth was not a monopoly because they did not control the entire fiberoptic industry, they did make it impossible for smaller companies to compete. My father could show you on a map which companies controlled the quadrants of the country. These companies would not go outside of their domain, they making sure that there was no monopoly in the entire USA, but were so powerful with their financial backing, tax cuts and incentives, and ability to work with other huge companies that they had a monopoly for their area.
Fiber optics are not the only place where you can see that the market is no longer free. In the defenition of capitalism by Merriam Webster the "economic system is characterized ... by investments that are determined by private decision." This is part of the issue. It takes money to make money. Large corporations looking to expand, as Bellsouth did, easily get funding from banks and the government. For me to try and expand or start my company is very unlikely. Banks, which privately decide my loan options, are unwilling to take a chance on loaning me what I need for my bussiness. They know what the market is like, thus knowing that it will be a struggle for me to compete, making it a chance that they may not get their money back as quickly as they want.
Smaller companies have a hard time getting their hand into the market. In Merriam Websters definition capitalism "prices, production, and the distribution of goods(are) determined mainly by competition in a free market." With this freedom comes challanges. Supply and demand set prices as is taught in every economics class, but for a smaller company their prices can only go so low. With the fear of financial loss by banks and federal funding organizations these companies are unable to get enough funding to produce their products and services at a low enough cost to market them at the same price as larger corporations. This is what happened to my father.
With the "free market" of today there is limited oportunity for growth. Fewer people are starting their own companies, more people are working for corporate owned businesses, and regulations are making it impossible to penetrate the market. Capitalism is not a perfect system, and when the term was coined in 1833 it was the best option for the people of that era, but something has got to give. I do not have a solution to the problems facing our market and capitalism in America as a whole. I do not know what tomorrow will bring for small businesses and the working class. I do know, however, that until something changes we will conitinue to see a decrease in people living their dreams and an increase in corporate ownership.
Merriam Webster's Defenition of Capitalism as sighted in my above rant.
"an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market"
Sharing the Wealth: I Give You Money and You Give Me Cool Stuff
Tinker, tailor...rich man, poor man.
The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The ambitious get ahead and the clueless get left behind. The smart ones do it sooner and the dumb ones don't do it at all. Capitalism is the best of times and the worst of times, depending on whether you're rich or poor, ambitious or not, clever or just plain stupid. Or is it just the best of times?
No matter how poor, unmotivated, or dim-witted one is, thanks to the rich, ambitious, and smart, it is evident to me that the poor, unmotivated, and dim-witted get really cool things as society advances.
We poor and blasé need the rich. We bumble aimlessly behind them in their capitalistic wake. If someone steps on my toes in their frenzied ambition and greed on his way to finding more clever ways to make me poorer, I am comforted because I know I will get all the cool things in exchange. It is an equitable trade. It's copecetic.
I like my streaming media, my iPhone, and my rack-and-pinion steering. Thanks to the rich, cathode ray tubes are an old forgotten joke. I can have chocolate chip cookies at my door the next day if I want. I don't even have to be rich, smart, or ambitious to live the sweet life, because I let the elite--those who can afford to take the hit in R & D--get wonderful things into my life. I gladly pay for them. With a smile. Am I hypnotized? You bet! Because compared to a hundred years ago, I am in the dream I'm living.
I remember the 5-year plans created every 4 years in communist Russia. I am ROTFLMFA'ing because each 5 year plan was as short as the TV run of the original Star Trek's 5-year mission. Communism just didn't work. Name me three communist inventions, other than food lines, substandard housing, and propaganda.
Profit may be a dirty word to the Wall Street "occupiers," but it moves Mankind. The greed gene--autosomal dominant--enlarged our craniums and got us out of the dirt and into the megalopolis. Communism and sharing the wealth engender the Luddite society, still tilling the soil by hand. I prefer to share the wealth by rewarding those who deliver to me state-of-the-art.
Greed and profit motive engender microwave ovens.
If the world had waited for me to be liquid enough to develop the USB port, it would still be communicating with two cans and a string. I look at my steak and I think about medicine. Five years ago it was the same steak. But five years ago was not the same medicine. Now I can have my coronary arteries vacuumed, buffed, and opened with just a little balloon. And five years from now, thanks to the rich, I'll have nano-bio-bots do it as I sleep.
Do I resent the rich? Not really. Do I really want to make the effort they did so that my GPS directions can be spoken to me as I cruise on in my blue-toothed car to Best Buy? No, certainly not. In fact, definitely not. Can't. I've got plans. They're stupid plans, but they're what I want to do. Should the guy who runs GM make the same as me? If so, why the hell should he want to run GM? And would CEO job performance move the industry if it were on a timeclock only? Most of the rich work longer hours. Their divorce rate is higher and their happiness is lower. Their kids are more screwed up and, of course, they have to constantly watch their stuff. Sure, they "win," but what? I say the joke's on them!
So the rich can get richer. If what I do to contribute to society, working a job I love, means I barely eke above the poverty level, but it also means I can still have LED TVs and AirDrop photo albums on my own private cloud--my FREE cloud, then I say poverty ain't so bad.
Looking back hundreds of years ago, the rich and the poor led the same lives. Sure the rich could afford a bath once a week and have fashionable clothing, but everyone--rich and poor--still lived in the squalor of an unpowered world, riding on animals, eating only what they had for the day, using leeches for therapy, and were only one whooping cough away from the grim reaper who began his shift half a century ealier than today. Today's rich and poor may be living the same lives, too, since we both have all the cool things the rich have made possible. The rich get them sooner, but we both can afford to shower daily. The only difference, if I'm to believe tabloid journalism, is that the rich get to hobknob with the other rich folks as they delude themselves into thinking they're the beautiful people. Show me someone poor who has the world's knowledge delivered to him on a silver Wikipedia platter, and that's very beautiful, too.
Blessed is me, for I shall inherit the Earth. It's 21st Century Earth, and it keeps getting better. As the income divide between the rich and the poor widens, the quality of life divide between them is shrinking. The rich give and I take. It's a pretty good arrangement.
It's the retired rich I resent. They can't help me at all.
There is nothing wrong with Capitalism, we are to make the most off
of our fellow man.
Health insurance companies on the stock exchanges so they are accountable to those holding the blue chips versus accountable to members.
Pharmaceutical companies on the stock exchanges so they can be the most profitable and charge the terminally ill the literal arm and leg to make the most that they can.
Hospitals that charge prices of a car, just to bring a life into this world.
This world of the corrupt, to fuck over man, woman and child to make the most they can on the stock exchanges.
There is nothing wrong with capitalism.