Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I Win When You Win

 

I’ve never bought into the belief that capitalism creates winners and losers. I’m no genius but, thanks to capitalism, I benefit by others who are. I’m not Thomas Edison, but his light bulbs mean that my day doesn’t end when the sun goes down. I’m not Henry Ford but I’ve got a couple of cars to get me where I need to go. I’m not Bill Gates, but I’m using Word to write this. I’m not Steve Jobs, but I can read news and books and make phone calls on my iPhone. When an entrepreneur wins in the marketplace, I win.

Yes, the next innovation could cost me my job. But in a free market, as long as any needs or desires exist, jobs exist to meet those needs and desires. Government is the only thing that keeps me from finding a new job. Minimum wage laws, employee mandates, hiring quotas, occupational licensing, monopoly grants all artificially limit my employment opportunities.

And the business cycle? That should be renamed the inflationary boom and bust cycle – yet another government-created lose-lose scenario.

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  1. Mark Camp Member

    Very well said.

    When a society becomes free, production shifts from satisfying the wants of the privileged for luxury goods to satisfying the wants of the masses for luxury goods.

    • #1
    • August 7, 2020, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Very well said.

    When a society becomes free, production shifts from satisfying the wants of the privileged for luxury goods to satisfying the wants of the masses for luxury goods.

    In the words of economist Joseph Schumpeter:

    The capitalist achievement does not typically consist in providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.

    • #2
    • August 7, 2020, at 6:28 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Rodin Member

    There is a logic that at some point you can’t grow the pie any larger. But the history of man is that if you do not stifle innovation somehow the pie keeps growing. There are times when it takes one or two major shifts in knowledge to do so, but if man is permitted to pursue that knowledge it has always come at some point. This appears (to me) to be a part of Nature’s Law just as much as any other event in the ordered Universe. So the forces that constrain liberty and seek to control men and reallocate rather than innovate, are fighting Nature’s Law.

    • #3
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:09 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnellJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Great post. A lot of truths succinctly put. Thanks.

    • #4
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:40 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Freeven Member
    FreevenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A handful of loosely related thoughts:

    1. I’m fond of saying A tax on anyone is a tax on everyone, which is sort of a corollary to your point. 
    2. I’m trying to get in the habit of using the term free market rather than capitalism. It’s easier to understand and doesn’t carry the negative connotations the Left has been working to attach to capitalism.
    3. The phrase free market ecosystem might be helpful in getting more people to reflect on how the market is a feedback loop, where everyone’s success (or failures) — from billionaires to paupers — is linked with everyone else’s.
    4. I’ve said for years that we should have a National Millionaires Day, to honor those who have benefited us all by their success.
    5. We should borrow from major league sports and create Free Market Trading Cards, which would picture successful businessmen/women with stats on the back describing how much their ventures have contributed to improving the lives of the common man.
    6. And so on.
    • #5
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:49 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. MarciN Member

    I am a fan of the economist Paul Zane Pilzer.

    The world I grew up in was and remains obsessed with “overpopulation.” That obsession comes from finite-pie economics. In fact, socialism comes from finite-pie economics. Add the environmentalists to that equation, people who believe most if not all resources are running out, and you have a recipe for global disaster where people are at war with each other. Everything in me rejects the notion that wealth is a finite pie.

    My husband lives his professional life in the world of finance, and he actually got to hear Mr. Pilzer speak at a conference he attended. I’ve never seen my husband become so excited about a speaker. Later we were on a long car trip at one point, and we listened to a recorded talk given by Mr. Pilzer. Everything he said made sense to me. This guy was looking at economics through a lens of faith and goodwill.

    If his way is the way we look at the world around us–and I think it was exactly that way in the heady exuberant affluent years in the 1950s–we’ll make the world fit that view. As it did.

    That’s the really sad thing about the civil unrest right now. If we look at the world as a racist ugly place, eventually that’s exactly what it will become. It’s a weird human phenomenon but real. It will become just the way we see it.

    • #6
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:58 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  7. Freeven Member
    FreevenJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    MarciN (View Comment):
    That’s the really sad thing about the civil unrest right now. If we look at the world as a racist ugly place, eventually that’s exactly what it will become. It’s a weird human phenomenon but real. It will become just the way we see it.

    I’m coming around to the proposition that that is precisely the intention behind the civil unrest. It pains me to consider people in such a cynical light, but it’s increasingly the only way I can make sense of the world.

    • #7
    • August 7, 2020, at 9:20 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. MarciN Member

    Freeven (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    That’s the really sad thing about the civil unrest right now. If we look at the world as a racist ugly place, eventually that’s exactly what it will become. It’s a weird human phenomenon but real. It will become just the way we see it.

    I’m coming around to the proposition that that is precisely the intention behind the civil unrest. It pains me to consider people in such a cynical light, but it’s increasingly the only way I can make sense of the world.

    I feel the same way. I don’t how to fix it. 

    • #8
    • August 7, 2020, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    One person engages in a mutually agreed transaction with another person.

    -Or-

    One person engages in a transaction with another, while a bureaucrat determines if the transaction was fair, and regulates accordingly.

    The first transaction takes two people to implement. The second takes three, or more. Capitalism is the system of efficiency.

    • #9
    • August 7, 2020, at 12:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Very well said.

    When a society becomes free, production shifts from satisfying the wants of the privileged for luxury goods to satisfying the wants of the masses for luxury goods.

    Yes. Free Market is probably a better description but some mistake a skewed market like Britain’s “Corn Laws” or our trade with China for Free Markets. With those few exceptions, it is a better term.

    • #10
    • August 7, 2020, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Ontheleftcoast Member

    . . .I think cities are a 19th Century anachronism. People originally moved to places like Detroit because that is where autos were manufactured. People moved to the South Side of Chicago to work in the steel mills, and those mills were huge. People moved to cities because that is where the jobs were.

    But those jobs are gone. And while the white collar jobs stayed, and people stayed because of the restaurants and nightlife and shopping even that has been changing. Amazon has killed shopping, and COVID-19 is doing a fine job of killing restaurants, and nightlife. And now that white collar workers can work from home and phone it in, what reason is left to crowd yourself into a high crime city? Or more specifically, a high tax city? Cities have higher taxes for several reasons, but when the amenities/services don’t work out to a good deal, people leave.

    Looking at that sequence of images [of the same set of houses in Detroit from 2009 thru 2015] again it strikes me as how fast a neighborhood fell, from being reasonably well-kept to being abandoned and burned to the ground.

    Meanwhile, the Left wants to destroy the suburbs and imprison people in the cities.

    • #11
    • August 7, 2020, at 12:30 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    Rodin (View Comment):

    There is a logic that at some point you can’t grow the pie any larger. But the history of man is that if you do not stifle innovation somehow the pie keeps growing. There are times when it takes one or two major shifts in knowledge to do so, but if man is permitted to pursue that knowledge it has always come at some point. This appears (to me) to be a part of Nature’s Law just as much as any other event in the ordered Universe. So the forces that constrain liberty and seek to control men and reallocate rather than innovate, are fighting Nature’s Law.

    The other part is private property. Joel Mokyr has an excellent history of technology that describes all the inventions of anonymous inventors. Perhaps the fall of Rome was a consequence of the lack of private property. Ot at least the Rule of Law.

    https://www.amazon.com/Lever-Riches-Technological-Creativity-Economic/dp/0195074777/

     

    • #12
    • August 7, 2020, at 12:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Full Size Tabby Member

    Richard Fulmer: Yes, the next innovation could cost me my job.

    The next innovation could also create an opportunity for your next job. The postal carrier just delivered to me a few minutes ago a couple of new accessories for my fairly elderly iPhone. Neither of these accessories were made by Apple. Even at a simplistic level, the creation of the iPhone by Apple/Jobs created an opportunity for others to create and to sell accessories to go on and around that iPhone. And of course at the more complex level, the market for “apps” for the iPhone is enormous, and did not exist as recently as 2006.

    The widespread availability of personal computers using common software enabled people to do tasks and conduct businesses that were previously impractical or uneconomical. 

    As a young lawyer in the 1980s working for a company that was involved with Global Positioning Satellites (GPS), I was surprised to discover that some of the earliest adopters of commercial GPS technology were farmers. GPS data allowed farmers to be more efficient at planting and treating their crops, for nearly immediate financial benefit. Taught me not to assume I could predict who was going to benefit from an innovation or how. 

    • #13
    • August 7, 2020, at 1:28 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Richard Fulmer Member
    Richard Fulmer

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Even at a simplistic level, the creation of the iPhone by Apple/Jobs created an opportunity for others to create and to sell accessories to go on and around that iPhone.

    I remember reading that, when cellophane tape first came out, no one wanted it. Then someone came up with a tape dispenser and tape started selling like hotcakes.

    • #14
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    There is a logic that at some point you can’t grow the pie any larger. But the history of man is that if you do not stifle innovation somehow the pie keeps growing. 

     

    History or experience trumps logic when it comes to innovation and growing the pie.

    Logic can’t predict the future. Neither can any ‘expert’. As Matt Ridley said, no one is an expert on the future.

    The worst part about price controls is it stifles innovation.

    individual liberty + property rights = prosperity

     

     

    • #15
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Very well said.

    When a society becomes free, production shifts from satisfying the wants of the privileged for luxury goods to satisfying the wants of the masses for luxury goods.

    Yes. Free Market is probably a better description but some mistake a skewed market like Britain’s “Corn Laws” or our trade with China for Free Markets. With those few exceptions, it is a better term.

    When did Britain repeal the corn laws? I believe it was 1846 

    • #16
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    No one knows how to make a pencil.

    It’s a very complicated process with many moving parts.

    Of course I can’t remember the last time I used a pencil.

     

    • #17
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:14 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Henry Castaigne Member

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbJ0aAKd0fg

    • #18
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:15 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Very well said.

    When a society becomes free, production shifts from satisfying the wants of the privileged for luxury goods to satisfying the wants of the masses for luxury goods.

    Most if not all innovation has benefited the ‘ordinary’ man more than the ‘rich’ man.

    Why did Henry Ford become rich and famous? The model T was priced for the ‘middle class’.

     

    • #19
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  20. MISTER BITCOIN Member

    MISTER BITCOIN (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Very well said.

    When a society becomes free, production shifts from satisfying the wants of the privileged for luxury goods to satisfying the wants of the masses for luxury goods.

    Most if not all innovation has benefited the ‘ordinary’ man more than the ‘rich’ man.

    Why did Henry Ford become rich and famous? The model T was priced for the ‘middle class’.

     

    The innovator gets about 3 to 10 percent of the value created by him/her. The rest is consumer surplus.

     

    • #20
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 1 like