Capitalism can survive as long as there is no greed. The problem is, we have been taught that greed is a part of society. Almost daily we read about some bank, investment broker or some con-artist scamming people out of millions of dollars. Greed is so much a part of our society, that we are becoming desensitized to it. We expect banks to raise fees, we expect to lose money in our 401k, we expect to pay high interest rates on credit cards,,,,. We expect it to the point were its just a part of life. If you want an example, there was a scientific study that was delayed for 17 years by special interest groups. The companies were more interested in protecting their money, then the health and safety of the employees.
The problem is, greed should not be part of life.
I think the days of making an honest living are behind us. Instead of everyone being able to earn an honest days wage, companies look to squeeze, cheat, lie, con,,,, every penny they can.
Look at all of the people that were conned into signing flexible mortgage rates. The banks knew what they were doing. Get the people to sign the flexible mortgage, then hike the rates up so high the family can not pay, the bank gets the home, rinse, repeat,,,,.
Look at apple raking in billions in profits, but contracts out the production of apple products to cheap labor in china. Would there be anything wrong with having ipads and ipods made in the USA?
I think capitalism can work, but not while unbridled greed is involved.
We reap what we sew. The US government established free trade with China, now we get to reap higher taxes to pay for more people on welfare. Its funny how that works out. Companies looking for low wage workers sends our jobs overseas, the US economy slowly goes into a recession. Manufacturing jobs that supported the middle class for centuries are shipped offshore, middle class starts to shrink.
Greed is the great destroyer, it lays waste to everything in its path. It is the destroyer of jobs, of families, and of lives. Regardless of what you have been taught, greed is bad.
If you want an example of what greed does, watch the movie Germinal .
If society was like a bee hive, we would be a lot better off. Each person working for the good of the whole.
Instead of working together to improve our overall standard of living, we are like dogs that fight over every scarp of meat.
Making billions is ok, I have no objection to that. Its when people are exploited is when the problem starts.
Is it ok for an oil company to make millions off an oil well, but in return the ground water is polluted? The people that depend on that ground water are then deprived of safe drinking water.
I feel there is a line in the sand that capitalism should not cross.
That oil company has a right to make money, but not at the cost of polluting the water others depend on.
As people creep down the social ladder, sooner or later they have nothing to lose. Then some of them might turn to drug use, stealing,,,, other petty crimes.
Then there is the health issue. The lower a persons income, the less likely they are to seek medical treatment, which in turn becomes a breeding ground of diseases like TB.
Lets compare capitalism to freedom of speech – Just because someone has freedom to say certain things does not mean they can yell “fire” in a crowded theater.
That is how I see capitalism.
Just because someone has the right to make money, does not give them the right to exploit others. Nor does it give those with money the right to exploit the less fortunate.
What is a fair wage? If you want a number, lets use 30. When the highest paid employee makes more then 30X the lowest paid employee/contractor/sub-contractor, the lowest paid person is being exploited.
Company ABC makes widgets; highest paid employee makes $30 million a year, the lowest paid sub-contractor of a sub-contractor should make $1 million a year, give or take a few bucks.
In before “would I consider 29X exploiting”, the answer is no.
When I went to work for a welding shop in 1987, the family that owned the shop raked in millions in profits every year. This is while the employees were being hired at $5 – $8 an hour. At least the employees got health insurance and vacation time, but no retirement or 401k. We did not even get dental insurance.
We will never reach a perfect balance between wages and profits.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with making money. But on the other hand, there is something wrong when the spread of wealth is lopsided.
I can not justify how a single person can be worth billions of dollars, or even hundreds of millions.
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