Capitalism Didn’t Get Us Into This Mess

 A load of mule mush has been coming our way, and with that statement I apologize to all the mules.  From the halls of Congress, from the Oval Office, from the “Occupiers” and from the 47% who don’t pay any federal income tax at all, we’re hearing how capitalism is to blame for the current economic woes we face.

Well, friends, don’t believe it. 

Capitalism is nothing more than a system of exchange that makes it possible for us to obtain the goods and services we need, and the things that make our lives more pleasant.  It functions around the use of a particular tool called “money,” or “capital.”  Even the Bible doesn’t condemn money–it condemns the love of money.  Big difference, I’d say. 

Somewhere in our most ancient human past, there occurred to one of our ancestors that he’d like to possess something that was already in the possession of someone else.  Perhaps his first response was to take it by force.  There is plenty of that in history and it continues today.  But at some point someone in our ancestral past decided that instead of using force, he’d use persuasion and he’d offer to make a trade.  When the transaction was done, both parties walked away with something they wanted more than the item they previously possessed.

Thus, the barter system was born.  Trade was born.  But something easier was needed.  Sometimes only one party wanted the other party’s possession and there was no mutual agreement to trade what was at hand.  To solve this problem, money was created.  We are fortunate to have inherited the use of money.  We use it as a medium of exchange with our employer, at the grocery, at restaurants, and with our plumber.  Imagine how difficult it would be if all of these transactions depended upon the barter system!

Capitalism has brought more good, more ease, and more joy into human life than any other economic system.  If you can’t recognize this fact then you’re ignoring history.  Even those of us with meager incomes live better than royalty once lived a couple hundred years ago.  Perhaps we can’t command others to come and go at will, but our health and safety are better and our daily lives are more pleasurable and more comfortable.

So why are politicians and others condeming capitalism?  The answer is simple.  They’re deflecting.  Politicians, in great measure, caused this economic crisis by forcing banks to give home loans to those who couldn’t repay them.  Irresponsible policies at the Federal Reserve are causing this crisis to worsen as money is created from thin air.  And those who are not producing in our nation are demanding that the producers work harder and longer to give them the goods and services that they wish to have.

It’s the same old story with which I began this post.  Someone sees something they wish to possess, but it’s in the possession of someone else.  Rather than work and trade for it, they’d rather take it away by force.


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