Capitalism Vs. Corporatism

a nice starter home

Image by girl_onthe_les via Flickr

I just noticed that I have written all week about corruption, in one form or another usually by government cronies. Yesterday I wrote about the rule of law and its breakdown. I remember last weekend a commenter of Freedom, by the Way mentioned that she didn’t feel capitalism made a primary allowance for taking care of families. In some ways she’s right, I didn’t address it then because I addressed other parts of her comments (And Freedom’s blog is hers not mine, this is a complex subject.)

Part of the trouble we have in this country is the ridiculous expectations our young people have. I tend to watch a fair amount of HGTV, and it’s eye-opening what people in their 20’s think they need in a house.

They invariably want stuff that our parents worked somewhere between 20-50 years to have. Dream house stuff: granite countertops, 3 car garages, new (stainless steel) appliances and all. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with anything you want in a house.

I personally want to restore a Victorian/Edwardian house, too. The thing is, I have one in mind, the house would no doubt cost me $250K or more and doing it the way I want to, another $500K. I don’t have it, I don’t have a reasonable expectation of having it anytime soon, so it’s a dream, maybe someday, after I win powerball or something.

Would I consider committing to a mortgage of $750k for that house? No, I wouldn’t. I was taught that borrowing is only OK for things that you know you can afford and need. A car, sure. A $50,000 dollar pickup to drive to work, not so much. A $50,000 dollar truck that makes you money in your work might well be a different thing. I hope you see my point. Anyway, nobody just married in their 20’s needs a four bedroom/3 bathroom house in the suburbs with all the toys as a starter house. I got married when I was 40, our first house was 650 sq ft, we paid $10,000 cash for it. It was fine, and we could afford to fix it, too. And yes, it was nicer than the one in the picture above.

My point is that there is nothing wrong with delayed gratification, we don’t need to have everything we want at once. There is nothing wrong with being frugal and saving and buying stuff you can afford.

Anyway that commenter posited that our corporations can make a market for anything. And that’s only partially true. They can, and do, make products available to us that are better, or different, or more attractive in some way than what came before.

This is crucial, they can not make us purchase them. Not all the advertising in the world can make you do that. Only the armed government can make you do anything.

This is the crux of our problems lately with corporatism, crony capitalism and the rest of the synonyms, they are using the force of the government to force the marketplace. In many ways it is no longer a free market. Parenthetically, did you know that in most places it is illegal not to have electricity in your house? It is, under many of our zoning and property maintenance codes.

The commerce clause has been so overstretched in this country as well as local laws and such, that our great grandparents wouldn’t recognize what we have as property ownership at all, but as merely a lease from our overlords. This sort of thing is why our forebearers came here in the first place.

This paragraph is sort of an aside, you won’t miss much meaning if you skip it but, its interesting. Prior to the 1940’s most Americans had no dealings at all with a bank, they were paid in cash, paid their bills in cash and never borrowed money. Furthermore most banks wouldn’t have made a loan to someone to buy a house, anyway. Do we really think the country was any worse of in say the 1920’s?

A good number of you probably remember the 60’s, maybe even the 50’s as I do. Remember how Ward Cleaver made a decent living so his wife didn’t have to work. Capitalism works only when applied evenly. We didn’t all have Leave it to Beaver lifestyles; we lived within our means, good, bad, or mostly in the middle.

I am emphatically not saying here that women should not work, I am saying that it shouldn’t take two people to support a nuclear family. Women should have the same opportunities as men (and vice-versa). Do what you want. Your life is not my business, mine is not yours, as long as we don’t infringe on each others’ rights.

Capitalism has always been about getting what you want.

If you want to get rich, do it.

If you want to make a decent living and support your family, do it.

If you want to lie on the couch and drink beer and watch TV, you can do that, too, at least for a while, then you can sleep under the overpass with the rest of the bums.

My point is this: In a capitalistic society you define your goals, no one else. You also have the greatest privilege known to man, working towards your goals in your own way at your own pace. Heaven on earth if you choose wisely. If you don’t, it can also be hell on earth, so choose wisely.

Charities are wonderful thing, I believe we have a moral duty to the unfortunate, your beliefs could well differ. Helping the unfortunate is, again in my mind, one of the duties of being a freeman. Do not confuse the unfortunate with the lazy, however, the lazy have made their own choice, they are fortunate that are able to. There are very few people in the US that are completely incapable of making a living. Those who are, either temporarily or permanently, deserve our help.

My other main point is that government is the referee. If I commit fraud on you, I pay the price. And again, vice-versa. As we all know, it doesn’t work very well when the referee is on one of the teams. That’s our bedrock problem in this country.

I suspect I’ll be returning to these points but, let’s see what you think about this whole mess.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

6 Responses to Capitalism Vs. Corporatism

  1. boudicabpi says:

    If/when i lose my house it won’t be because of corporate greed bu because of insane taxes, government and public union greed. Been paid for for about 20 years.
    Bob A.

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  2. loopyloo305 says:

    I am fortunate to live in an area where they still have the homestead relief on the books, and therefore pay only school taxes on our house which amount to less that one hundred dollars a year.
    My husband has been a carpenter for over forty years and most of that time, it was not needed that I work out of the house. I went back to school and work after our children were all in school because I wanted to, but so many of the people that we know can not make it on the income of both people. The cost have risen dramatically the last few years, and the really terrible thing is that it is because of government interference.
    Our church has filled the void for many families, we serve children meals every Wed. night, along with any parents that wish to attend, some two hundred of them, but that is getting harder as well and the government is starting to interfere there as well.
    Our children have been taught by schools, by TV, by everything that they are supposed to desire everything that they see, and that it is owed to them.
    These are some of the things that we have to change in order for us to become what we once were, but it is going to take a concerted effort and a change in direction by getting the government out of our business and getting morals back in.
    Excellent post, my friend!

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  3. Well said, my friend. One of the things I didn’t cover is how the indirect taxation caused by inflation is squeezing us all. And has been since Nixon/Carter, I watched Dad go from being one of the best paid people in town to depending on USDA cheese in his last few years. My story is not very different from yours.

    Yes we have much work to do (changes to make). Good luck to us all, I hope and pray we can get it done for another generation.

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  4. Pingback: Corporatism, One Crony at a Time « nebraskaenergyobserver

  5. Pingback: Capitalism: The Only Choice for a Moral Person « nebraskaenergyobserver

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