Competition+Capitalism


This post is by Jeff Carter from Points and Figures


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The other day I wrote that America needs to rediscover its love for competition.  I think we need to do that more now than ever.   Ken Langione wrote a book, I Love Capitalism! and everyone should read it.  Mr. Langione was part of the startup of Home Depot.  He had a blue collar upbringing.  He is one of the more generous people you’d want to meet and his actions fly in the face of the statements the young socialists make.

Here is the problem that most people have with capitalism.  True capitalism brings responsibility for actions.

No one wants to be held accountable.  No one wants to be responsible anymore. Capitalism forces people to examine themselves.  Sometimes they don’t like what they see.

Capitalism also has failure associated with it.  But, things that are great often have their exact opposite associated with it.  Want to be fierce?  Understand it means to be fearful.  Want to understand success?  You need to understand and experience failure.

Capitalism also has a four letter word associated with it called risk.  Risk is scary to lots of people.  Most people are inherently risk averse.  They don’t like the downside. You can’t blame them.  It stings.  But, without a downside there is no upside.  A capitalistic society has a gigantic upside.  Just look at the data.  America was nothing.  Now, it has the highest standard of living in the world. Especially when you look at standards of living across all classes.

A lot of of people say they are capitalists while taking actions against capitalism.  You cannot be for socialized health care and call yourself a capitalist.  You can’t be for big government programs, universal basic income and call yourself a capitalist.

The other problem with capitalism is that free markets are tremendously messy.  There isn’t a straight well planned line to solve a problem.  There isn’t a centrally planned clean way or one point of contact you can blame when things go wrong.  Utilizing the free market to solve problems takes time.  When someone says the world is going to end in 12 years and has zero data around it people get fearful, tap into their confirmation biases, and don’t have the patience to use the most powerful force known to man to shape behavior, the free market.

We have lost our way in America regarding capitalism because a lot of the country practices “crony capitalism”.  That’s capitalism de-risked.  It is using the government to gain an edge over competitors.  In my home state of Illinois and city of Chicago, crony capitalism is rampant.  The thing is, the more government regulation that there is, and the larger governments influence has over our lives, the easier it is for crony capitalism to gain a foothold.

People don’t understand that. The mainstream media isn’t smart enough to even critically think about it.  Instead, they campaign for even more government.  More programs.  More regulation.  It’s the wrong path.