Most of the people today who say they love capitalism really only love the idea of getting rich.
A true capitalist, like myself, who only wants what is best for the capitalist economy in which he lives, knows that accumulated private wealth, especially of the inherited kind, is anathema to the health of a capitalist economy. We would be far truer to the goals and ideals of the capitalism they claim to love, if we simply took the bulk of their wealth away and redistributed it to the poor.
See, private wealth is, by definition, money that is not circulated in the economy from which it was derived, or any economy at all. The only thing capitalism needs to thrive is for money to flow freely. When it gets walled off into private wealth, it stops flowing and remains static.
On a consumer level, that money might as well no longer exist.
And these people dare to call themselves job creators. The money they spend on their outrageous luxuries employs far fewer people than if it was spent in the regular consumer economy. If they insist upon labeling themselves job creators, we must not hesitate to remind them that flipping burgers employs a hell of a lot more people per monetary unit than building yachts, and that if they are job creators, they are the least efficient job creators in the world.
Now if you built a business empire, with real businesses that produce goods which consumers pay for, and thus enriched the economy, then you at least accomplished something that benefits others and the money you have accrued can be said to have been earned.
But if all you did was get luck on the stock market, or win the birth lottery and be born into money, then you contribute nothing to society. You are merely a name on a bank account, and it could be anybody’s name and it would be worth the same.
Also, I am not talking about functional wealth – the wealth that the wealthy spend to support their lifestyle. While it might not create jobs very efficiently, that money is still participating in the economy. Those butlers, maids, yacht designers, party planners, and so on will spend the money they are paid, and the places they spend it will spend it, and so on.
No, I am talking about what I call, if you will excuse the verbal legerdemain, idle wealth. Money that is simply not participating in the economy. It hires no one, it buys nothing, it invests in nothing, it just sits there in some bank account or passive investment somewhere. It’s just digits on a screen, a sum with a name attached.
Were that money spent, it would be stimulating the economy. It would be flowing from business to business, consumer to consumer, and every stop it made would increase the liquidity, and hence the efficiency and power, of the economy. It would be paying salaries, purchasing products, investing in new ideas, and making the world a better place.
But no, we have somehow let it be locked away from where it can do any good. This problem has only one solution : release the funds.
In other words, take the goddamned idle wealth away from those who have erroneously allowed to accrue it and inject it back into the economy by giving it to people most likely to spend it. Namely, the poor.
Now I must stress : this is a fully capitalist argument for the redistribution of wealth. This has nothing to do with the means of production or the rights of the worker or the labour theory of value or any of that Marxist bullshit. I am an avid capitalist who applauds some of communism’s aims but considers their methods to be entirely impractical and based on ideology, not reality.
But the same can be said of the so-called capitalists who worship the golden idol of unfettered (unless fetters prove more profitable) capitalists. Their ideas are just as impractical, as unrealistic, as unreasoned as those of the most overheated of coffee house liberals.
At least the liberals mean well.
These capitalist cultists, like most fanatics, strenuously avoid truly examining the object of their worship in fear of discovering it does not match their idolized (and made to order) vision of it. They think that because their ludicrously impractical, childlike ideas are said by impressive looking people in business suits, they are somehow superior to those espoused by people in Birkenstocks and hemp.
This fetishization of the appearance of respectability has become a shield that offers social protection to vastly inferior people with all the emotional development of cranky toddlers. They literally cannot imagine a reason that tell them no could ever be morally justified. Their wealth and the culture that supports it (and idolizes it) acts as a co-dependent partner to their moral and intellectual degeneration, and by indulging them so thoroughly, create the ideal conditions for power (wealth) in the hands of infants (the rich, especially the old and rich).
The first step to ending this miserable charade is to stand up to these people in language they can understand. Tell them that no, they can’t have everything they want. Remind them that they, too, are citizens, and subject to the exact same laws and limitation as everyone else. Tell them that the ability to get away with something does not, in fact, make it okay to do it. Instruct them on their duties as citizens of a world which, in case they have forgotten, contains other people with their own lives, needs, and desires…. and that’s okay. Reteach, or just plain teach, them the art of taking turns, only taking as much as you need, cleaning up the messes they make, and in general behave like the kindergarten graduates they would have us believe they are.
And in this scenario, the only available headmistress is the government.
After all, it’s not like market forces are going to bring about the necessary correction.
I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.