Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Capitalism

Not only am I pro-capitalism, but my husband and I own a company called WebDoggs (more on that later).

What I take issue with is corporations who buy laws to benefit themselves and screw the average person.

Everyone should have a fair shake at a decent life. Sure, some are smarter and some are stronger, but most of us agree that it’s wrong to take advantage of, or in any way injure, those who are dumber or weaker, and we make laws for the purpose of leveling the playing field.

In nature, the doctrine of “survival of the fittest” reigns supreme; the strong live and the weak die. But human society has evolved beyond the simple need to eat and reproduce, which redefines what it means to be “fit.”

An elderly person, frail and infirm, who has surpassed their usefulness in a hunting and gathering society, still has a lot to contribute in ours.

Wisdom, love, companionship, and sentimental value have little meaning in nature, but are vital to the survival of complex societies, and to each person’s quality of life, which is why we strive to preserve these values when they come into conflict with the doctrine of “survival of the fittest.”

When corporations lobby to reverse the regulations that prevent them from destroying the lives of individuals in their pursuit of strengthening themselves, they like to argue the “survival of the fittest” doctrine and say that it is in the best interest of society that they are allowed to destroy those who oppose them, when it is really only in their own best interest.

Wisdom, love, companionship, and sentimental value are in the best interest of society and the best interest of each individual. People live longer, healthier, and happier lives when they are not in a constant state of fighting to survive.

Viva la evoluciĆ³n

8 comments:

Sinincincinnati said...

Mary Ruwart used to live in Northern Kentucky. She is a treasure. And quite frisky in the sack.
......
ASK DR. RUWART

Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this
column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To
submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.

* * *

QUESTION: In a libertarian free-market society, how would citizens prevent huge
businesses from joining together and imposing their will on the people?

MY SHORT ANSWER: Today's mega-businesses lobby for government regulations to
drive their smaller competitors out of business. In a libertarian society,
these regulations wouldn't exist. Consequently, a business could grow big only
if it gave consumers better quality service at a better price than its
competitors.

Turn-of-the-century oil magnate John D. Rockefeller failed to create a monopoly
by getting his competitors to charge uniform, high prices, because one business
would always be tempted to profit by underselling the rest of the cartel. He
found he could only gain a 90% market share by underselling everyone else. When
he tried to raise prices, competitors sprang up to undersell him!

Consequently, by the time anti-trust legislation broke up Standard Oil, it
refined only 64% of U.S. oil. Consumers also had other options for heating,
since innovation created new forms of energy (e.g., natural gas). Rockefeller
couldn't keep his monopoly and exploit consumers, because the free market
protects consumers with competition and innovation.

When government drives competitors and innovators out of business with
regulations, or an outright grant of monopoly (e.g., utilities), consumers are
no longer "king." Instead, the monopolies, like the former AT&T, overcharge
consumers so that their stockholders profit, as they did even during the Great
Depression.

Ironically, most people believe that government protects them from monopoly
exploitation. Just the opposite is true!

Heather Annastasia said...

Hmmm...

I have some history to research before I can competently answer that.

My off-the-cuff reaction is, "Riiight... Let's look to the days of company owned towns and child labor for examples of how regulations are the problem, not big businesses.

And I think that a 90% share is an example of more than cornering the market.

St. Peter don't you call me, cause I can't go; I owe my soul to the company store.

sinincincinnati said...

As a son of the South, company towns were part of my world. My grandfather ran the company store for a phosphate mining company deep in the hills of TN. When the company folded, he continued as a simple general store proprietor.
I grew up in another town. This one was literally owned by DuPont.

The world is getting to be a better place despite rumors and despite any person in particular having special wisdom or leadership skills. (They never do nor never will.)
Abe Lincoln caused a terrible detour that we still trod today. He represented the very epitome of what is evil about Republicans, namely the favoring of big business and "special interests." Nothing new under the sun, eh?
Yet, despite him, my memories of company towns are joyful.

Heather Annastasia said...

Wait... I thought you were arguing FOR big business.

I think Lincoln was a good president who did what he had to do, and I think he was right in not allowing the South to secede (there's no denying their motivation to secede was fuelled by their perceived need to retain their slave-based economy).

Lincoln's economic policies were based on the sound principles of H.C. Carey, as opposed to the very unsound principles of Adam Smith.

sinincincinnati said...

Who the hell is H. C. Carey? Mr. Tooth Decay?

Abe's motivation was to keep the South paying 90 percent of the taxes (tariffs) and the North and his big business friends keeping 90 percent of the revenue. He was a Whig party hack.

The issue of slavery was Abe's "weapons of mass destruction." That is to say: bullshit.

Heather Annastasia said...

So then, like weapons of mass destruction... there were no slaves?

sinincincinnati said...

I knew (afteward) you were going to ask that. I should have clarified in the first place. Glass of "Kant" prevented.
I'm talking about rhetoric for inciting hysteria. Slavery was just one of Abe's military strategeries. He didn't give a shit about emancipation. The Emancipation Proclamation was about frightening Southerners with the spectre of slave up-risings. Abe didn't resort to it until he was desperate... sort of like Dubya's "surge."

Heather Annastasia said...

I think Abe did care about slavery.

Did you know that when he was a child, his family separated from their church over the issue of slavery?

He also suffered from severe depression and obsessed about death, yet he was not a particularly religious man. I think he cared deeply about humanity, and I think, being an intellectual, he thought about the world, and his place in it, very solemnly and earnestly.

Dubya is religious, and clearly not an intellectual. It's fair to say that Dubya doesn't care about the human price of his quest for power and money, and I'd be willing to bet that he loses no sleep at all (as a matter of fact, I believe he made a statement to that effect recently).

Whatever Lincoln's shortcomings, and however you interpret his military and political strategies, I don't think it's fair to compare him to Bush.