The Scrooge, the Mooch, and the Red Scare.

by lazyche

Seeing as how it’s become a hot button topic for the upcoming election, I’ve begun wading in the waters of economics.

Well, it’s nice of you to join us in the land of adulthood, Pan. Economics is a consistent part of the modern life and I am personally shocked that you didn’t already have a grasp of the basic theory. 

It’s a murky pool of almost unceasingly theoretical situations where a few humans try to dissect and recreate the motivations of others. It’s an odd sort of discipline, but in a world where finances define us as much as our physical features, I can understand the desire to pursue it. My own understanding is much closer to “fledgling” than “master”, but I’m already somewhat caught up in wanting to figure out what makes an economic system successful, and why people use their resources in certain ways.

The more I expand my meager studies, the more I notice a few trends.

Or as economists would say, “Derivatives.”

Actually, no. They would probably just say, “trends.”

Ha. Says you. This is a whole new world, buddy. Get used to not understanding the gnomey-clature. 

Do you mean nomenclature?

Look we use weird words like Land, Consumers, and Deficit, when what we really mean is Stuff-In-Nature-That-You-Could-Use-For-Stuff, People-Who-Buy-Things, and Having-Less-Than-You-Wanted-To-Have. You’re out of your depth here, buddy. It’s about to get all wordy-weird. 

Look, I’m not here to have a vocab contest.

Ha. Listen to this guy. Like you’d have a chance. Import. Enterprise. Fiscal. 

No, seriously. I had things to talk abo-

Listen to that last one. Fiscal. Fiiiiiiiscal. Let it just sink in. Fi—scal.  Fiscal. It’s like… as a word it has an edge. Fiscal. But it’s not a rough edge. It’s… it’s… sharp, but not jagged.

In the interest of time, I’m going to ignore that, and focus my purpose here. I specifically want to talk about some of the attributes presented by Capitalism and Socialism.

Fissssssssssscal.

They’re the economic systems that most dominate our social spheres these days, with “Yearnin'” Bernie Sanders and “The Big D” Donald Trump providing us with very appropriate avatars for each one. That’s not to say that they are the pinnacle of socialist and capitalist ideals, but that they actually look like those systems as a person.

“It just feels so” Bernie, for example, looks like the odd, simple cousin of Karl Marx, who would rather lecture his stuffed animals than take part in the Commie revolution. Though, you wouldn’t be surprised if, when questioned by the police, he shrewdly shrugged and said, “Never heard of ’em.”

“I blew my own” Trump, on the other hand, looks like a creepy, coked-up stock trader mated with an old, very used, hundred dollar bill. He epitomizes the fact that anyone in this country can become obscenely wealthy, but so few that actually deserve it ever do. I’m fairly certain that if Capitalism ever took on the guise of a human, it would be unabashedly belligerent, bigoted, and desperately trying to get into the government.

It’s hard to tell, here, if you’re not a fan of capitalism, or just really against the Donald. 

I’ll say this then, to clarify: I’m not actually against Capitalism.

Oooooh. Sassy.  And let me just say: Gross Domestic Product. Boom! That’s both a weird economic term and a Trump burn! I am so winning this post.

Lately I’ve been forced to give it a lot of thought, and I’m really not against Capitalism. It’s certainly en vogue for the youth of today to be anti-capitalistic, but in my brief tenure as a student of economics, I’ve realized that there are some good qualities that are innate to the system.

It’s adorable that you still consider yourself part of the “youth” of today.

Shut up. they don’t know how old I am.

That’s for sure. And now they’re all picturing an old fat guy with Cheeto stains and basement mold in his scraggly beard. Classic catfisher. 

Stop putting those images in their heads. That’s not what I look like at all.

Sure.

I had a point to make and now you’ve broken my stride.

It wasn’t hard since you haven’t gotten out of that chair for like six months. Boom! Fiscal!

My point was that I can see the possible benefits of Capitalism. I don’t believe that everyone who has championed the system is a greedy old miser. Although, I have also become aware that not everyone who champions socialism is a lazy slob looking for a handout. They both have their strengths and their weaknesses. It just so happens that the strength of one is mirrored in the weakness of the other, and vice versa.

I thought you didn’t want a “vocab contest”? En vogue? Vice versa? Well eat this: Keynesian! Monopolistic! Oligopoly! 

The strengths of Capitalism seems to be its ability to motivate. The market is motivated toward innovation and people toward hard work without using any extra stimuli. The system inherently provides all the stimuli that is needed. It’s an effective means towards economic growth and prowess. Without our dedication to capitalistic sensibilities, I seriously doubt that the U.S. would be as powerful or as relevant in the world today.

That strength is the same as a weakness in Socialism, motivation. If wealth is distributed without directly proportional labor, or appropriately applied earning action, then why would people want to work as hard? There are no historical examples known to me where a group of people is given money without working and then still wants to work. The work itself is obviously seen as less valuable and therefore less desirable. Building off of that, there is a lack of motivation for the market in general. If you don’t need cutting edge technology or techniques in order to maintain economic substance, then what’s pushing you to develop them?

The strength of socialism is equality. The idea that money will be awarded to workers in an absolutely fair and unbiased process without some sort of regulations or oversight is very naive. That’s not even considering the people who can’t actually get work in the first place. Leaving economics entirely out of it, we live in a world where people take advantage of one another. Socialism is an attempt to minimize that as much as possible.

Again, that is mirrored in Capitalism’s weakness. Equality in Capitalism is almost a moot point. It’s a system that looks broadly at the market and assumes that everyone not doing well either doesn’t get it, or is intentionally not taking part. The general thought in Capitalistic circles around here, is that someone who doesn’t have enough isn’t working hard enough. It’s a sentiment that is perpetuated by the myth of the American Dream. Let me assure you that the wealthy people in this country did not make it there by simply working hard. There was enough raw, beautiful chance in their lives that while working hard, or being given everything, or being situated well, or in spite of having nothing going for them, they found themselves in the place of fortune.

Liar!

What?

You said you had nothing against Capitalism, and, despite my better judgment that a stupid, moderately funny, hipster blog could ever be impartial, I believed you. Now you’re about to alienate half our readers just to make some quasi-political point that may or may not be real outside of your self-described “fledgling” opinion. 

Ok. I may have begun to lay it on a bit thick, but–

Are you kidding me?  It’s already all over me, and I’m SUFFOCATING! 

Just hear me out for a bit longer, all right? I’m not saying that people who work hard will never be wealthy.

You’re damn right, you’re not.

What I’m saying is that isn’t the guarantee that people think it is.

You’re damn right, you’re… wait a second.

The idea that working hard will definitely bring you success is often misleading, and sometime completely erroneous. In a completely free market people have the opportunity to, and are encouraged by the system to create a working environment that will guarantee bigger profits. Sometimes that benefits the employees, but it will always benefit the boss more. Simply stated it is not a system that is designed for equality. It is a system that pushes people to make as much money as they can without necessarily even considering those around them.

You’re killing me, Smalls. You’re literally killing me. 

You need to go find a dictionary somewhere.

I AM a dictionary!
Droppin’ phrases from my aerie.
I tally words left and right like a verbal actuary.
I’ll send ’em hard, break you down into a mental skerry.

What is happening?

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?

What?

Fiscal … Out.

I had a point here … somewhere. It was meant to be that both of these currently popularized systems have benefits as well as possible pitfalls. Most importantly, neither one is the complete package. There’s a strange kind of sentiment, these days, that everyone is either in one camp or the other. The people forcing the sentiment then go on to form their own McCarthian gangs and try to beat up everyone on their respective blacklist. The truth is that the good ol’ U.S. of A. is not a strictly capitalistic government, and we are not a strictly capitalistic people. We may be the most capitalistic country in the Western world, but we do have little bits of socialism all over our government and it’s been that way for a long long time. There’s nothing to be scared of, and there’s certainly nothing to be mad about.

All that to say … I plan on abandoning both systems.

There it is! I knew you had a classic Lazy Che approach to all this. We can’t be bothered with the economic systems of the past! Nice. 

Hey, where’d you go? 

Is that the end? You’re just ending it like that? … 

Oh. I get it. It was supposed to be like a big dramatic ending. “I plan on abandoning blah blah blah.” Boom. Shock. End of post. I guess I kind of sucked the drama out by prattling on, huh? 

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