" .. America’s embrace of the free market has done more than simply reduce malnourishment, homelessness and disease. "
Imagine my thrill at watching a wonderful lady several years my senior seek to make her fortune at an advanced age. I’m a chicken whose spring passed many years ago and this lady was scratching worms from the summer soil long before I ever witnessed my first equinox.
I discovered the spirit of America knows no age limit.
I truly appreciate inventiveness and the entrepreneurial spirit because, among other reasons, I verily appreciate America and the American spirit. America embraced the free market and capitalism at its founding and was willing to suffer decades of transition from the cash-poor/barter heavy society at the founding to one that burgeoned a slowly developed wealth as its first century waned.
And wealth is a wonderful thing for it is wealth, principally created by those who had a better idea, process or product, that produced a society largely capable of eliminating hunger, homelessness and disease. This is not to say that there are none who suffer hunger or homelessness or disease in this country, but only that those who are willing and able to interject themselves into the mainstream economy are largely capable of living lives today that completely avoid toothless scurvy ‘neath a cardboard box.
Yet America’s embrace of the free market has done more than simply reduce malnourishment, homelessness and disease. It has also helped to produce an American population entitled to a basic education, a very modest retirement, passable roads, protected landscapes, parks, libraries, and now, a disgustingly inefficient, impersonal and expensive heath care benefit.
Even beyond these supposedly deserved entitlements, we Americans have grown to expect reasonable access to groceries, health clubs, gas stations, auto parts stores, insurance agencies, pharmacies, theaters, restaurants, florists and the ever-necessary tattoo parlor/piercing studio. (The former benefits, of course, made possible by the producers of the latter.)
We should not forget that it is the government skimming of cream off the surface of privately produced milk that makes all entitlements possible but it is the milk itself that is, it seems to many, an ever-flowing stream of torrential mammalian nectar.
Assumed limitless production of this magic elixir makes the vision of entitlements also nearly limitless. Teddy’s progressivism begat Wilson’s socialism begat FDR’s New Deal begat Johnson’s Great Society begat Nixon’s HUD begat Clinton’s CRA begat W’s prescription drug benefit/NCLB which begat Obama’s everything under the sun which will sire the…what can we imagine…exactly?
A little pushback, I feel, is in order.
So, I stood in admiration of this woman at a local BP in northern Michigan who was working to create the wealthpot from which future generations might enjoy what is, even to this day, a yet unimagined entitlement. Like the industrialists of old she was willing to take her hard-earned capital and invest it wisely in an economy where capital is king and industry, both personal and collective, is royalty.
She marched to the counter and used her Bridge Card to buy the most expensive gallon of milk she could find in the county but wisely saved her start-up capital to buy herself 10 Michigan Lotto tickets (all the state enjoyed profits of which will go to Michigan schools!)
It is the wealth the free market created that makes such shenanigans possible. It is the unabated shenanigans that will lead to the collapse of our free market, one poor investment at a time.