In praise of greed

John Hood, stage manager at the non-profit Art Pope Puppetshow, is at his free-market best today with a selective nod in the direction of accepting reality.

The reality here is that most people act with regard to their self-interest most of the time. They work in order to feed, clothe, house, and otherwise take care of themselves and their families. They’ll also gladly give of their time and money to causes they deem worthy, but that’s not their primary motivation to work, save, and invest.

Fortunately, another reality to accept is that intentions don’t determine results. When governments use coercion to force people to act contrary to their personal choices, the results are often disappointing regardless of how well-intended the government program may have been. And in a market economy, individuals freely transacting business to mutual advantage tend to advance the common interest by promoting innovation, lower prices, better service, and economic opportunity.

How can you disagree with that? Individuals freely transacting business to mutual advantage. Of course in some cases, that mutual advantage means you're a kid who doesn't get the crap beat out of you. Sounds like heaven to me.

Of course, who really gives a shit about these particular kids. They're brown-skinned and they live in some other country. Plus they seem really happy to have their jobs. And the cost of their slave labor is totally factored into our ability to buy cheap shoes at Walmart.

That's reality, folks. Just accept it. Then you too can be a free-market fundamentalist with a clean conscience, knowing that you're just another greedy human being doing what human beings have always done.


The problem is - some folks here need cheap shoes.

There is an entire class of people in this country who can't afford to shop anywhere else, unless it's K-Mart.

I don't have an answer. My heart breaks watching that video. I don't have words for it other than that. I despise anything that harms a child. The fact - the reality - is that there are hundreds of thousands of children right here in the USA who wake up hungry, and go to bed hungry, and wouldn't have shoes were it not for the cheap ones at Walmart.

That doesn't make it right. It make the free market wrong, I think. Children, no matter their color or country, should not have to pay for the greed of any adult. It is up to big people to take care of little people. That includes making sure they have shoes to wear, food to eat, schools to go to, etc.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

I understand that

I really do. This is what we get from a world in which "market forces" are elevated to being parallel with gods.

The free-market extremists have no answer to this dilemma. All they can say is that things will eventually work out if the invisible hand of capitalism is left alone to do its magic. And until eventually gets here (as in never) it's pretty much tough shit for anyone who happens to not have the secret handshake.

More bizarre Puppet "reality"

great minds...

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

speaking of Hood

His friends at the Institute for Pushy Polling have been on the attack against North Carolina workers:

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McCain - The Third Bush Term

The only thing I remember

from a college class in Sociology was the story of a tribe, which may have been in South America, I'm not sure, but they became so hostile toward each other that they wouldn't even touch one another and of course the population died out within a short time.

I think the selfish nature of unbridled "free" markets is the same paradigm. It sets us in a competition mode that is money based. Do you know many rich people who think they have enough?

Progressive Democrats of North Carolina

Progressives are the true conservatives.


The only thing I remember from a Sociology class in college are the 5 conditions in society that must be present for there to be a revolution. Well - actually, I don't remember all of them now, just that the first letter of each one wound up spelling "PEPSI". Talk about free marketers!

Do you know many rich people who think they have enough?

I don't know that many rich people, honestly. But I know people who think I'm rich because I drive a car.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors