The following is based on an article I wrote in response to Lu-1328381 on the Newsvine thread entitled "Europeans don't hate America; they pity us: 'The U.S. is [seen] as a fraying empire of obesity, ignorance, debt, gridlock, stagnation and mindless war.'"
I'm passing it on because I want to share more widely my views on small business in general, and on how to maintain a healthy capitalistic system in America.
The comments by Lu-1328381 are in italics. Lu wrote:
You realize that many people in the middle class are conservative business owners who don't exalt the ethics of the wealthy, but certainly understand that any laws regarding business effect them in the middle class more often than those "evil corporations" because those in the middle class don't have billions of dollars to buy the government with, right? They might demonize those who have not started their own businesses, but that is because they themselves have struggled to do this and have achieved their level of middle-classedness through that hard work and struggle and sacrifice and realize that that is the only way for the middle class lifestyle to be achieved.
This won't work. If you have a middle class composed entirely of business owners, all competing with each other, the more able, or luckier, or better financed will soon rise to the top of the heap and put the others out of business. There goes your middle class.
To maintain a productive society, you need producers and consumers - and you need a lot more consumers than producers. These consumers, as a class, must be stable to maintain the producers, as a class.
With regard to private enterprise and essential services: When the delivery of essential services is entirely in the hands of private enterprise, the profit motive must take precedence over quality, cost and efficiency, because these people are all competing with each other. Cost of services goes up; quality goes down. You've seen this. Think Enron. Think Halliburton's electrocution of American soldiers in Iraq.
With regard to regulation, which is usually performed by government employees: Without regulatory agencies, there is no one to keep private enterprise, including the financial industry, from ripping off consumers and trashing the environment. Look around you.
People who only want to be given jobs that pay well are the scurrying rats...
What? Nurses, doctors, teachers, mechanics, carpenters, street cleaners, rig workers, etc., etc., are scurrying rats? This is the view you have of your fellow Americans? This is the respect you have for the American people?
I'm wondering, as a businessman, with this level of "respect", what kind of service do YOU give? Without valuing your customers, what kind of value do YOU give? What level of service and value will be given to you by others with this attitude.
those business owners can't afford higher wages without increasing prices, which ultimately will lead to price increases and wage increases across the board, which just raises the poverty level (instead of people making $30K a year being in poverty, people making $50K a year would be in poverty, and they would be the same people they were when they were making 30K).
There IS no sense in an America where an income of $30,000 a years should mean poverty. To maintain a capitalistic system, there must be consumers. There must be demand. There must be people with money to spend. Therefore, there must be, within the system, a means of circulating the wealth to ensure the existence of a market.
Increasing wages does not increase productivity, however increased productivity increases wages... and only increased productivity will bring us out of this rut.
Increasing productivity does not increase wages. This sounds like a rehash of Supply Side Economics, which even Lasser repudiated. In a market, productivity only increases in response to increased demand. No businessman with any sense is going to produce goods he or she cannot sell.
To succeed in business, an independent business person must know this. It is essential, in the marketplace, that you have respect for your customers and that you appreciate the importance of DEMAND in the maintenance of a market.
What I've been writing here is not rocket science. It can be seen and reasoned out by anyone willing to look at the capitalistic system objectively, and anyone who knows what it actually takes to succeed as a small businessman.
In America, capitalism is on the verge of going under because of the dwindling of the middle class and the resultant dwindling of demand for goods. This WILL affect the world because Americans have been the world's consumers.
If the US recovers, it will be because it has remembered the importance of maintaining its own industries to meet, as much as possible, domestic demand. This will be necessary to MAINTAIN domestic demand by bringing jobs back home. All this will result in the end of the Culture of Cheap, which will also have both domestic and international repurcussions.
No matter what decisions are made, things will change. The challenge of Americans will be to take charge of that change - not let it run away from them. This won't happen under the Republicans, but I'm not 100% sure that President Obama is a strong enough leader to be up to the challenge, either. He has, so far, shown far too much willingness to placate the forces that must be confronted.