Author and Activist
Blaming economists for your personal financial predicament is like blaming physicists because you dropped a brick on your foot.
I recently dealt with an unemployed youth who's dispair causes him to blame economists for promoting capitalism. However it is mistaken thinking to believe that economists create the world we live in today. The world economy is created not by economists, not even by capitalists, but simply but the insatiable greed of consumers who seek better and cheaper goods and services. Without this basic human greed, capitalists and economists would be redundant.
Economists support the capitalist position, simply because all the analysis shows that while capitalism is certainly imperfect, it is the best way of maximising output and creating wealth. Worse – even though it creates unequal societies it still provides better for the poorest communities than any other system!
The scientific socialist or even neo liberal concept that somehow it is the role or worse, the obligation, of the individual to take on the economic plight of the masses is simply a misguided understanding of human nature. Humans are self centred and self serving, any relaxation of this disposition is simply the false luxury of the rich. Philanthropists are rarely that, they are usually merely Capitalists offering a discount.
Are Capitalists inherently evil because they are self centred? It is simpler to say that humans are inherently evil, and then by inference all life is inherently evil. Capitalists create wealth. They do not make other people poor. The fact that they create wealth, but create it unequally is still better than not creating wealth at all. If you are unhappy with Capitalists, simply ignore them, sit under a tree and live in a non capitalist world. Capitalists will not chase you they will leave you alone. You will not stay under the tree for long. It is the greed of the consumer, the need for goods and services that drives the individual to participate in the capitalist system and not the other way around.
This does not mean that capitalist society turns it back on the poor. In a democracy we vote for the Government of our choice and the mission of that Government is to look after all citizens. In this sense all Governments are socialist. In the same way that capitalists seek self improvement, Governments must seek self improvement for the majority, or face democratic annihilation. Governments are not required to give capitalists one once of a break. They extract the maximum tax possible for the productive process and spread this as fairly as possible. The limit on taxation is only such that if the Government took more tax or increased the rate of taxation that the effect would be to reduce the long term intake. The competing interests is what sets off the grinding dynamic between all interested parties. The economic thought that proposes that capitalism is the best way of running a socialist economy is known as neo capitalism.
Scientific socialism proposes that Capitalists are not the best agents to create wealth. They propose that some form of committee system making unselfish decisions and risking other peoples money is a better means of production, that is more equally spread. The scientific socialist solution is its purest form is usually promoted by people in protected employment (government workers, university lecturers) and rarely proposed by people with a long standing history of production or tax delivery. Those that have suffered the burden of taxation, are less responsive to the idea that production output can be improved by engaging the management practices of philanthropists.
Those that have never actually undergone the day to day rigors of delivering profit on production, extracting the cashflow to meet taxation and a creating a return on Capital are usually those promoting the idea of universal employment at nominated wage levels. This thinking usually also promotes the idea that there is a Capitalist conspiracy to oppress labor.
I have personally never liked the idea of labor, simply because I do agree with the scientific socialists, if you work for Capitalists you will find that they are obsessed with profitability and survival and are reluctant to hand over assets to you. In labor you do not actually make income, you merely trade one asset (your working life) for another ( a market related stipend) So to avoid this I have effectively been unemployed for over 30 years and have made my way in world by selling goods and the services of others. Such a route leads to capitalism, an inevitably to taxes and death.
When I encounter adversity, my first instinct is to blame someone else. Blame the Government, blame the economy, blame the productivity of labor, blame the competition, blame the cost of capital. These are all dishonest emotions. The only person I have to blame is myself.
If I am low on revenue, it is simply because I am selling goods and services that are not wanted or I am selling at a price that is beyond that which the buyer is either willing to pay or is able to obtain elsewhere.
So to the unemployed youth that is blaming economists for his predicament, it is better to blame your teachers or sociology lecturers, for they have mischievously convinced you that there is a world out there that will nurture and provide you with income on some basis that is not rooted in your ability to produce goods and services that can be cleared in a market. Such a world can only exists for as long as it takes to consume the capital that is being depleted by such a process