America Needs A Lesson On Capitalism

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I am sick and tired of seeing the private sector be demonized. The “heartless capitalists who put profit before people” rhetoric is so annoyingly ignorant that it may someday make my head explode like Belloq’s in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” The media will not shut up about corporate inversion or tax avoidance, as if it’s a company’s sworn duty to pay as much tax as possible. It’s not even about the politics of how we spend tax money. This is America, dammit. We were built on the foundation of hard work and American ingenuity, and it is this system that has allowed we Americans to have a higher standard of living than any other country in the world. Today’s America needs a capitalism lesson before the foundation of American greatness erodes away.

Whether you are the entrepreneur willing to risk everything to start your business or the employee who helps run the business, you owe everything to capitalism. The free market self regulates and properly distributes resources on the basis of value. VALUE. What is the value of the product or service to the customer? This regulates pricing, and keeps prices down, because if someone else can do what you do, they can undercut you. To stay competitive, the price needs to be reasonable and affordable. Next, what is the value of an employee’s skills? Is the value of a certain employee really greater than the risk taken by the owners to create the company with unlimited upside and downside? If I own a business, I’m not going to pay filet mignon prices for ground chuck. Sorry, I’m not a charity. However, if you prove your value to be key to me getting a greater return on my risk, you’ll get paid more with better benefits. That’s why this whole income inequality crap is a crock of shit. If you are a low skill worker, you don’t have the value a more skilled employee has. If you want to increase your income, either acquire skills that make you more valuable or take the risk yourself and call your own shots on how your profits are distributed among employees. It’s much easier nowadays to acquire skills, certifications, and start businesses than ever before.

With today’s technology it’s easier than it’s ever been to start a business. Capitalism has always made it easier than any other system to rise to the top. Look at Andrew Carnegie. He started as a lowly steel worker and became a steel magnate. But being an entrepreneur up until this age of technology required a ton of elbow grease and often truly revolutionary innovation. Now, people are making a living off of eBay stores selling rare Barbies and Beanie Babies, blogs with ad revenue, low budget apps, online services, and online media. There are a million blogs and reliable resources on how to start a business on a shoestring budget. Large manufacturers look for distributors for smaller clients, if you are a Belfort-esque salesman. In more business-friendly states you can start one of these simple businesses with minimal red tape, more than I can say for less free countries. There is a demand for everything. Literally, everything. The Pet Rock, yes, an actual “pet rock,” made someone a multimillionaire. Think about what you love to do–chances are there’s a market for it, and there’s an unlimited earning potential of that idea.

“Unlimited earning potential” brings me to tax avoidance and corporate inversion. These companies who are doing whatever they can to minimize what they pay in taxes are being attacked as un-American and greedy. Why? Because they are doing their best to maximize the return for their shareholders? If you have the ability to incorporate in a country where you pay, say, 10% less in taxes, why wouldn’t you? That’s more money for salaries, growth, or rewarding yourself as an owner for the risk you took. It’s not a corporation’s job to earn money to bankroll government spending programs. Yes, I understand taxes are needed to fund essential government functions such as national defense, but put yourself in a business owner’s shoes if you are not one. Why do you work? Do you work because it feels good to pay taxes? No, you work to eat, pay your bills, and live better. Maybe corporate inversion will wake up politicians and reopen the topic of tax reform and, just as important, budgeting (wishful thinking, right?).

Maybe it’s time for today’s entitled America to stop expecting businesses to bankroll the “free shit” mentality in Washington and take advantage of all the wonderful things about capitalism. With a little ingenuity, brains, and hard work someone can increase their standard of living. And remember, the middle class in a socialist country does not live much better than Americans living at the poverty line, because taxes and excessive costs force companies to raise prices for all goods. America has shown its capabilities by having the highest GDP in the world. Let’s not be morons and try to fix what is not broken.

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"Technically, Pablo Escobar was in sales."

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