If you can't dance, the floor must be curved! This is an old saying I heard many times when I was a child. I liked it then and I still like it now. Whenever I fail, I remember that saying and try to figure out my incompetency!
Recently, I am hearing about capitalism and its ugly side. Some people already figured out how it has failed us. Not long ago if you threw a stone at someone in the crowd and asked if he or she hates socialism or communism, you would get a loud yes with addition that how much he or she hates Russia and China! And the crowd would join that person. Things have changed. I believe it's the highest point in the history of the United States that people started to like anything but capitalism.
Has capitalism failed? Or, we have failed and are blaming the floor for our misery! Capitalism cannot fail. Its application can cause some disturbance in a country, but there is nothing in capitalism that can fail it. Unlike socialism and communism, capitalism is not a system; it's just activities in a free market. Socialism and communism are very systematic and can fail abruptly if the system is not maintained properly. We have seen that many times. The EU Block has shown us. Russia has shown us. Moreover, China has shown us how it evolved its system to hold the hand of Capitalism to sustain its living!
Today's miseries in the US are not the result of capitalism, rather its application. Let me show you a very simple way of capitalism:
A milkman (A) is selling milk $2.00 a gallon. Everyone buys milk from him and he is doing well. A new milkman (B) comes and starts selling milk at the same price. Unlike A, who throws away the extra milk, B started to make buttermilk with the extra milk. He lowered his price to $1.85 a gallon since he also makes money by selling buttermilk and butter to his customer. After a few months another milkman (C) comes and starts selling milk, butter, buttermilk, and cheese! Competition is very high now, but it is very healthy for the customers because they are getting more products at a very competitive price. Population has increased thus milkmen A, B, and C are doing OK.
One day, milkman A was talking to his wife about the good old days when there was no competition. Milkman A's wife is very good in math. They came up with a brilliant idea how to increase their profit by lowering the price. Milkman A's wife calculated the whole thing out how much water to mix and how much to sell a gallon of milk mixed with water to increase the profit drastically. That was the beginning of the end! Milkman A started to attract a lot of customers from B and C. Then, one day A, B, and C got together and B and C found out the secret of A. Milkman A's wife became a valuable asset to all the milkmen. With the help of milkman A's wife, Milkman B started to mix oil in his butter. Milkman C started to mix plastic powder in his cheese. She successfully made the milkmen crooks! Eventually, people started to get sick. They got caught. Government got involved. Government started to bail them out for questionable benefit of the employees and consumers. The story of misery goes on and on....
Now the story could be different. Milkmen A, B, and C could continue their business without that extra greed, which brought all the miseries. Milkman A's wife could become a math teacher, instead. The society could sure use her math skills for good purposes.
Capitalism is not a system; it's just activities in a free market. It works best when education is applied to increase the value of goods and services—not the other way around. Consumers enjoy the most when free entrepreneurs make reasonable profit to sustain their livings and constantly increase the quality of their goods and services. It does not work very well when the magic of "profit making" call for some ill-conceived activities!
Well, if we can't dance, we can always blame the floor!
Summary: An entrepreneur can be a crook, but a crook can't be an entrepreneur! In Capitalism, there is no room for a crook!
(Was Published in viewshound.com in September, 2011)