Saturday, 13 August 2011

Today's Rant...

I write articles such as the following that are published and taken up in newspapers…

The comments on these generally degrade into an anti-capitalist tirade even as those making the comments forget that they are on the product of this system, a system that has enriched us all.


MY response… (and yes I am a Christian but I also tolerate others and their creeds).
 
Business is made with all else from the people in business. It is a benefit in itself. People are enriched through trade. These silly ideas of exploitation are just that, silly. The fact is, the absence of trade is the biggest issue, not exploitation. People are not exploited through trade, they are exploited through small local governments that have a hold over them and limit open trade.
 
Places such as Africa suffer from a lack of trade. Look at the figures. There is more trade between Canada and the US than with the entire African continent.
The simple act of trade enriches. 
 
Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 (Good News Translation)
 
1 Invest your money in foreign trade, and one of these days you will make a profit. 2 Put your investments in several places - many places even - because you never know what kind of bad luck you are going to have in this world.
 
Or there is Luke 17:7-10; Matt 25:14-30
Paris Hilton is the idle rich in all this, but she is not a capitalist, she is simply a spoilt child of such. The middle class and even a person in a profession is not rich as is implied. 
 
Next, business and companies are NOT the masters. ANY person who has EVER built a successful company knows that their customer is king. Business is all about servanthood (2 Tim 2:24).
 
The SIMPLE answer is that ANY person in a capitalist country can start a business. They can raise capital with an idea and supplant the existing incumbent. This occurs again and again.
 
Finally, Paul was a leather worker and tent maker. A trade that seems lowly now, but it was really up in the levels of an IT worker 2000 years ago. It was one of the “higher” roles. He worked where he went. He traded and made businesses. These communities did not simply survive on love Byron, the practiced Ecclesiastes and the Parable of the Talents. They traded and they worked.
 
Now, the fact I am a capitalist (and libertarian seems to be ignored) blinds others to any ethics I may have. I see responses basically assuming I have no moral conscious (and I am not accusing you of this Byron). Yet, do these people even take the time to understand, a simple no is an answer.
 
I came from abject poverty, not privilege. I worked and I studied in a system that allows me to do this (and this also has meant full fees for my studies). Like many others, I give as I CHOOSE to give. I do this as I create something new in what I do and make something that did not exist. I enrich. I have not taken something and exploited, I create something new. This means, I do not care about the exact fairness of distribution and allocating the slices of the pie. 
 
I (as with other capitalists) make a BIGGER pie. Yes the percentage may not be fair – who cares really, the slice is bigger for all. Even the poor! 
 
Do we want to quibble over how 10 people divide 1 fish or do we want to have 20 fish for those ten people with at least a fish each? This is the question. In the first, lots go without, in the latter, maybe one person gets 8 fish and most just have one fish, but the answer is, the latter makes ALL better off. Who cares what the percentages are!
 
Business does NOT make a moral society. It is NOT the role of business to do this. Business is a mirror to society. It offers people what they want. IF people are virtuous, then people will want virtuous services. IF they are not, they will want other things.
 
Through business, I get to help make people more virtuous. I have donated over 300 computers and placed the heads of over 100 families through TAFE courses and given them skills. I have ONLY been able to do this through business. Not exploitation, creation.
 
http://www.burnside.org.au/content/Caring%20newsletter%20summer%2005.pdf
 
Virtue is NOT the function of business to teach. It is the values of the people that make a business. That said, businesses DO help make people more virtuous, they make people interact and trade and this leads to increased understanding and acceptance.
 
So, here I am the “big bad capitalist” who has donated over $10 million (more than my total net worth at any point) over the years to Burnside, St Vincent’s Community Services and a number of other charities what have others done?
 
The founders of PayPal have given far more than I. This is their created wealth, yet we are sitting her arguing their virtues as well. 
 
Simply, they provided a service. THEY created something and ENRICHED society.
 
ANYONE here can make their own business and compete. ANYONE. This IS democratic.
 
If you do not like PayPal, pull your finger out and make something better if you see something that can offer more. IF and I mean IF there is a service that people care more for, that is virtuous and as such people want for its virtue, they will use your service.
 
So, it is simple. Create something better and stop bitching about what we have as an armchair critic.
OTHERS have created the wealth that is here and is benefiting us all and we sit here wining about distribution of their created wealth and NOT making more.
 
Tell me, who is really doing more?

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