Thursday, September 3, 2009
Don't Kill The Goose...
I will never understand the general antipathy that most "progressives" hold towards commerce and capitalism. So many things that they revere are only possible through the surplus of wealth created by productive individuals and "evil" corporations.
To start off with, history shows that there is an undeniable connection between commerce and the culture. Those familiar with Greek, Arab, Ottoman and Venetian history will know that their greatest periods of artistic and cultural production occurred when these societies prospered through an expansion of trade and commerce.
And throughout history most of mankind suffered from scarcity (poverty & hunger). But, through the continuous revolutions in production that occur in free markets, has the creation of wealth in the United States reached such a point where the basic needs of the majority are met and surpluses of wealth can be redistributed (freely through civil society or coercively through the state) towards:
1. Charities and non-for-profit organizations: only through our incredible prosperity are so many individuals able and willing to direct their surplus income towards these organizations.
2. The diffusion of diverse artistic and cultural endeavors: only though our unparalleled prosperity created by capitalism is their sufficient wealth to privately and publicly fund the arts.
3. Scientific and academic research on an unparalleled level. Universities and research institutions are heavily subsidized by public funds which are from taxes levied on productive enterprises.
4. Maintain costly government safety nets (social security, Medicare, etc.) and welfare. The billions and billions of dollars redistributed towards the recipients and (even more significantly) the endless bureaucrats that administer these programs originate from the individuals and businesses that fund them.
5. Enacting costly health, safety and environmental regulations: only through the incredible productivity made possible through capitalism can businesses bear the regulatory burden and fund the bureaucracies that impose them.
6. Expanding educational and professional opportunities for handicapped individuals.
7. Furthering the humane treatment of animals. Only in capitalist nations that generate a high living standard are people sufficiently prosperous to dedicate their time, energy and money towards the betterment of living standards of animals.
So, we must take heed and not "kill the capitalist goose who laid all of these progressive eggs."