reply to post by seethelight
Well brother, finally I am responding to your most excellent post a few pages back. So good was it that it required I think about it some and even go
back to Smith's Wealth of Nations, (still as boring as it ever was) and a few other materials so that I could reply intelligently and offer a
Before I do so, I can't help but first comment on the feeling of kinship I have felt with you since the first time you and I locked horns. Coming to
learn you are in Ireland I think explains the kinship I feel with you. I have never been to Ireland, the home country of my ancestors but hope to get
over there some day. Not to rely upon their health care packages, of course, but to see the beautiful landscape and to share a pint or two with those
who tend to all have a touch of the poet in them.
Now, to your post. First let me say, that I am pleased to know that you do not have to worry about the expense of health care, like we here in the
States do. I do not have health care at the moment, and it has been rare exceptions when I did have health care. I worked for a large casino in
Nevada for a while and they supplied full dental and medical as a perk and that was nice. Of course, I was much younger then and didn't really need
the insurance, but it was nice of the casino to give it to me.
This casino did not give me health insurance because they were required to do so by law or regulation and apparently they just thought it was sound
business practice to take care of their employees and do what they could on their part to keep their employees healthy. Go figure, a business that
would engage in such practices without being forced to do so. Hell, a corporation no less. Of course, corporations are in a far better position to
make such practice than smaller businesses which is where I had spent the majority of my time working.
Health care in the U.S. is now an expensive proposition and dental alone has become a thorn in my side as I age and require more work done, for quite
a pretty penny. Not that I find penny's all that pretty, except for when they are all spent on dental work with none left over to eat and pay other
bills with. One of the things I have noticed, not having health or even dental insurance, is that many dentist seem to have less interest in cash
paying customers who lack insurance. All most as a matter of course, the receptionist will ask, if I am new to that office, what insurance have.
There is a look of disappointment and even skepticism when I inform her, it is almost always a her, that I have none. In fact, they will always give
me a chart that lists what insurance policies they expect and recommend I consider getting some insurance. I am taking the time to explain this,
because I have long suspected that one of the reasons health care has skyrocketed in the U.S. is because so many people have insurance, and since the
direct relationship between doctor and patient has been replaced with a middle man, the cost has risen.
I also think there is a real problem of overcharging for services when the perception is that it is a major corporation that can more than afford to
pay the cost. Conversely, there is also a problem where insurance companies will deny essential programs as not viable, but this is a different
issue, as just because an insurance company won't pay for something doesn't mean a patient can't find other options to fund the option.
Insurance companies won't pay for cosmetic applications in dentistry, and this can be expensive. Insurance is insurance and for the longest time,
the industry as a whole was viewed as usury. It is a form of speculation which is a complex issue that many people don't take the time to understand
or consider. Indeed, there are many who have invested in the stock market through 401k's and other programs that are now incensed that their
investments have waned rather than yield a profit, somehow thinking that risk was not at all a factor in such an investment.
One of the greatest problems, at least in the U.S., and what led to so many people opting for IRA's and 401k's, was that the Fed had for so long
suppressed interest rates, below the rate of inflation, that it was not at all prudent to save ones money in a bank. Savings for many years was
considered to be the surest and smartest way to build equity, that along with purchasing bonds and treasury notes, but that all changed after '72
when Nixon took the dollar off of the "gold standard" and allowed the Federal Reserve to begin issuing fiat money.
The fiat money that has so undermined the U.S. currency coupled with suppressed interest rates encouraged people to stop saving, invest in riskier
prospects or buy goods as consumers and not worry about savings, instead mortgaging homes and living life in debt. Hardly sound business practices,
but it is what happened none the less.
Anyway, on to the self destructive nature of business. I continue to argue in this thread that capitalism is predicated on massive competition which
lends itself to smaller and midsized businesses than it does multinational conglomerates in the form of corporations. Before getting into the bubbles
you mentioned and the bailouts that should have never happened, I will first jump to pointing out the plenty of small to midsized businesses that do
work and responsibly so. Mostly because I have limited space in this post and addressing the bubbles and bailouts will require more space than I have
left in this post.
My parents owned restaurants since I was eight years old and did so for a number of years. I worked for them when I was a child and when I got old
enough to establish my own independence, and being the rebel I was, by the time I was 14 years old, I began working for their competitors. Mostly
because they paid better than my parents did. (damn slave wages!) Not that my parents didn't offer competitive wages for non family members, just
us kids who were the serfs.
I worked as a bus boy and graduated to a waiter, and became a bartender when I turned 21 years of age. Every restaurant and bar I worked for were
small to midsized businesses that acted responsibly and the owners did not strike me as being greedy at all. However, I did work with many waiters,
waitresses and other bartenders who often stole food or from the till, justifying their actions because they viewed our employers as greedy and evil.
Businesses have a serious problem with theft, much of it coming from their own employees.
When I first moved to L.A., it was during a recession and bartending work did not come as quickly as I would have liked, so I found myself in sales,
telemarketing mostly, which could lead to greedy employers who would many times decide that their salesman were making too much and reduce the amount
of commissions paid. Any time this happened, I and many other salesman/women would walk away. Most of those owners and proprietors would usually
come crawling our way begging us to return and agreeing to pay or meet our demands. Capitalism baby!
With the remaining characters I will list small to midsized businesses that act responsibly and that far outweigh the list you provided to counter
your claim that business are prey to greed that leads to collapse.
1.) Cafe's, restaurants, and saloons
2.) Landscaping and pool services
4.) Auto mechanics and body shops
5.) Shoe sellers, repairs and cobblers
6.) Book sellers
7.) Carpentry and furniture stores
10.) Neighborhood grocers and farmer's markets
11.) Private schools, and private tutors
12.) Doctors of general practice and vetenarians
16.) Computer repair shops, and other such repairs
17.) Tobacco shops and liquor stores
I'm out of space, but this should do.