The online version of Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines capitalism as follows:
an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market.
There’s no mention of respecting workers’ rights, paying them a living wage, being socially and environmentally responsible, or considering the long-term sustainability of any particular product or service. In other words, nowhere in the definition of capitalism does it say, that they will do what’s right for the wellbeing of the people or the planet – nowhere!
If you happen to be a conservative, right about now you’d be saying, ‘So, what’s the problem?’
To which any liberal or progressive would snap back, ‘Where would you like me to start?!’
No corporate CEO or business owner wakes up in the morning thinking, ‘Hey! I think I’ll hire some nice people today, pay them really well and watch my company get destroyed by the competition that’s paying their employees far less, and sells their product or service at a lower price.’ They’d be fired or bankrupt very quickly.
In fact, hiring somebody is the LAST thing most companies want to do and they try and avoid it like getting a root canal without novocaine. Yes – that bad. Oh sure! – employees do stuff that’s intended to make their employers money, but companies will do everything possible to avoid taking that step until it becomes absolutely unavoidable. And will only do so if the income potential is greater than the costs, by a significant amount.
Technology has shrunk the planet. What I mean is many of the things that once took days or months, to accomplish around the globe, now take only days or fractions of a second. With the inventions of high speed cellular communications, the internet, container shipping and access to air travel, businesses discovered that our once very big planet has effectively shrunk.
Add to this the poor economic conditions and deplorable workers’ rights with minimal, or absent, safety and environmental concerns in many parts of the world, and it’s not hard to see how the perfect recipe for OUTSOURCING was born.
Imagine any CEO’s delight at getting double or triple the work output at just a small fraction of the current labor costs, and in many cases, a dramatic drop in material costs, too. The CEO is now an instant hero with the board of directors and the company’s shareholders, who are always anxious for a stock split or a distribution of profits. They reward the CEOs with an outrageous salary and bonuses to encourage more of the same. After all, it’s a win-win, right?
What could possibly go wrong?
In its purest form, capitalism lacks a key component for its long-term success; sustainability. The very process that is designed to maximize profitability works to minimize employee pay and benefits, to the point that the employees are, all too often, eliminated entirely by either outsourcing or automation.
Hence, employees that were once earning a living wage, contributing to federal and state and local taxes and joyfully going out and spending the money they earned back into the economy (sales taxes), are being erased.
Tax loopholes written to benefit the corporations, ensure that the dollars once working themselves back into the economy as well as federal and state treasuries, are significantly reduced.
Americans are left with having to work harder and longer and still end up with less than what they had 20 years ago, for the same time and effort. We are living to work, instead of working to live.
In effect, unrestrained capitalism, or what I like to call, capitalism-gone-wild, destroys the very market it depends on to survive. This is truly a house of cards and a race to the bottom.
America needs a drastic course correction!
The upcoming 2018 midterm election is perhaps one of the most important elections of our time. Will Americans allow Washington bureaucrats to continue to do the bidding of Wall Street instead of main street?
Remaking the political landscape will take dedication and hard work. As your Independent voice in Congress, I pledge to you that I will work tirelessly to defend the interests of the people of Massachusetts’ 9th Congressional District and this great country, but I can’t do it alone. I urge you to get involved and let’s work together to make a real and lasting difference.
Independent Candidate for U.S. Congress for the 9th District of Massachusetts