Be a discriminating customer, a diligent employee and a generous entrepreneur
The free market is not perfect. We all know of stories about unethical or corrupt businesses, but lately capitalism has been getting a bad rap. I just thought it might be nice to remind ourselves of a few of the benefits of America’s historic economic system – not because it’s perfect or because it was ordained of God or anything – but just to help us realize that capitalism is not all bad:
- Capitalism generally drive prices lower. Businesses want your business and they know that you want to pay as little as possible. Just think about how the prices of electronics have come down over the years. I recently purchased a laptop for less than $300. A laptop that would out-perform almost any computer built before 2007. Think about it, you can probably list lots of items where the prices have come down over time.
- Capitalism gives us a choice. I have three grocery stores within walking distance of my house. If I don’t like the prices at one, I can go to another. Gas stations, cable providers, restaurants, furniture stores all competing for my money and if I do not like the taste or the service or the price, I can find a business that I like. I can even choice where I work or where I do not want to work. There are certainly difficulties tied to changing jobs, but if you want it bad enough and are willing to sacrifice, you have a great chance to earn an income anyway you like.
- Capitalism drives innovation. Businesses drive profits by coming up with new ideas and better ways to do things. Just think of what life was like before email or air conditioning or microwaves. Someone had an idea and as a result, they became rich. The thing to remember is that the guy who invented the microwave was not the only one to profit from that invention – factory workers, salesmen, investors all profited from the process to heat food quickly. Innovation is all around us, certainly some of it is bad, but the vast majority is beneficial.
- Capitalism supports charity. I was just speaking with a dentist who donates several weeks a year in Ethiopia. He can do this because his income allows him to give services away. Most charitable organizations depend on individuals to give them a certain percentage of their profits every year. People who make a lot of money, people who invested well and people who just have a little extra because of capitalism give it away to support all kinds of charitable interests. Americans gave two trillion dollars to those hurt by the tsunami disaster of their own free will!
- Capitalism keeps us honest. Yes, I know, many people have abused capitalism for their own purposes on many occasions. However, crooks are eventually caught, poorly run businesses fail and greedy entrepreneurs almost always end up ruining their lives – that is, unless the government bails them out – but then we all know that is not capitalism! You always have the choice to patronize another company. You can even choose to pay more to an ethical company if that is your desire.
Once again, the imperfections of capitalism are many; I do not defend greed and excess. You may prefer a different type of economic system. That is fine. We can still be friends, but I will take my chances with greed and excess if my freedom is preserved.
Be a good shopper, do your homework, research the best price, frequent businesses with good service, watch every penny and you can help the businesses around you get better. Work hard, think, treat people well and maybe someday you can run one of the good companies that are out there.
Thanks for choosing to read GLBL today!
Article by Stew
Photo by epicharmus