By Columnist Charles Payne
“The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”
— Gordon Gecko
It’s becoming a Christmas tradition: “The 2013 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog” by Drew Magary for Deadspin has some really funny parts, and like any good comedy the piece is a reflection of real-life told in a way that might otherwise not be spoken out loud. I’m not sure if the aim of the piece was to shed light on what I think is the most critical of the problems in our country today, but for me that’s exactly what it does. The deliberate division of people in our country is under the guise of making our system fairer by taking the parts of our society, ripping them apart, and then putting them back together in a completely different way.
It is using the cloak of the income inequality debate that is raging around the world advocated by very powerful voices, like Pope Francis and President Obama. I think the former is using his platform in an attempt to shame and alter free market capitalism. I think the latter wants to ditch it altogether.
Pope Francis uses the entire planet as a backdrop for his concerns, which gives his questions about capitalism more credibility; although I still think his ire is pointed in the wrong direction. Capitalism isn’t a yoke on human progress- it’s the one proven economic system, that when coupled with faith, serves as a liberator for the masses. The poorest nations do have a path to self-reliance and prosperity when accepting and practicing the principles of free-markets. One can argue about how fettered they are or aren’t, but that’s a saw, used to shackle the system.
People aren’t perfect so there are rules, but the idea is to unleash potential and let winners drink from the chalice of victory, and others in the race will also be rewarded as well. It’s never a zero-sum game.
Even in a nation like Bangladesh (which saw that horrific fire in April that killed 1,130 garment workers fulfilling orders from European retailers which included Benetton, Matalan, and Primark) is blessed to have foreign capital pour into its country. Of course, working conditions where people are working hard to earn money have to improve, but the operative word is “earn,” which is what millions, the majority of which are woman, from rural areas are doing for the first time in history.
Free-markets must include free voices, and that’s also happening in Bangladesh, as once voiceless peasants are gaining leverage to shape national policy. As a consequence of this, the government in Bangladesh upped its minimum wage by 77% at the start of December, and now garment workers earn $68 a month. Outsiders that dwell on helping the poor through handouts, and those whose beliefs are the antitheist of capitalism, are threatened by what’s happening in Bangladesh.
The more people believe they can pull themselves up in life, the less likely they’ll be bought off with bags of donated rice, or sacks of flour dropped out of giant cargo planes. When it comes to giving away crumbs and mitigating dreams, the powers-that-be have made it an art form