Not Capitalism

It’s not capitalism when a company or industry hamstrings new competitors. Capitalism means competition in value creation, not lawsuits and abusive legalities.

It’s not capitalism when non-competitive products or services are given advantages to keep things ‘fair.’ Capitalism isn’t fair. The superior products and services win out, and those who can’t keep up are outpaced and scrapped for parts.

It’s not capitalism when a dominant product or service maintains high prices due to a lack of competition. As costs decrease, so should prices, which makes everyone’s money more valuable over time.

It’s not capitalism to grow and defend an obsolete industry just to wring as much money out of it as possible. Growth for growth’s sake is not in line with the spirit of capitalism, and a smart capitalist focuses on improving the end result (say, power) not protecting the means (say, coal).

It’s not capitalism when an economy depends on purchasing for the sake of purchasing. Endless shipments of intentionally flawed products which perpetuate a cycle of ‘purchase, break, purchase’ is a system destined to collapse under its own friction. Ever-increasing quality, absolute quality, should be the goal of all businesspeople.

It’s not capitalism when unions are necessary. In a true capitalist system, employers would be competing for qualified employees and unionization would be redundant. The employer has the employee’s back, because if she doesn’t, her competitors will.

It’s a popular pastime to rant and rave against the evils of capitalism, but in most cases we’ve chosen the wrong culprit. We should be ranting and raving against whatever it is we’ve actually got, instead.

Update: February 22, 2017

I don’t agree with everything I wrote here, but I think the central theme, that what we have isn’t pure capitalism, is true. I also think that a lot of things that we philosophize about make sense when all human beings act a certain way, but do not make sense in real life (like many tenets of Libertarianism and Socialism) and as such require imperfect slapdash solutions which in some cases only worsen other issues.