November 20, 2017

Quote of the post-Communist Century

The great Andy Kessler laments modifications to capitalism -- either in language or operation.

It never ends. In 2012, Britain's then-Prime Minister David Cameron talked about "socially responsible and genuinely popular capitalism" and blamed Labour for "turbo capitalism." Whole Foods CEO John Mackey touts "conscious capitalism." Postdocs in Che T-shirts whine about late capitalism over $6 soy lattes. China practices state-directed capitalism. The jury is still out.

After 100 years of Communism (and Deirdre McCloskey would add, 100,000 years of privation), real-live capitalism looks okay.
My advice? Drop the modifiers. There is only one type of capitalism that works, and it goes like this: Someone postpones consumption, invests his savings to produce a good or service, delights customers, generates profits, and then consumes and invests what's left in further production. These profits are pure, generated from price signals between buyers and sellers, without favoritism from experts or elites. It isn't hard to grasp.

Profit is the ultimate measure of value to consumers--and therefore to society. Consumers benefit from buying stuff, or else they would make it all themselves, and producers benefit from selling, or else business wouldn't be worth the effort. Of similar value, profits go both ways. "Experts" who poke their noses in only mess with this fine balance. And who needs central planning when there's the stock market, where theories melt and reality bites? Stock exchanges are the true consiglieres of capitalism, providing capital to ideas deemed worthy of it and starving the rest.

Preach it,, brother! Preach it!

Philosophy Posted by John Kranz at November 20, 2017 12:12 PM

Sounds like Rand. And like her, the criticism will be, "That's an oversimplification. What about _________?" I think the best comeback is, "Simple enough to not be perverted into one of your camouflaged forms of collectivism. Keep your complicating modifiers to yourself."

Posted by: johngalt at November 20, 2017 8:29 PM | What do you think? [1]