Maybe you are a casual Agonist reader or an Agonista at heart but in any case you are probably asking yourself: what’s the deal with socialism and why do I like capitalism? (Image)
OK, lets get started by defining socialism: socialism is, by definition, something you don’t want. Its that simple and all you really need to remember but, of course, there is a complex academic explanation which goes like this: Americans don’t want socialism because the government does it.
Now that you understand socialism, its really very easy to understand capitalism. The definition of capitalism is something that you do want. Again its that simple, Occam’s Razor! Again, this being an academic sort of paper, I should add that capitalism is something that you want because the government doesn’t do it. It’s so simple isn’t it?
Here’s a trick for remembering the difference between socialism and capitalism: S is for Socialism and Satan and C is for Capitalism and Christ; Satan was a socialist and Christ was a capitalist or would have been if he wasn’t under the thumb of that heathen Roman empire run by oligarchs.
Now, with such powerful definitions you may be asking: what else do I need to know? However, it is incumbent on me, this being a scientific paper and all, to provide some background data and some examples of what I’m saying.
Its very important to remember that when the government does stuff it get’s big; that’s called big government and that’s bad. See, that’s different than big corporations who don’t get big doing stuff but get big earning money; so you can see that corporations are way more efficient because their bigness has an incentive.
We all know that big government workers are just wait’n around for their pension so they can retire with healthcare but workers for big corporation’s don’t have pensions or healthcare when they retire; they have to get those from big government evils like Social Security and Medicare. What I mean to say is that people who work at corporations can’t wait around because there’s really nothin’ to wait for so you can understand their incentive; is just plain survival; easy right?
Big corporations, on the other hand, have big executives who get paid with bonuses and stocks and can go right to the Cayman islands and retire anytime they want to; so you can understand their incentive. The government doesn’t have big executives but it has politicians who depend on big corporations for a nice retirement in the Cayman islands. So you can see that big government can’t do it all by itself.
Maybe an example will help. Let’s talk about how capitalism makes it possible for you to own and drive a car. First of all, as we are aware, the more people who buy cars makes the cars cheaper to produce; its the economics of mass production. That’s why we had to get rid of all the mass transit systems during the 1950’s so that people would have to buy cars. Its the same reason why Obama wants to get rid of the old healthcare and force everyone buy private health insurance. Its the economics of the masses makes everything cheaper to produce, thus better profits, and a better Cayman Island experience for the executives; you can see the incentives of capitalism working!
Back to our example, once all the private mass transit systems were dismantled, there was a great need for cars so the Capitalists had a situation that they could capitalize on! First step was to convince the politicians that the comforts of the Cayman Islands are a good reason for building roads all over the country. This was a big incentive so the government helped capitalism by creating the largest social project in the history of humanity by spending a trillion dollars on an interstate highway system. Now the capitalists were almost in business but cars need oil. What an opportunity for oil capitalists! The oil capitalists and the Cayman Islands convinced the politicians to use the US military to secure oil all over the world so these cars, built by capitalists, could be driven on the roads built by the government using petroleum secured by the government. So there it is, capitalism at work and socialism phooey.
Now we all have to pay taxes to the government. That’s a big disadvantage of socialism; taxes. No one pays taxes to corporations because they get a margin on goods and services that they sell. Another big incentive! Getting as high a margin as possible from consumers is not a tax. You see how much better that is?
Now, this brings us to a couple of conclusions. First, something is probably not worth doing unless someone get’s rich; kind of like, who needs to fix global warming unless a couple of us can make some dough? Second, the whole enterprise, doesn’t have to be profitable as long as, again, a couple of us make some dough right? I hope I have broadened everyones understanding of Socialism and Capitalism; any questions?
Originally published at The Agonist
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