Capitalism isn't the sort of girl that you want to be seen in public with these days, is she? But I don't care what the other guys say anymore - I'll gladly take her to a Washington D.C. dinner party - and sit her right down next to those shallow, brainless trophy wives that couldn't win a debate with the mirror if they tried. My honey's a keeper, and I'm not afraid to tell you why.
I don't love Capitalism because she's made me rich (although, compared to the worldwide standard of living, I suppose she has), I love her because she keeps me free; she allows me to live my life for my own purposes without some Parent-state telling me what I can and can't do.
As an American, I'm so used to this freedom that I really can't imagine what life would be without it. A few hundred years ago my forefathers got sick of Nanny Britain bossing them around, so they up and moved out - and I'd say they did pretty well for themselves. Now, I sense my country on the verge of moving in with that that meddling woman Socialism (who in a scary-old-lady way seems friendly with that crotchety Marx character from the fitness club).
But why would I leave the woman who has made my dreams come true?
So, I've set out to list my reasons for loving Capitalism - the free market system. If I'm moving anywhere, she's going with me. And if I know her the way I think I do, any move I make with her will be an upgrade.
I know I'm incurring the arrogant grins and chuckles of too-good-to-be-me university professors and White House staffers. Laugh on, and toast to Mao or Mussolini or your mother-in-law. I don't care. Because my woman has never done me wrong. I'm proud to be in love with Capitalism, and I want to the whole world to know. (If you've ever been in love before, you understand.) So, here are my reasons, America:
Capitalism, Capitalism, let me count thy ways...
You've ended the threat of famine or starvation for me, my family, and everyone I know who embraces you. Long ago, humans fought tooth and nail for the basics of life - now, I can't remember the last time I felt hungry.
You ended blood-and-war culture, like what I see in those movies about the ancient world. I don't have to battle my neighbor with a pick-axe for rights to goat-grazing land.
You raised the living standard for all, even people far outside your reach. How else do those remote tribes in Papua New Guinea drink cola beverages and wear sports t-shirts from America?
You've channelled my human motivations into doing my best for others. Rather than stealing and pillaging to grow my wealth, you encourage me to get educated, create new blessings for the world, and do things that my fellow man needs done.
You compel my "enlightened self-interest" to make me productive and purposeful, rather than natural selfish greed making me lazy and bitter. Instead of wishing for what others have (and trying to take it from them), you help me discover ways to earn it myself, by doing good for others in the form of services they seek or products they need.
You allow me to set my own financial goals and order my own priorities. I'm not beholden to some authority somewhere who gives me an allotted allowance as long as I do their will. You don't treat me as a child doing chores, but as an adult who can add real, unique value to life.
You allow me to share with others out of my abundance. It seems like every time I follow your lead, Capitalism, I end up with abundance - enough to survive on, and probably enough to share a bit as well. So when we do run into rough spots here and there, you've got me covered, especially if I was bright enough to save a little abundance for a rainy day. And you've always got more opportunities available around the corner.
You allow me to team up with others with similar skills to produce more than I could alone. I guess that's synergy - and you make it possible, sweetheart. I can join in with friends, co-workers, or investment partners with common goals in mind - and together we can do great good for the world, and provide prosperity for our own families and futures.
You align my work and money with my values: honesty, integrity, hard work and self-reliance. Under your care, I'm not compelled to take what isn't mine, or to get some government muscle man to shake down my neighbors so that I can get a free lunch. You encourage me to provide for my own and to work for an honest day's pay (or to pay someone else an honest day's pay!). You value my private property and compel me to take care of it, or even add value to it.
You root out corruption, waste, and fraud. Yeah, I know those things are part of my nature, so I'm glad you prevent me from going to far in any of those directions. If I get morally off-track, I'll loose my customers, or my job, or worse! But the more I save, the more I produce, and the better I treat people, the better my lifestyle or business becomes. That's why I really don't want to move in with that woman Socialism just to save on rent - she looks for others to pay her bills - and compromises her morality with that fellow Marx. It's just disgusting to think about.
You organize my labor efficiently so I can maximize my purpose (and my profit!). Yep, I said it. I'm happy for the paycheck I receive. And I know that if my company goes under, I really wasn't being as useful as I could potentially be somewhere else. Even with some temporary pain, you always seem to put people in the position where they can make the most difference, and do the most good, with the skills they have. And when things don't work out so well, you've got plenty of others around who can share from their abundance to help out friends in need.
You allow the free trade of things and ideas, based on my own choice. I'm so glad I don't have to beg Mom for a toy at the store anymore - if I want something, I can go get it, thanks to free market magic that puts the products of the whole world within my personal reach.
You lead me toward ever-expanding wealth and limitless opportunity for growth. If I follow your lead, I'll end up richer - and so will my neighbors. It's a beautiful thing (just like you, my darling).
You prod me on toward improving products and services. I don't know how else to say it: "You make me a better man."
You treat all people as equals, and I respect you for that. Success in your eyes has nothing to do with color or creed, where someone started or what politicians they're in bed with. You give everybody a shot - those who are willing to work can reap the rewards - and probably do far better than "just survive." After all, didn't you give us a society where people below the poverty line still have electricity, microwaves, TVs, cars with sport rims, and frequent trips to that Mexican restaurant? (That reminds me - my love - that so many people who live without you and see what I have - they're trying to move in too! Looking into your eyes right now, I don't blame them.)
You motivate me to invent and innovate. There's got to be a way to do things just a little better than before - and you give me the push I need to figure it out. Touch-screen phones. Airbags. HVAC systems. Hybrid corn. A better mousetrap? Still working on it!
You've given me unprecedented personal freedom to build, spend, travel, or give. With you at my side, I can be the captain of my own ship, literally. And thanks to you, some crazy bank out there is willing to insure it!
You keep me free from servitude to the Biggest Man. I don't mind working for the Man at the office or the factory, because he can't really control me. At the end of the day, he has to answer to you, sugarcake. But I know one really Big Man who could control me - he could even break up our relationship. You know, that government guy who always gets in the way of our plans? He promises the the world to me, but why would I believe him? He only has what he has by taking it from you. No thanks Washington D.C., I'll stay faithful to - my ever-beautiful and sweet - Capitalism.
You give me the satisfaction of reaping rewards from my life's work. When I come home at night to a warm hug and a hot dinner, I'm thankful, and I'm satisfied. I didn't take what I have from others. I didn't wring it out of my richer friends via forcible government "compassion". I earned it. Fair and square. I accomplished something good, I made the lives of others a little better by trading my goods and services with them. I may not have all I want, yet. I'm working on it.
That's the point.
And that's why I love you so.