Capitalism is Working Just Fine, Thank You

I was helping last Autumn on a landscaping project at my church. The first thing that I did was to pull up a small solar light that had failed after less than a year.

As I worked hard, and as the morning progressed, I noticed many people walking by. I know that many of them were unemployed because we have a low-income rooming house near my church. Many of these people had that dazed, wandering look about them. But that is to be expected. My church is in Massachusetts where the Democrats have ruined the state economy on top of Obama ruining the national economy with his policies.

Then I started to think: This failed solar light is an idea from the Democrat/environmentalist left. And these unemployed people are a result of policies of the Democrat left. In fact militant unions drove the big employer, General Electric, out of my town decades ago, along with 10,000 jobs. And I started to think once again that nothing from the left ever works. It is proven by history.

But oh boy, if you say that the Democrats are causing our problems they go nuts. They say that the enviro crisis and the economic crisis and everything else are all the fault of conservatives and Republicans. In fact Democrats often say, “If capitalism is so great then why is capitalist America in such dire straits?”

The answer, of course, is that America is not a capitalist nation any longer. It has become extremely socialistic precisely as our fortunes have declined. Under Obama’s far-left policies including Obamacare we have seen a massive spike in poverty and a growing gap between rich and poor.

Since the 1960s and Democrat president Lyndon Johnson and the huge expansion of government handout programs we have slowly developed a welfare-state population not with less and less poverty as the theory goes but with more and more poverty and dependency. Today we have record numbers of Americans on food stamps, almost 50 million people. Because the more money we give to subsidize poor people the more poor people we are going to have. It is simple common sense.

Look at the Welfare State today. It is gigantic. This is classic socialism. There are tens of millions of Americans who do nothing but wait for a check from the taxpayer. And everyone knows that lazy people who are not working produce no wealth. Then the same people pay zero in federal taxes. In fact is it being reported that almost half of all people who work and earn wages now pay zero federal taxes.

None of this represents capitalism and the personal responsibility that is a crucial element of capitalism. Because under capitalism many more jobs would be created and unemployment would be much lower; more people would be earning and saving their own money; citizens would be limited in the time that they can collect welfare; and everyone would be required to pay at least some federal taxes no matter their income, even if it is only $50. Because rational people know that the taxpayers cannot endlessly subsidize increasing millions of people who are not working or paying taxes. The math just does not add up.

Meanwhile the Democrats have ruined our economy with irrational policies like sweeping home-ownership programs for “the poor” that were the main cause of the collapse in the economy in 2008; with endless criticisms of our productive corporations from “consumer” groups and lawsuits from Democrat trial lawyers; with the highest tax rate in the world on our corporations; with relentless attacks on business from labor unions and the Liberal Media; and with a tidal wave of regulations and enviro restrictions that thwart the economy. In short we are largely a socialistic nation and our growing poverty shows it.

Then when it comes to actually creating jobs liberalism always fails. Because the only “jobs” that liberals create are government jobs that do only one thing – give away more and more of the nation’s wealth to an ever-growing government bureaucracy. And these jobs are always grossly expensive not only in dollars, but in cost to the economy. For instance these ‘green’ jobs often cost the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars each in government subsidy. Meanwhile private-sector jobs cost the taxpayer zero and then they produce the only real net wealth that our economy creates, including revenues to the government.

Here is a revealing quote from Democrat US president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s own Treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau talking in 1941 about years of heavy government spending for make-work jobs during the depression of the 1930s: “We are spending more money than we have ever spent before, and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt, to boot.”

So even though Democrats love to say that Roosevelt’s make-work government spending “saved” America even his own Treasury secretary knew that it did not. In fact it had the opposite effect.

Now the taxpayers are going to be asked to bail out the post office. The latest figure is $100 billion! And while the post office is no longer an official government agency (it is called quasi-governmental) it has for the last few decades been run just like a government agency with confrontational employee unions that have set the agenda and the rules, and with congressional approval required to run it.

Those rules sound just like government rules and include inefficiency and wasteful spending; inflated salaries, benefits and pensions; high-cost services that should have been terminated decades ago like Saturday mail delivery (Canada ended Saturday delivery in 1969); and expensive new post offices all over the nation. Meanwhile the public has been forced to subsidize this whole boondoggle with higher and higher postal rates.

But while a penny increase at a time for a stamp is barely noticeable the overall growth in postal revenues from the persistent increases has been significant and has brought many hundreds of billions of dollars into the post office, all of which has been spent on a bloated, inefficient bureaucracy. And as the post office continually raised rates and gave poorer and poorer service, fewer and fewer people have been using the post office. Much of that business has transferred over to the internet and to private companies like UPS and FedEx.

So now to solve its self-inflicted problems the post office wants a taxpayer bailout and had planned to close more than 3,000 post offices in rural America, which would be a big blow to rural America. Meanwhile the post office should have cut costs in a major way starting decades ago by ending Saturday delivery and restraining all other costs and becoming more efficient. But it didn’t. Because the money was rolling in and the unions took it all. And now the post office is broke.

Meanwhile there are many private corporations like General Electric and Caterpillar, the heavy-equipment maker, that have survived and reformed themselves just fine in the changing economy while those that did not adapt have merged or simply have gone out of business.

This all happened because the Democrats and their militant unions have controlled the post office and have run it into a ditch. They turned it into a big, lumbering bureaucracy that Americans are fleeing in droves. The very words “post office” have become a joke and a synonym for inefficiency and waste. Kinda like General Motors and Chrysler and their unions had to be bailed out by the taxpayers. Kinda like the enviro movement, with all of these solar panel makers and windmill makers requiring a big taxpayer subsidy, and often failing after that.

Even when you buy a simple $10 solar light for your lawn it often doesn’t last. There surely are millions of these lights sold every year that fail after one season or even less, like the one at my church. So the manufacturers profit while the product ends up in the junk pile. Gee, where are the “consumer activists” on that one?

Answer: They are eerily silent because the product has the word “solar” on it.

Imagine if ExxonMobil sold tainted gasoline and that millions of cars stalled out. The media would be hysterical. But when solar stuff fails, there is no outcry, like hundreds of thousands of very expensive taxpayer-subsidized solar hot-water systems installed on home roofs in the late 1970 that have mostly shut down and that started failing decades ago (they each would cost $20,000 or more today without the subsidy).

Then rather than reforming or closing down the post office we are being asked to bail it out just as we are constantly asked to pay more and more and more in taxes to support the failing public schools and ineffective solar energy. We should not. We should shrink the PO substantially and eventually transfer its functions to a private company like FedEx so that we can get our dribble of mail delivered efficiently and for a much lower cost. In the end this daily postal delivery should simply disappear. It is no longer relevant. Most of my “mail” today is junk mail anyway.

The Democrats will fight any privatization, however. Because efficient privatization always shows that government is a failure and that is just too much of an embarrassment for their big-government philosophy.

Indeed this economic crisis has exposed what works in America and what does not. And nothing that comes from the Democrat left works. The Welfare State is a failure, solar energy is a failure, the post office is a failure and our public schools are generally mediocre and often a total failure. And on and on.

Meanwhile FedEx and Home Depot and Caterpillar and Apple Computer and ExxonMobil and our other private companies continue functioning at the highest levels providing jobs, wealth and essential products for the nation even after many challenging years in business. And if they fail, they go out of business instead of being propped up for decades on end like the post office has been.

In other words private-sector, capitalist America is working fine at the same time that socialism is failing and tens of millions of people are not working and are living on the dole. Just like an electric light works fine with power from the utility but solar lights have a sky-high failure rate. And liberal states like Massachusetts and Illinois are failing economically while conservative, capitalistic states like Texas are doing just fine.

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