On Capitalism

Over the past few months, I have heard a lot of pontification from the media, the web and from friends on the subject of capitalism.

Sadly, most of is was wrong, or at least misinformed.

Most of the stuff you hear about Capitalism is negative, and centers on greed, corruption and exploitation. It’s time to put the record straight.

Capitalism is not about money: It is about attitude.

Capitalism is not greed: You can be a communist or a socialist and still be greedy.

Capitalism is not exploitation: Andrew Carnegie made millions, and then he turned around and created the Public Library system that we still enjoy today. Bill Gates is no longer the richest man; he is giving his money away, and as a result is improving the lives of millions of people. Sound like exploitation to you? Yes, many rich people are mean – and so are many poor people. The problem is not capitalism, it’s human nature.

If you want to see a good example Capitalism in action, go out to eat; the servers are usually paid a pitiful salary and reply on tips to make their money. The servers who are good at what they do make good money. If you’re a slacker, or your heart isn’t in it, or you are just in it for the money, you probably won’t do very well. But if you have a heart for service and a passion for excellence, you will do well. It’s heartless, but it’s fair.

Those of you who believe that the universe should be “fair” will probably take exception to Capitalism. I take exception to “fairness” on the simple premise that life isn’t fair. “Fairness” is like a four-way stop sign that slows everybody down. “Fairness” is the essence of socialism.

Winston Churchill once said: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries

Yes, I believe in Capitalism. I also believe in tipping well for good service. That is Capitalism, too.

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