Comments: Altruist? Be a Walmart* Executive

English translation:

"P-P-P-PUH-LEEEEZE* don't go Galt on us and take your assets out of the system, where we can't tax them out of you. If you do, the economy will burn to ash like parked cars in the Parisian night. You should start businesses, even in this horribly anti-business climate where our government will do nothing to encourage you and everything to screw you under from six different directions. Why should you do this? For the poor!"

Were I to start a business today, it would be first and foremost to benefit me.

And yes, I'm feeling a little contrarian myself.

* best when imagined with that Roger Rabbit voice.

Posted by Keith at December 2, 2009 6:49 PM

Okay, I admit to being a bit peevish today, and a lot of the world is looking like a target-rich environment for my attitude malfunction. To clarify:

Yes, business and enterprise remain the very best way to improve the economy. However, over-regulation and a punitive tax structure are two institutions by which our overlords repress business - and they are just the first two that come to mind. If those in government believed in the power of business, they should do everything to foster enterprise, not destroy it.

Further, if the goal is to benefit the poor - presumably by employing them and thereby blessing them with paychecks in return for their productivity - then I have to suggest that this model calls for a labor force ready to report for duty. The poor don't magically become rich just because business moves into town, and I can speak from the experience of someone who's made probably well over a hundred hiring decisions in my career that a moocher mentality will not enable people to either compete for nor keep those jobs. This is a two-way street.

Posted by Keith at December 2, 2009 7:09 PM

Amen brother.

Posted by johngalt at December 2, 2009 7:32 PM

Tough. Damn. Room. Wow.

Posted by jk at December 2, 2009 7:55 PM

It's not that it's a tough room, jk; it's just that a blog that invokes Sharansky, appreciates Rand, channels Hayak, and quotes Mankiw is going to attract contributors who are a couple of standard deviations north of the norm in the intellect department. Yeah, that's a compliment, and you're welcome.

We're - wait for it - nuanced. We grasp the fact that the ONLY way out of the economic black hole the present and previous Presidents (not only is that elegant alliteration, but it does admit that Bush 43 certainly did prime this pump by pre-socializing the economy with the first bailout) created is productive entrepreneurship; but we also grasp that that ALONE won't fix the economy - necessary components also include a government willing to create a business-friendly climate and an employable workforce. If all you have is the entrepreneurs, all they are doing is carrying the moochers and the looters.

Hence the strike. The John Galt of Atlas Shrugged - as well as, doubtless, our own - would have taken issue with Mr. Shultz for that very reason.

Posted by Keith at December 2, 2009 11:24 PM

I've been busy, but after reading through...

JK, you are correct.

Keith, as JK explained in the subsequent post, Schultz isn't some collectivist. This is precisely how the Invisible Hand works: acting in your own self interest, as paradoxical as it seems to leftists, improves society after all. And why not? Wealth does "trickle down," although a better term is, "Wealth flows." As Abraham increased his flocks, he needed to hire more help. His men cared more about themselves than Abraham, but working hard in their jobs helped Abraham and consequently future employees.

Also, it's implicit that a business will start in a new location only if the available labor force is suitable. Some businesses will transfer an entire staff to a new center, but that isn't what happens in retail. Wal-Mart will open a new store somewhere because it thinks there's already a labor force ready to be tapped -- if not already capable, it's one that's trainable.

Posted by Perry Eidelbus at December 4, 2009 9:04 AM
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