I appreciate capitalism. I’m all for giving to and taking from a dynamic economy. I understand the need for competition and how that affects supply and demand. I get the pretty delicate balance of keeping ahead of the competition while not monopolizing the market. The consumer appreciates cost-cutting methods; everyone likes to save money. What I don’t quite understand is how huge merchandisers can cut costs and attract consumers and bring in oodles of revenue, and yet, their employees are paid so little they can’t even afford the products in the stores where they work.
I like the little guy. The underdog. I like local markets and mom-and-pop shops. Everyone needs a shot at making it where his passions are. I mean, we’ve seen it get to where the corporations steamroll small business, and those who have been pummeled just brush it off and swallow their pride and end up working for the corporations. Often they end up making more than they would running their own businesses. And that’s okay if they’ve accepted the untimeliness of their ventures.
The overpowering of smaller businesses is not cool. Seeing them thrive, observing their quirks and quaintnesses and giving personal and sincere attention warms my heart. Nothing would seem to be more gratifying than providing a service or product that people like and keep coming back to. It seems less distant, more genuine. I have a few friends that have gone into business together: web design, programming, marketing and consulting. The three of them make a pretty good team. They are competing against not only many other small businesses, but the giants with hundreds or thousands of employees.
How is what my friends offer any different or better than anyone else? How long will they last? Can they keep up? Capitalism brings in a number of variables and not a whole lot of guarantees. The beauty of capitalism is not one company’s total domination over its competition, it’s the opportunity to give it a go, knowing you have to start up just like hundreds of thousands of others trying to do the same thing. It’s the swim upstream, it’s negotiating position in an unsteady economy, it’s doing what you love first and then if it happens to generate income, that’s a bonus.
And that’s where I’m torn regarding the Democratic party. We live in a republic and by definition, the people rule. And right now, and lot of people want to see the government take control of healthcare and upper tax brackets. They want to see a more even playing field. That’s fair, but I don’t think it’s wise to expect or demand anything too drastic. I don’t think the people are prepared for that. I’ve forgotten nearly everything I learned in high school economics to give a rational explanation why leaning toward higher taxes or bigger tax cuts would not be a good idea. And yet, I can’t ignore the current state of the economy. I don’t know if I can jump on the opposing party’s bandwagon and call that being part of the solution, just because the current party in office seems to be a big part of the problem. There has to be more to it than that.
Our capitalism might be a little bit broken right now; it might be tainted and need to be sent through the wringer, but it does work.
Once I become a citizen of this country, I’m gonna have to register as an Independent, because the bipartisan system we have right now isn’t being all that clear for me on either side. While I tend to lean left on a lot of issues, I don’t know where I lean on others. I’m scared to lean. Sometimes I feel I’d rather hide.