How to Be a Capitalist When Socialism Takes Over
Capitalism has come under severe attack during the pandemic crisis. Many people believe capitalists are greedy, corrupt, and evil.
I’ll grant you, some are.
At the same time, true capitalists profit if and when they make life better, often saving us time and money.
For example, the Wright Brothers were the first to fly, but it took capitalists to build an airline industry, making flying safe and affordable for the masses. The same is true for using my cell phone. I can do business anywhere in the world, even while on vacation. I’m happy to pay for the use of my cell phone because it makes my life easier and makes me richer.
General Electric, founded by Thomas Edison, not only makes life better through electricity but also extends life through medical technology. I gladly pay for the benefits that GE medical products bring to my life.
And what would I do without my Apple computer? I might never have written Rich Dad Poor Dad if not for Steve Jobs making the computer simple enough for a non-techie like me to use. The few dollars I spend on my computer make me millions of dollars each year.
Be Part of the Solution
The definition of capitalism is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for a private profit.
True capitalists are people who use other people’s labor and other people’s money to do what people and governments want to be done. They use capital markets and enrich themselves in the process. If you work for money and invest your money, you are part of a capitalist society, but not necessarily a capitalist.
Karl Marx defined the proletariat, the working class, as people who do not own the means of production. When schools train you to get a job or work for money as an accountant, lawyer, or doctor, you are being trained to work for a capitalist.
If you expect the government to solve your problems, you have a problem. The problem is that the governments of the world are broke.
Rather than be the problem, become part of the solution: Become a true capitalist, focusing on giving more to receive more. The days of expecting to be paid more for doing less are over.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with having socialist ideals. We need people who care about others.
But when you believe in a “free lunch,” socialism turns to greed. And, as you know, the world is filled with greedy people, both socialists, and capitalists.
Socialism Taking Control
Socialism took control during the last depression. Massive government welfare programs were created. Rather than teaching people to fish, we gave people fish — even rich people.
If the United States were a truly capitalist nation, we would let the economy fall, not prop it up with bailout upon bailout. Bear markets, market crashes, and depressions are the economy’s way of hitting the reset button. Recessions and depressions correct the mistakes made and reveal the crimes committed during the boom times.
In recent crisese, instead of hitting the reset button, we’ve handed out trillions of dollars to the incompetent, the fraudulent, and the obsolete. Bear markets exist to clean out the faults, scams, and inefficiencies that grew from a preceding bull market.
I’ll grant you that lifelines to small and medium businesses during the pandemic are an exceptional case.
But too often, big businesses that grew too fat and lazy during the good times to compete in the bad times are saved from bankruptcy. Executives who are firing thousands of workers are given cash bonuses and golden parachutes as the businesses they were entrusted with protecting and growing instead contract and, as the company’s share price drops, investors lose their money.
That’s not capitalism. Today’s bailout government is socialism. In many ways, it is worse than Marxism or communism.
A Broken System
In my opinion, one of the bigger problems we face is our education system. It’s a system that still promotes earning more money for less work. Most teachers focus on job security and tenure, instead of how to teach more students with less of an investment.
Already, the best teachers are becoming rich because they are, first, better teachers and, second, using technology to teach more students.
The Chinese have arrived in the global marketplace and they know they must produce a better product at a better price, or unemployment will skyrocket as it has in the West. If the Western countries are to survive, we must get back to true capitalist values, the philosophy of doing more for less.
Unfortunately, the leaders in the West are primarily smart students who did well in school. The problem is that most smart students are trained in a socialist environment. Since most have limited financial or true business training, they leave school unprepared to lead in the real world.
Rather than promote prosperity, they promote austerity. Rather than promote production, they raise taxes that kill production.
The biggest problem with having leaders who are weak in terms of financial education is that it promotes corruption and greed.
Most of our brightest students are trained in a socialist environment, an environment that advocates taking from the rich to give to the poor. The problem is that the more we take from the rich and give to the poor, the more poor people we create. This pervasive attitude of wanting to be paid more for doing less must change.
Before this crisis in our country can end, the school system must change. Since the teachers’ union maintains a stranglehold on education, it’s easier to start a new educational system alongside the old system rather than change the old system.
I propose that we start a new school system to teach young people to be capitalists. Parents who want their children to become entrepreneurs rather than employees could choose to send their kids to the school system for capitalists.
For the best and the brightest in this new school system, we create an academy, much like West Point for the Army, Annapolis for the Navy, Air Force Academy for the Air Force, New London for the Coast Guard, and Kings Point for the Merchant Marine. Rather than a military focus, this academy’s focus would be on entrepreneurship and would be named the Academy for Entrepreneurs.
Since only entrepreneurs can create real jobs, this academy would help solve the growing problem of unemployment.
To qualify to teach at the new academy, the instructors would have to be real entrepreneurs, trained to teach and willing to teach for free.
If they are true entrepreneurs, they would have the time and not need the money.
In this environment of truly free enterprise, whole new industries could be born around innovative technology. Investors would be more willing to risk capital on projects that were intelligently developed.
In this environment of truly free enterprise, many of our most pressing problems, such as global warming, pollution, deforestation, and famine, could be solved. Rather than use government funds to solve problems, entrepreneurs could turn problems into profits, which is what true entrepreneurs do anyway.
Today, we have law schools for lawyers and medical schools for doctors. Why not a school system dedicated to entrepreneurship and capitalism?
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily