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.
Eloquent. Extraordinary. Timeless. Paradigm-shifting. Classic. Six decades after it first appeared, Leonard Read’s “I, Pencil” evokes such adjectives of praise. Rightfully so, for this little essay opens eyes and minds among people of all ages. Many first-time readers never see the world quite the same again.
Here is a similar thought process from 50 years before I, Pencil. Same theme
And as for getting the full product of his labor — man's owning all the things he makes -- what man ever got the full product of his labor except Robinson Crusoe? In a savage condition a man owns the game he kills, the flint he sharpens and the bow he makes. But the moment you come to any civilization, no man can touch his hand upon a thing, still less make a thing, that a thousand other men have not helped to make -- have not wrought upon, or mined, or planted, or fed, or carried, before! And how are those men to be paid if the last workman get it all? Take a pair of shoes. The grain that fed the ox and the bark that tans the hide, and the ship that carried it here from Australia, and the iron for the nails and the machinery, and the machines that made the ship and the nails and the shoe machinery itself — these are all capital, but were made by labor, and must not that be paid? And how, if the people in the shoe shop are to get the " full product of their labor " — that is, the full price of the shoes? And this is the great truth that socialists lose sight of — Capital is nothing but old labor. Capital is nothing but the fruits of the earth which have been already gathered, preserved, or transformed; that is, manufactured by past labor.
“Socialism; a speech delivered in Faneuil hall, February 7th, 1903, by Frederic J. Stimson
I suppose a Barack Obama could twist that into "You didn't build that"
Interesting corollary is the value of dairy bull calves and the beef market. The end product price to the consumer doesn't shift much, beyond people saying "It's all expensive"!
But the pay price to the starting producer can swing wildly from up to $500 (once, 2014?) all the way down to zero and negative (digging a grave or paying the renderer because the normal buyers won't take them).
The joke about the farmer who puts a "free calves" sign on his trailer of 2 calves and when he came back later, finds someone had added some more!
Making it up on volume: when you have, say, a minimum $20 cost to give something for free to a saturated market, at what point is the person who is taking the free offering going to feel compelled to start to pay again?