Monday, March 2, 2015

Capitalism, That Sublime Temptress

Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned.” -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Income equality/inequality is a slippery slope. While the gender gap that exists is a legitimate grievance, the overall socio-economic one between lower (i.e. “poor”) and upper (i.e. “rich”) classes is not. It is capitalism, and anything that seeks to disrupt and redistribute that balance is nothing less than socialism. Those who want to institute this “economic justice” seek to create a new class that encompasses all in “economic equality,” failing to realize that such a system is not sustainable or viable. How do we know? From the failed examples of Cuba, North Korea and the former Soviet Union. (China, under communist rule since the 1950s, is an intriguing example, its “success” dubious given its capitalistic tendencies in economic stratification and international trade since the 1970s. It's a communist nation that literally thrives on the backbone of capitalism.)

I understand the desire, the want, to change the rules. More often than not, capitalism can feel rigged for only the few given the secret; meanwhile, the humbled and poor huddle to account for their pittance. As D.H. Lawrence said of the sea, “they say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.” Likewise, capitalism can be cruel and unfair, but still provide the warmest intent and opportunity. No other economic system thus far developed in human history can make such a claim, where any person can rise above their circumstances with proper effort and inspiration. When government seeks to manipulate this scenario artificially by propping up the alleged disenfranchised, it sets up the system for failure and collapse from the bottom by unnecessarily agitating class warfare.

There will always be, and must always be, differentiation in the means of production between leaders (i.e. owners) and laborers (i.e. workers). Those who seek “economic justice”/“economic equality” want all the reward of the leader but none of the sacrifice of the laborer in a competitive environment. They will achieve neither. In essence, they want to remove competition because the playing field is deemed slanted toward a particular group over another. Nevertheless, that’s how capitalism works, and how the benefits from it are derived – by way of competition, for production, for resources and for market share.

Now, as far as the gender gap? Compensation in a job always should be based on achievement, function and merit, not gender or any other demographics. By today’s standards, it is stupid that this is even an issue. Sadly, it is still part of the discourse on discrimination in the workplace. This truly is cruel, and it truly is unfair.

©2015 Steve Sagarra

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