We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
What we call "Capitalism" actually encompasses something much grander and much broader. Wealth is not simply financial wealth and man is much greater than homo economus, a creature governed solely by economic factors. Except for neurotic personalities, like the fictional Midas or Scrooge, people work, invest and strive for success in the marketplace of all human interactions.
As Walker notes, in free-market, "capitalist" societies, non-neurotic people pursue many goals besides or other than accumulating money. Indeed, for the vast majority of folks, money is just a tool for pursuing other personal goals, of which the main one is rightly independence and security.
Good article. I, for one, will not adopt the new word, meritalism, but will cling to the original concept of capitalism. I have never suffered from the boxing in of the term to exclude the artists, religious, or philosophers. Entertain, enlighten, or stimulate thought in me, and you've sung for your supper.
I like Chesterton's observation, made in 1921 when was socialism all the rage among U.S. Hollyweird and D.C. eilite, was that it is not a case of there being too much capitalism, but rather too few capitalists.
Perhaps tangentially related - I just came across this press release from the Metals Service Center Institute from January 2008 which should give us all cause for alarm:
ROLLING MEADOWS, Illinois, January 8, 2008 — The United States has lost critically needed capabilities to arm itself for future wars, the lead article in the January/February 2008 issue of MSCI’s Forward magazine reports.
What’s more, the magazine says, the Pentagon lacks the information necessary to know whether important weapons components now rely on foreign-sourced parts or materials. The military procurement system doesn’t require lower-tier contractors to report their use of foreign-sourced parts and materials, and the Defense Department isn’t interested in pursuing the question.
It's not like we're going to be able to defend capitalism anyway...
Actually, "Forward" is a rather bland, "backward" thinking (by "progressive" standards) industry rag that has the audacity to look out for the best interests of American manufacturers with specialization in metals services. I think by using "new" they meant the most recent issue.
The full article is found here, and has quite a few attributions, sourced quotes and the like from within the Pentagon, the politricksters and the industry. Particularly credible seems Pentagon public affairs officer Chris Isleib who highlights the problem the Pentagon and defense contractors do not want to talk about, saying it lies in the complex mysteries of the increasingly global supply chain. “DoD does not, as a routine matter, track which specific parts of weapons systems are sourced overseas,” Isleib says. “Such a department-wide data collection effort would impose significant costs and be of questionable utility.”
Sorry for the confusion, but I think the problem is real, and I do not trust the incoming administration and their supporting unions to address the matter.
It actually makes sense - the difficulty of tracking everything. What I don't buy is that we are bereft of the means to protect ourselves because of this. Someone is making the orders and seeing they are filled, and if what they need is not coming in, they will find another source. What about Boeing and Raytheon? Private companies employed by the Pentagon. I doubt they have the problem.
It does explain, partly, why it takes so long to build anything like a big ship. ... Four years late and millions more in cost, etc.
I rarely use Capitalism when I can substitute the term "Marketplace". Capitalism is a tool of the marketplace - that is the ownership and trading of capital within a market situation, thereby affording greater liquidity and properly spreading economic information throughout the Market itself.
Capitalism is an ideal (as is the "Free Market"), which is unlikely to ever be achieved. But it's a terrific ideal, far better than any of the alternatives.
Sadly, like anything else, politics gets its ugly fingers into the Capitalism pie and spoils everything. EVERYTHING, from the micro level (how many politically motivated bosses have you had? I've had plenty) to the macro level (absurd use of public funds to "bailout" and "prop up" dead industries that have lavished greedy and useless politicians with perks over the years).
I'll stick to discussing the Market - because the Market is real, accurate, and precise. Whether it is the market for stocks, for money, for food, or for ideas...the Market is real and always with us EVEN WHEN THE GOVERNMENT OUTLAWS IT (black markets)!
This is entirely off the subject, but did anyone else know that Fannie Mae had a FOUNDATION paying out $600,000-plus paychecks to executives to "give away" money for housing? What in the heck is Fannie Mae???? I'm baffled.