Greed, Capitalism And Charity


In the same way that the Left characterizes climate skeptics as loons, educational reformers as child haters and minimum wage advocates as haters of the poor, the Left characterizes free-market capitalists as greedy bastards.  Any support shown for a system that rewards the successful is immediately attacked as shilling for the rich.

Wanna reduce taxes on corporations because corporations will move to where there are lower taxes?  You support corporate welfare.  Wanna create laws that allow businesses to hire, and then fire, the most qualified and least productive?  Then you don’t care about the poor and disenfranchised.

With all the tribalism in today’s politics you can’t get the concept through the noise.  You’re unable to penetrate the distinction between “my side” and “your side”.  It’s more important to win than it is to create a viable path forward.  I see this often in corporate America.  I see competing managers championing their idea to the detriment of the team.  I feel I’m witnessing the same thing here in our politicians.  It’s more important to “win the debate” than to actually be right.

Because of this, because the Left vilifies all those who want to create a system that rewards the producers while removing the ability to destroy value from the ineffective managers, we will never be able to have a reasonable debate that typically successful people are reasonable people who, as it turns out, love other people:

The donor whose $350 million gift will be critical in building Cornell University’s new high-tech graduate school on Roosevelt Island is Atlantic Philanthropies, whose founder, Charles F. Feeney, is a Cornell alumnus who made billions of dollars through the Duty Free Shoppers Group.

Mr. Feeney, 80, has spent much of the last three decades giving away his fortune, with large gifts to universities all over the world and an unusual degree of anonymity. Cornell officials revealed in 2007 that he had given some $600 million to the university over the years, yet nothing on its Ithaca campus — where he graduated from the School of Hotel Management in 1956 — bears Mr. Feeney’s name.

The $350 million gift, the largest in the university’s history, was announced on Friday, but the donor was not named. Officials at Atlantic Philanthropies confirmed on Monday evening that it was Mr. Feeney, a native of Elizabeth, N.J., who is known for his frugality — he flies coach, owns neither a home nor a car, and wears a $15 watch — as well as his philanthropic generosity, particularly to medical research.

It turns out that capital, in the hands of the skilled, produces significant value to all the world.  And, as a reward, the capitalist acquires significant wealth as well.  And then, in the end, he often gives that wealth away.  As if to say, “I have come, I have made a difference and now it is time for me to give it all back.”

 

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2 comments
  1. I think that I would have to disagree with you a little bit here. Although sure, the left is guilty of what you say, both parties are equally to blame. It’s not the a problem of the party itself, but more of the nature of politics. The right is often seen doing the same: naming Obamacare and taxes as socialist for example. Moreover, I think there are counter-examples to your point that rich help society. Sure, like Carnegie, the gentleman you mention above have done tremendous good for the world, but then there are others such as Donald Trump who have private jets with golden toilets and CEOs who take billions of dollars in profits with little economic risk. I’m not attacking any of the points you are making, I’m simply pointing out that these things, whether good or bad, are everywhere. There are plenty of good, generous people who dont have a lot of money.

    • pino said:

      The Hypothetical said:

      Hi. Thanks for stopping by.

      Although sure, the left is guilty of what you say, both parties are equally to blame. It’s not the a problem of the party itself, but more of the nature of politics.

      To be sure! Truer words have never been spoken!

      Sure, like Carnegie, the gentleman you mention above have done tremendous good for the world, but then there are others such as Donald Trump who have private jets with golden toilets and CEOs who take billions of dollars in profits with little economic risk

      Without a doubt. My larger point is that capitalism is a system, not a rule. That is it typically creates conditions that typically benefit the typical man. Are there times when hard working brilliant plumbers go out of business? Yes. Are there times when well intentioned workers are the victims of legitimate greed, absolutely. However, on the balance, more people are more better off because of capitalism than they would otherwise would have been.

      There are plenty of good, generous people who dont have a lot of money.

      In my saddest times, I must remember that man, in general, is a wonderfully compassionate creature!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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