In Defense of Capitalism



A lovely lady sent me a link to an article titled A Psychological Profile of the Petty Minds That Defend Capitalism and asked for my opinion.  Here’s my breakdown, part-by-part, of why I defend capitalism, and why the author is wrong.

Contrary to popular belief, capitalism’s staunchest defenders are not billionaires. Capitalism’s strongest believers are often a notch or two above the poverty lines. They are traitors from the middle class who harbor hopes of one day becoming filthy rich.

This is true — the greatest defenders of capitalism are not just a notch or two above the poverty lines, they’re also those who are living in poverty.  I’d even venture to opine that most billionaires are not defenders of capitalism at all, no matter what they say.  Capitalism is not about money, it’s about bringing individuals together to fulfill the needs of both individuals, voluntarily.

Billionaires know themselves, they know that they are guilty, rotten, human beings. Billionaire recognizing their inherent complicity in the destruction of human lives. This is why the billionaire Warren Buffet recently wrote a letter asking the congress to stop ‘coddling billionaires’.

I don’t believe in group think, namely putting vastly different individuals into one group under one title.  There is no group that covers the true opinions of all the individuals labeled as that group.  Black or white, male or female, wealthy or poor: these are terrible titles to groups that don’t exist.  To say that billionaires are guilty or rotten is to use generalizations that can’t be proven true.  This entire paragraph is garbage.

Billionaires know themselves very well, and they recognize their patterns of deceit instinctively. This is why they have a hard time defending the system vocally. It is the minions, the middle class dogs, who go about telling the world how great capitalism is. It is weak individuals who want to have a bigger house and a fancier car that are always telling us what an amazing, creative, system capitalism is.

The author here has not even discussed or explained what she means by ‘patterns of deceit’ — I will assume that she means some sort of theft of power or income.  When it comes to those with power, you usually have two groups: one group that gains power through voluntary transactions, and one group that gains power through force and threats.  The entrepreneur is a person who offers goods or services that people want, at a price they can afford — that person is fully voluntary.  The government official is a person who forces goods or services on people that they may or may not want, but they’re giving the service to everyone regardless of need or desire — that person is a user of force and threat.  The billionaire could belong to either of these groups: some wealthy people offer products or services with little or no force, whereas others make their money using mostly force.  It’s very hard to say that all billionaires negotiate voluntarily or force decisions of people using threats.

At times you get conservatives, who are actually impoverished, defending capitalism, because they secretly aspire to impossible gains and imaginary riches. They are brainwashed human things, who treat thieving billionaires like benevolent fathers.

Here the author against eludes me to what she means.  Do people who live in poverty generally want more wealth and power?  I would assume so — if not only to put a roof over their heads or to feed themselves.  Is it greed to want a roof and food, or is it normal human nature?  If we as humans desire safety and satiation, is it wrong for us to look up to someone who has built the strongest roof for themselves or filled their pantries with the finest foods?

The defenders of capitalism are idiotic people who are under the spell of capitalism even as it drives the whole world into an escapable cycle of debt and poverty. They are the workers who suck up to the boss. They are the feeble minded creatures who think that worshipping the boss will make you a boss.

Well, that’s a curious statement.  Capitalism, by definition, speaks of two parties voluntarily exchanged goods, services or capital with each other.  In true capitalism, you have two parties who make an exchange: maybe I’ll trade you my chicken eggs for your grass hay, or I will offer you my plumbing services in exchange for your gardening services.  In every voluntary capitalist exchange, both individuals “profit” from the transaction: I need your hay and you need my eggs, and we both walk away feeling victorious for the trade, even though the other person didn’t actually lose anything of value to them.  That is capitalism at its most basic premise.  What the author here is talking about definitely is not capitalism: as long as both parties enter into an agreement voluntarily, there is no way that capitalism lays a foundation of debt or poverty.  In fact, capitalism creates the foundation for every transaction in life to be profitable for all parties — if it wasn’t, the transaction wouldn’t be made.

If I offered you 12 chicken eggs for 1 bale of hay, we may transact if we both felt we were gaining from the transaction.  But if I told you I would offer you 1 chicken egg for 10 bales of hay, you may decide it’s not a good transaction for you and you’ll say no, negotiate more eggs, or walk away.  There’s no penalty in saying no in a capitalist transaction.

The reality of the matter is that these fools defend a system that actually exploits them. They are the modern day uncle toms, house slaves at best. They defend a system that indebts their children. They defend a way of life which destroys their very minds and souls.

In a capitalist infrastructure of voluntary exchange, debt is only incurred if someone needs something today and can’t pay until tomorrow.  When a debt is incurred by the borrowing party, the selling party is taking a risk — they’re giving up a good or service now with the hope that payment is made eventually.  Again, this is voluntary, and it is not evil or greedy.  When someone takes on a debt, they’re getting something for nothing today, but then they’ll have to pay money in the future.  To me, that’s called trust, not greed.  The seller who offers credit is trusting the buyer.  Trust is the foundation of human goodness.

Ignore these fools, these pit bull slaves of their capitalist masters. Really, do not waste time on these vocal defenders of capitalism, for they are not the enemy. They are a distraction. They are just mislead morons who think that saying prosperity enough times will make it come to fruition.

It is easy but wrong to call anonymous others “fools” for their unwritten beliefs — it’s called generalizing and it takes away focus for what the author is saying.  Yet in this case, she has written her name down on her opinion, so it is well within my power to take Maria Fernandez, Party Member #97 and call her the fool.  She’s given no specifics, aimed her opinion at no individual, and just thrown together raw and unfounded opinion on what is wrong with capitalism.

Let us instead try to break down her thought process to figure out why she is so wrong.

College debt – this is one of the main common factors among many of the individuals who are attacking capitalism lately.  They’re unhappy about the debt that they incurred on themselves for their education.  It’s important to ask why did so many people want a higher education, why did they risk taking on the debt?  As a generalization, I would say that most people go to college with the hope that a degree will earn them more money when they get a job.  What would Maria Fernandez’s opinion be of someone who desires more money?

Home ownership debt – here’s another common situation with the so called 99% group: they acquired a home in exchange for 30 years of mortgage payments, and now they can’t afford to pay.  Throughout the housing market’s rise and fall, I always monitored rental costs versus the cost to own and maintain a home.  In almost 99% of my research studies, I found that it made more sense to rent a home (and let the landlord handle the maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, etc) than it is to buy one using debt.  As I said in my recent Modest Proposal article, the American Dream of owning a home is just an anchor that “we the wealthy” have always laughed about.  It forces free and unchained individuals into a burden for 30-40 years.  I’m sure Maria Fernandez would agree with me — but in every case of a homeowner unable to pay their mortgage, they made the decision to acquire property on a loan.  Someone built those homes, someone sourced the wood and metal and sheetrock, someone ran the plumbing and electrical and laid the roof shingles.  Does Ms. Fernandez think the these people who spent their time building a home are unworthy of payment for the services they rendered?  The homeowner isn’t just robbing from a bank when they stop paying their mortgage: they’re destroying an entire industry of workers.

It’s always been a dream of the poor to own a home, but what enables them to even dream that dream?  In a capitalist system, banks would be afraid to loan money for 30 years to someone who hasn’t proven their ability to make a payment.  Sadly, we don’t live in a capitalist system — we have governments of all sorts who force banks to loan money to people who probably will never make the full payment.  Is it the bank that is evil for loaning the money to the poor, or is it the government who forces the bank to do that act?

And what should we say to Maria Fernandez in response to the idea that the wealthy cause the poor to be enslaved in debt forever?  If you borrow money and limit your overall debt payment to 30% of your income, you will eventually pay off your debt and still have the assets you borrowed against.  Over the years of payments you make, around 20% of that 30% will go to interest payments.  That’s about 6% of your lifetime income that will go into the hands of the wealthy.

But each and every year you produce an income, even more goes to some other group: government.  The average American spends 50-60% of their income each and every year paying government fees, taxes and other costs.  This is true whether you have a debt payment or not, and it’s true from the day you get your first job until the day of your retirement.  Up to 60% of your income is gone to government, versus 6% to creditors and banks.  Government causes 1000% more poverty than capitalism.

I’ll repeat that again for you, Maria Fernandez: Government causes 1000% more poverty than capitalism.

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About A.B. Dada

A.B. Dada resides in Chicago, Illinois and manages a multitude of businesses involved across a wide range of industries.

Comments

  1. jer_the_bear says:

    Nicely done. Governments and corporations (a legal entity created by gov’t fiat, so arguably corporations are fascist/socialist in nature) are parasites upon capitalism. Not only do they interfere in the free exchange of goods and services, but they also meddle in the MEANS OF EXCHANGE ie. the currencies, By controlling the means of exchange, they can control the price (temporarily and artificially) of virtually any good or service.

    Eventually market forces will prevail, everybody with any sense of history can see that. But by creating temporary suspension of reality, it is possible to manipulate societies.

    The number of “empowered, educated and economically-independent” women in the Western world is the highest it’s ever been. The power is put into their hands primarily by a fiat-financed gov’t-corporate structure; a huge preponderance of these “careers” are literally printed into existence by central banks or government policy.

    It’s almost over now. Hide your wealth in all the ways you can, because when the facade collapses there will be an enormous phalanx of newly-impoverished femmes voting for every confiscatory tax they can dream up.

    Capitalism will continue on an interpersonal grassroots level, as it always has.

    “The reality of the matter is that these fools defend a system that actually exploits them. They are the modern day uncle toms, house slaves at best. They defend a system that indebts their children. They defend a way of life which destroys their very minds and souls.” – Maria Fernandez.

    I would have nothing to criticize about this statement, if it was directed at the Tea Party (I’m a Canadian, but the US is our big neighbour next door so US interests affect us disproportionately). But the ire is at the big U.S. investment banks and the Federal Reserve, the privately-held corporations that wield outsized power and manipulate the MEANS OF EXCHANGE to milk the (naive, gullible) honest.

    Will she publish a piece next about the hot, sexy colossal intellects that defend socialism?

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