I hate to tell the Occupy Wall Street group (OWS) this, but not only do they not understand capitalism, they aren’t even the trendsetters of anti-capitalism. For years, American culture and tax policy has been at odds with the values of capitalism. It’s a pity, but it’s true and one can trace the majority of our current economic problems to that fact.
|Wall Street, 1867|
Image via Wikipedia
In order to generate capital, individuals have to consume fewer resources than they have available, meaning that they save rather than consume. Then those individuals must be willing to risk those savings to acquire the tools necessary to provide desired goods. If the individuals make poor decisions, or as our Commander-in-Chief calls them “bets”, then they will lose their investments. This means that their sacrifices were in vain, except for some new knowledge of what fails.
Capitalism is what people do when left alone. Anything other than capitalism is because of a government that restricts what people freely do. Even simple barter requires a saving of resources and an investment to obtain other goods. Simple farming was also capitalism long before tractors and center-pivot irrigation systems. Early farmers sacrificed the consumption of seeds in order to invest them in next year’s crop.
Is capitalism good? It rewards innovation and efficiency. It creates job opportunities and allows families to