I like this guy…
Reprinted from the Damyankee Curmudgeon column 26, Volume 3
I received this in an email… I tried to find a source for a link back but couldn’t find one. Anyway, whoever wrote it… good job. If you identify yourself, I’ll give you credit.
The trouble with the capitalist system is that–we don’t have it.
There are certain advantages in living in North Georgia instead of northern New York. It’s easier to go walking for your health here in the winter. That’s apparently impossible these days up north where we used to live. Most everything is cheaper here: gasoline, food, heating, electricity, and many other necessities.
The chief disadvantages are two: one, it is so bloody hot in summer that everything in your garden dies and you spend so much on air conditioning that it makes up for all the other savings, and two, except for a few islands of sanity like Athens, the home of the University, Georgia is largely populated by people who consider Jeff Foxworthy (of “redneck” fame) to be a dangerous left-wing radical.
When I’m driving around I often turn on the radio. The major station in these parts is WSB in Atlanta, an ABC affiliate. This station carries Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, and a local guy in the morning who claims to be libertarian but aspires to be the next Limbaugh. I won’t tell you his name; I don’t want to give him any publicity, even bad.
His chief hue and cry is that what’s wrong with America is that the poor, who are that way because they are shiftless and lazy, are envious of the rich, who are that way because they are hard-working and efficient. It’s always hard to tell how much of his own crap such a guy actually believes, but apparently he believes that all rich people work like dogs for their money, and that the CEO’s of the major banks, insurance companies, auto companies, and other corporations deserve to be paid 100 or 1000 times what their workers get, for their brilliance and hard work in running their companies into economic ruin such that the government has to use our money to bail them out, or so it tells us.
The capitalist system is supposed to work like this: A man, or woman, has saved up a little money. He thinks he can make, fairly cheaply, cheesecake that people will like. He opens a small bakery, perhaps using borrowed money as well as his own. His business prospers, he employs people, and eventually is making a lot of money because he offers good cheesecake at a price people are willing to pay.
Or, times get hard, people don’t like his cheesecake, the price of eggs and cream cheese goes sky-high, and he goes bankrupt. That’s the American way.
But this is how so-called capitalism really works nowadays. A bunch of lawyers and accountants, who have good connections with politicians, get together and decide that, if they give it a jazzy name, they can sell cheesecake even if it isn’t really as good as other brands already available. They hire an advertising firm, which comes up with a name, “Auntie Esther’s Homemade Lusty Cheese Pie,” and a campaign featuring models and athletes. They buy out a small North Dakota company that makes inferior cheesecake, and start peddling their product. Meanwhile, their lobbyists wine and dine congressmen, who pass a law that says companies that make cheesecake in North Dakota will have large tax advantages not available to their competitors. They sell shares in Auntie Esther’s. The stock booms. They pay themselves huge bonuses.
Unfortunately, in spite of all their legerdemain, the cheesecake is so bad compared to its competitors that people won’t buy it, and their company is about to go bankrupt. Now they go to Congress and explain that if Auntie Esther’s goes under, thousands of small stockholders will lose their life savings, thousands of North Dakotans will be unemployed, and producers of eggs and cream cheese, not to mention lithographed cardboard boxes, will go broke. They don’t mention that the boxes, the powdered eggs, and the cream cheese substitute all come from China.
Congress appropriates several hundred billion dollars and gives the money to Auntie Esther’s and similar corporations. The top executives take the money and give themselves even bigger bonuses. The stock tumbles and the small stockholders lose their shirts. Auntie E’s fires half of its employees “because of the recession.” Their older top execs retire to the Cayman Islands. The younger ones look around for another business to screw up.
If you think that is not an accurate description of how “capitalism” works in America today, you just haven’t been paying attention. Apparently that’s the case with the Atlanta broadcaster I sometimes hear a few words from before I can hit the “off” button.