I had some work done on my home by a contractor. I was very specific about what I wanted done. There were other things wrong with my house but I told the contractor to ignore them. Three weeks later I called the contractor and accused them of not fixing all of the problems, and if they didn’t come back and fix them I would call the Better Business Bureau (among other agencies) and report them as a bad contractor. Rather than deal with all the hassle, they came back and fixed the rest of the house even though they lost money on the deal. It’s OK, I’m a capitalist, I love free markets.
I went to a friend’s wedding last weekend. I bought a beautiful suit from a local store and had $200 worth of alterations done to it. It looked beautiful at my friend’s wedding. The Monday after the wedding, I returned the suit and told them that it didn’t feel right and I wasn’t going to try to get it fitted, I just wanted all of my money back for a suit that was tailored specifically to me. They gave me all my money back. It’s OK, I’m a capitalist, I love free markets.
I helped out with the music at my friend’s reception. I bought a beautiful amplifier from eBay, that we used to play music at the wedding reception. After the reception, I took the amplifier, hit it with a hammer, took a picture of it, and shipped it back to the eBayer who sold it to me, claiming that it was damaged in transit or before it was shipped, and I wanted all of my money back. The eBay seller reluctantly gave me my money back, claiming that the amplifier was in perfect condition when he shipped it and given the way it was packaged before it was shipped there was no way it could have been damaged in that way, but I got my money back. It’s OK, I’m a capitalist, I love free markets.
I started my own small company. I gave some of my employees fancy titles and insisted that they were “professionals” and paid them as small as salaries as I could. Since they were on salaries and I called them “professionals” I could work them late into the night as well as weekends and never pay them overtime. Some weeks, if you took the salary that I paid them and divided by the number of hours they worked, they made less than $7.00 an hour. It’s OK, I’m a capitalist, I love free markets.
Things in the business got so good that I hired my cousin, and made him executive vice president with a really healthy salary, company car, and company credit card, even when he knew nothing about the business, had dropped out of college, and had a drug problem. My cousin and I dreamed up all kinds of crazy plans on how to run the company, and never listened to the employees who were doing the work, getting their hands dirty and working overtime. The things we dreamed up on the golf course at the country club (membership paid for by the company, of course) on Fridays never worked because we had no idea what we were doing, and the salaried workers would have to work all kinds of overtime to take care of the customers. It’s OK, I’m a capitalist, I love free markets.
Some companies started doing what my company was doing. They started “poaching talent” offering my employees more money than I was paying them. It was unprofessional on their part to poach my employees and disloyal on the part of my employees to go elsewhere. This is capitalism; they’re supposed to love me, after all, I gave them a job. It was kind of like freed slaves confronting their master; I insisted that I had done all kinds of great things for them, and they appreciated none of it. This capitalism idea sucks. The people that I paid were very disloyal, and the new people want more money, which might mean that I cannot have a new car every year and have my company pay for the country club membership, among other things.
In order that I could keep driving expensive European sedans, taking vacations every three months, and all of the other perks that come with being a CEO, I hired “contractors” to do a lot of the work. I never checked to see if they were actual American citizens, because what did I care? It was the free market that was supplying the “contractors” and I got to keep my generous salary, company European sedan and country club membership. It’s OK, I’m a capitalist, I love free markets.
I have to be careful, though. There are people in this market that will do anything to make money. There are people who believe that the only “fair fight” is one where they win. They care nothing for their fellow citizens; they cheat anyone and everyone as much as they can. They call themselves capitalists, but all they care about is themselves, how much money they can make, how much work they won’t have to do, what kind of a luxury life they can have. Whenever they have the upper hand, you’ll never get a break, they’ll take everything they can from you, work you until you are sick, and then toss you like a used paper towel. They aren’t capitalists, they are elitist opportunists.
In case you’re wondering, I never did any of those things, never got even close. It is a made-up story describing someone calling themselves a capitalist. Hope you get it.