16 October 2008

The answer to Obama's desire

John Maynard Keynes - Socialist Economist{{ru|Джон Мейнард Кейнс}}Image via WikipediaWhile speaking with "Joe the Plumber", he said that he didn't want to punish anyone's success but he wanted to make sure that those who helped him reach is success were able to share in the wealth.

Funnily enough, there is a mechanism in capitalism to ensure that this is the case. For a humorous view of this, please take a look at this Veggi-tales clip. You'll need to get past the opening scene until you get to the Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps.

For those of you too stuffy to watch animated vegetables sing, the story is this:

There was a veterinarian in the alps who had gone a little crazy. His approach was to yodel to the animals that were brought to him. After the yodeling, the Vet's nurse would then (surreptitiously) let the clients know what they could do for their ailing pets. The clients would then call to thank the Vet profusely.

As the practice grew and the Vet gained success, the nurse eventually asked for a raise. The Vet said no. The nurse then exercised his power by not offering his advice to the clients . . . to a humorously disastrous result.

In the end, that is the power that all those who "help drive success" have. I don't argue that there are times where a business owner is successful in spite of himself - where his employees are the actual drivers of success. But this is the anomaly. Usually it is the business owner who not only took the risks and worked the hours to create his success but he is the one who used his discretion in hiring the employees to help increase that success.

Employment is a contract - a covenant, if you will - between employer and employee. The employer agrees to pay a specific amount to the employee for a specific job to be done. The employee agrees to do the specific job for the pay the employer offers. If, at some time, the job changes or the employee feels that they offer greater value than the employer is paying for, they have the option to renegotiate the contract or to find new employment. The employee ultimately holds the power. If they feel passionately about that job, they can encourage other employees to join them in negotiating or leaving - creating a crisis where the employer will either meet the demands or hire new employees.

This is the free market capitalist system. The business owner is not guaranteed success. The employee is not guaranteed a job. The system that guarantees such "rights" is called socialism at best and communism at worst.

I have seen first hand the effects of both socialism and communism. I differ from many on the fiscally conservative right in that I don't believe that the two are one and the same. I had the opportunity to live in post-communist Poland and see the lingering effects of that economic system. I saw people line up to buy things just because there was a line. The stories I heard about why people did that boggled my mind. They would buy whatever was being sold because they never knew when or if the item would be sold again. Even if they couldn't use it, they knew they could barter it with someone else who may (or may not) have something they needed. But they were guaranteed a job and they knew that they would have a job to go to.

My experience with socialism came from working with a subsidiary of a German software company. They had employees who, after a couple of years working at the company, decided that their work was too taxing and just stopped doing what they didn't want to do. When I asked the owner why the employee stayed or why he didn't fire the employee get someone else, he explained that the German system A) took 50% of the employee's pay to provide the wonderful social services but that those were only available at the full level as long as the employee remained employed and B) required the company to continue to pay the employee if they fired him, up until they found a new job. . . regardless of how long it took them to find the job. The owner would rather pay full price for half done work than pay twice for one employee to do the work and one non-employee to find, or not find, work.

Wow. I guess that is the basis for the "The World Owes Me"

Not for me. No thank you. I want to know that I am successful because I earned it, not because someone legislated that success and made sure that we all were exactly the same.

Be the same as everyone else if you want. Count me out.

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