Thursday, November 27, 2008

Who's Who of Capitalists - By Jimmy Petrol

Most of us have been taught to believe we are all little capitalists, living happily in the best of all social systems...a capitalist society. But we cannot be capitalists, by definition we are something else entirely. The basic idea behind capitalism is that people with lots of money (capital) spend it to build or make something out of raw materials and labor, to sell for a profit. What this means is that you cannot be a capitalist unless you have a lot of money. If you aren't a capitalist (and you ain't) you are either materials or labor. Unless you are a cabbage, you're labor, period.

The only capitalists you will ever know are the ones that fund your paychecks. And those checks will be as small as possible, to insure the capitalist that funds them gets the highest return on his capital investment as possible. Which all means that you are labor, and that you do this labor for the smallest amount the capitalist (the guy with the big money) can get away with. That is capitalism....the belief that capital should earn most of the economic return. The idea is that capital is the thing that makes it all happen, so it should get the biggest piece of the pie. Since you are all workers (or "labor") and not cabbages, the goal of the capitalist is directly counter to your own goal, which is to labor as little as possible for the most money possible.

This natural tension between capital and labor is the basis for the capitalist's penchant for calling socialists bad names. But if you are not a capitalist (because you ain't got the money, honey) then you are laboring for a capitalist and the thing you are is a socialist....simply because you depend upon the government to control the greedy and rapacious nature of the capitalist (see: Enron, Cheney, et al). This desire for the government to act as an arbiter and manage the economy for the greater good is a social contract that we make with the government...this is the evil socialism that the capitalist warns against. Now that you know who you are, even though you wish you were something else (the guy with the money) it might be a little easier to see what we want government to do.

Private money (capitalists) don't pay for the roads that transport goods to market, materials to factories and workers (you) to the jobsite; government pays for it. Socialist pigs that we are, we pay for it with our taxes and the capitalists use it for free (when big companies pay no tax, as few do now). Private money doesn't pay for dams, airports, convention centers, dikes, canals, bridges or any other part of the infrastructure that capitalists depend upon; government does and we pay for it. Capitalists use the big ticket items that socialist programs provide, all the while screaming dire warnings to us about the terrible dangers of socialism.

This works because we all are too silly to remember that we have no capital. Sometimes we think we are going to get to play by buying stock in some of the large companies; in this way, we are told, we become little capitalists too. But it doesn't work that way. What happens is that we send our "little all" off to buy stock....the company issuing the stock gathers together all our little moneys and builds factories and buys raw materials, builds stores and buys inventory to stock the shelves. Our money is gone. Spent. Now the factories, materials, stores and inventory belong to the Company. They will not buy our stock back...for that, we depend on another little capitalist....another one of us. The stock doesn't amount to ownership unless you have enough of it to influence the board of directors of a company. If you only have a little bit, it is just another form of currency, floating in value according to the whims of the "investing" public. They get frightened, your stock is worthless (look in your portfolio today).

The point here is that we are all little socialists, whether we want to be or not, because there are only two kinds of citizens in a "free market society"; the guys with the cash and the guys that do the work. We is the work- force, and we depend on the government to make sure that the capitalists don't get too much of our blood and sweat for too little (see: Exon, et al, today). Clarity. Who are we really. That will help us in the coming years, while government tries to undo all the economic rape and pillage that has been aided and abetted by the Bush doctrine. Remember; you is not a cabbage; you is a worker and the government's job is to make sure you get paid and that your pension doesn't evaporate while others pack away the profits in record, unimaginable amounts. That, my friends, is what a socialist government is all about...protecting the members of a society (see that root word?) against the big, bad wolf.

Thank goodness that the capitalists have taken all they could for so long that there is little left....otherwise, we would all be sitting around thinking we were investors and little capitalists instead of the patsies and suckers we are. Now we can be what we should have been....a "Great Society", that puts the welfare of the citizens before the welfare of the few that have the cash.

Oh, yeah...."it" can't be done without capital...but it can't be done without labor either.

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