One of the biggest misunderstandings that progressives propagate is that capitalism is evil because it takes from the poor and multiplies the riches of the wealthy. But nothing could be further from the truth. Capitalism actually is a selfless service to others and should be cherished. Namely, because it accomplishes all the things that progressives claim that government is, or is trying to, accomplish for the poor.
Before civilization came along the only way to progress in life was to pillage and plunder what another person or society had accumulated. Capitalism is producing and providing things and services that others want and need, and in exchange receiving more of what you want and need.
Capitalism expands our humanity, breaks down racial, social and economic barriers. Capitalism produces teamwork, selflessness, benevolence, resourcefulness and sustains the freedom that is indispensable for everyone to improve their lot in life.
But by government edict, progressives and neo-capitalists have nearly destroyed true capitalism. The pseudo-capitalism which we are now called upon to embrace, is no longer based on selflessness, but on greed and materialism. As government regulation, bureaucratic control and taxation coercively force entrepreneurs to comply to the government’s image instead of the image of God, creativity is expended on how to overcome governmental regulations, control and taxation instead of the future needs of society. Today, therefore, it is common to hear about the scarcity of resources instead of generating abundance. Yet true capitalism has always been about turning scarcity into abundance, not about scarceness. True capitalism consistently makes today’s comforts into tomorrow’s necessities when allowed to operate unencumbered by government.
Sir Isaac Newton, known for his theory of gravity, understood this better than most. His stent as Master of the Mint in England, allowed England to save millions by stabilizing the currency through a special cooling process that eliminated the common practice of culling. Goldsmiths had previously purchased gold from the mint, melted it down and resold the gold back to the mint at a profit. “Neither counterfeiting or clipping was involved.”[i] This was simply a vocation of those who realized that the standard deviation of the currency was 85 milligrams, prior to Newton. With his new cooling technique, Newton reduced that deviation down to 49 milligrams making culling an obsolete profession and the value of the English pound more stable. Thus, England became the commerce capital of the world because of the stability of their consistently minted currency.
Today, governments all over the world are devaluing their own currencies in an effort to compete for more and more of what they believe is scarce. This currency devaluation burdens those who, out of scarcity, actually produce an abundance for all. Government adds even further pressure on those who produce by regulating, taxing and redistributing the wealth that they produce. In doing so, governments behave much like a dog chasing its own tail. There is a lot of action, and time wasted, but no real value is being produced. Speculators who gamble on these currency wars of governments only add to the commotion, producing no real value to anybody except themselves.
All this is greed, not capitalism.
As entrepreneurs change their focus from the pursuit of knowledge and production to the securing of incentives provided by government(s), greed becomes central and the welfare system shifts from providing basic needs to the poor to transferring the riches of others to the elitists. This transfer of wealth is pathetic, but even so the greater damage done is that the search for information and knowledge to make a future that is better than today, is waylaid by the pursuit of profits, margins, and state subsides. This ultimately builds a society that is worse for the poor, the middle class, and the wealthy alike.
Capitalists, by nature, look to disrupt the accepted order and equilibrium of today by infusing new thought, new energy and new knowledge into society. Government, by its very nature, inhibits this disruption and seeks to establish equality through forced re-distribution of what currently has or is being produced, thus excluding any consideration of what possibly could be in the future. Through this process, government actually restricts the equality that they seek to establish, encumbering and hampering the creation of the wealth that is so necessary for the proliferation of the comfort and well-being of all.
By in large, America’s leading entrepreneurs typically don’t revel in their wealth because most of it is not liquid. In other words, the wealth of most American capitalists is invested in others. Therefore, the wealthy retain their wealth by their vigilant efforts, hard work, and through the application of disciplined knowledge.
To put it bluntly, wealth can increase only when those who created it retain control over it. Separate the proceeds from the wisdom that created the abundance out of scarcity, and the economy always deteriorates. And a plummeting economy is that which progressives, neo-capitalists and government are very accomplished at triggering.
You should not only desire to become wealthy, but you should continue to increase your wealth daily. Since wealth is merely wisdom expressed, (i.e., producing value from scarcity), you should always desire to better yourself by bettering the lives of others. God made humans in his own image. You were not merely created as an animal but were created in the image of God. A creative individual! As such, you are able to generate something of value from the scarcity that surrounds you.
Allowing yourself to become attracted to the incentives offered up by government, you prevent yourself from becoming the truly wealthy person you were created to be. But even worse, you also limit the capacity of others to become as wealthy as they could be had you done your part in fulfilling the creativity that God placed within you.
This is what the Founding Fathers spoke of when they spelled out that, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”[iii] Only you can let loose the greatness that God created you to release to the world. And you can only become as wealthy as you were designed to be by creating value for others out of the scarcity that governments, progressives and neo-capitalist try to regulate, tax and re-distribute.
Want your world to be a better place? Then look around you. You can find the scarcity that only you can turn into abundance and make this world a better place for your neighbor. In doing so, you will find you too have become wealthier.
[ii] George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty
[iii] United States Declaration of Independence