So, I tend to watch the Sunday morning talkshows. I do this almost every Sunday, on the web, after the shows are off. I do this so I can stay up-to-date on the world of politics. I also do this because, sometimes, I get things to write about. Take “This Week,” for example. This Sunday, there were a bunch of dudes talking. George Will, the columnist and genuinely smart guy said something very interesting. He was defending Bain Capital and what Mitt Romney did when he worked for them. He’s the video. Go to the 6:40 minute mark.
Basically, what George Will said was absolutely right about Capitalism. He said that, because the iPod was made, record stores went out of business. And it was a good thing. Because the Nook and the Kindle was created, some bookstores went out of business. And that’s a good thing. To his credit, Gavin Newsom countered, saying that a company like Facebook being worth billions but only having 3000 employees is a problem and companies like Kodak going out of business is a problem.
George Will was right. Capitalism encourages people to invite new things in order to make money. But, by creating that new thing, other things are destroyed. Either jobs or actual products. Physically, things have to be destroyed in order to make room for new things. Buildings get knocked down in order for new buildings to be built. Trees, millions of trees and land is cleared to make room for our expansion. Capitalism is about growth. And destruction.
If you look at our current economics, it makes sense that our unemployment rate is stubbornly high. What else can be destroyed? When you hear the term, “New Markets,” it means new people to sell things to. Who else are we going to sell things to? Who else is left? Maybe we’ve hit a wall, the evitable wall of too much growth.
Then there’s pretend growth. The Housing Market crash was proof that the housing market was crap. But we all pretended like it wasn’t. Facebook’s IPO is another example. Billions of dollars for what exactly? If capitalism is about growth, expansion, and movement, destruction, this is a serious question. What is next? I believe we are slowly coming to the realization that, unless we build rocket ships and start going out into space, this might be it. And when you have millions of people out of work, and when you have people like George Will say, “It’ll get better for you once it gets worse for some more people,” I’m not sure how we can continue to have faith in our current system. And, god help us, this is the best one we have right now.