Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Capitalist Candidate

I would like to see somebody run on the Republican ticket for President of the United States as a Capitalist.

In the first debates, each candidate is given 2 minutes to introduce themselves.

My fellow Americans.

I stand before you as the only capitalist - the only defender of free markets, on this stage today. These others - either because they do not understand capitalism or because they understand but do not like capitalism - defend something quite different.

For example, when it comes to climate change, they actually support communism - every one of them. Communism says that goods are held in common, and that each person can use it (or use it up) as they see fit. Ideally, each person takes from the communal warehouse according to their needs and donates according to their ability. In fact, people just take until there is nothing left.

These other candidates argue for treating the atmosphere as a communal dumping ground for waste products. Each person can dump as much greenhouse gas as they want, and contributions to this communal warehouse are entirely voluntary. Capitalism tells us that, if we use this system, the atmosphere, as a communal dumping ground, will be destroyed. The solution is a pricing mechanism - a way to get people to pay for their use of these resources and a way to pay people for their contributions. But these communists refuse to support such a system.

Let's talk about regulation. There are two types of regulation to talk about. One type involves the use of government to interfere in the free market to create special economic advantages for some. The other type of regulation is the protection of property rights - prohibitions on theft, fraud, vandalism, the destruction of property, assault or other violence against another person, and prohibitions on murder.

When these other candidates talk about reducing government regulation, they almost never talk about the special tax breaks their clients get, or the government subsidies. These go on year after year.

To a capitalist, these types of regulations and subsidies are intolerable. They interfere with the free market. In fact, corporations have access to all sorts of government power to force transfers of wealth into their bank accounts that a truly free market would not allow. Forced transfer of wealth, from the poor and the middle class to the wealthy, is a defining characteristic of much of what the government does. A capitalist would not support this, but my opponents do.

Whenever these other candidates talk about removing regulation, they talk about giving those who run corporations special rights to take from others, to command obedience, destroy property, cause illness or injury, even kill, with little or no consequence.

A common person robs a store of $250 worth of merchandise and these people want them locked away for life. But, if a corporate executive robs its customers of $250 million dollars, the company pays a $20 million fine and it us business as usual.

When is the last time a corporate executive went to prison fir murdering people with the release of toxic chemicals into the air or groundwater?

We have two sets of laws. One provides harsh, even draconian punishments against the serfs and commoners who commit murder and robbery on a small scale, and a growing reduction in penalties when a corporate executive commits the same crimes on a massive scale.

This is not capitalism. It is a type if corporate feudalism, where the serfs face harsh restrictions and penalties, and the lords and masters can do as they please.

Remember, capitalism is all about protecting rights to private property. Well, your body is your property. Nobody may make use of your body without your consent. These anti-capitalists on the stage with me today reject the idea that women own their own bodies. They think that a woman's body belongs to the state, and the state may dictate who gets to use the woman's body.

On that matter, I would like to note that, to a capitalist, a living arrangement, voluntarily entered into by two men or two women, is just as valid as a voluntary arrangement entered into by one man and one woman. There is nothing in capitalism that calls for concern about the gender of those one enters into agreements with. And, by the way, capitalism also has no objection to raise to arrangements that consenting adults enter into voluntarily that involve more than two parties. It is not the government’s concern.

This brings me to my final point. These rights to life, liberty, and property - these rights to due process and equal protection under the law - these are not American rights. They are HUMAN rights. Anybody who argues, “He’s not an American, so he does not have the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that we do,” is somebody who rejects capitalism. These moral restrictions against depriving others of live, liberty, and property apply as much to American corporations and the American government as it does to Americans as individuals.

So, as I said, I stand here on this stage as the only capitalist. If you are a Republican because you believe in capitalism – because you think that this country should promote and defend capitalism – then I am your candidate.

As it turns out, I am not a capitalist in the sense described above. However, capitalism, properly understood, has a great deal to recommend it. It does not actually say what many of its defenders - and many of its critics - claim that it says.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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