Occupy Wall Street: American Capitalism and Free Markets (Part 2 of 3)
The American economic system is the best ever devised; businesses provide commodities to satisfy a consumer’s need or want. If that business cannot satisfy the consumer or does not change, they simply go away. While our OWS protestors carry an anti-capitalist, anti-corporate theme, the greatest contributions to mankind have occurred under the very banners and some of the worst atrocities have occurred outside of these themes.
The main theme of OWS is the greedy one percent capitalist like Apple’s founder, Steve Jobs. Steve is the 43rd richest American. Apple develops products that have enhanced lives for nearly five decades. People voluntarily exchange their money to experience what Apple products provide. Throughout the nation, protestors took time from protesting to purchase the new Apple iPhone and pay tribute to Steve Jobs. So, how do people like Steve Jobs (RIP), Richard Simmons (worth $325M), Rosanne Barr ($80) and Susan Sarandon gain the support of the protestors and others are demonized?
One of the greatest environmentalist’s was John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon. You won’t find his picture hanging on the walls of Green Peace or PETA. But in the late 1800s, oil from whales was used for kerosene and they were on the verge of extinction. Rockefeller introduced a cheaper, inexpensive fuel that revolutionized our lives. During that time, the price of oil dropped from 30 cents to 6 cents a gallon. Essentially, the innovations of Standard Oil saved the whales but we would never know that.
The greatest form of economic democracy is the Free Market, and this only occurs with capitalism. As a consumer, you take your votes (dollars) to whatever business provides the best for their consumer. If that business does not satisfy the voter, you may take your votes elsewhere. Throughout our country’s history, businesses have never been too big to fail. Before there were behemoth discount stores like WalMart and Target, we had K-Mart and prior to that JC Penny, Sears and Woolworth. All these stores at some point appeared to corner the market and were too big to fail. The innovations these stores brought to retail sales provided us all a better life and ensured that our lives were made better.
So, when Occupy Wall Street protestors demand government intervention for protection, remember that this will be placing another layer of glass upon our society. It is these protections that actually protect these big organizations because it stifles small businesses to become bigger. It limits the common everyday man from their ability to provide for one another and us from reaching our full potential. Hopefully, politicians, bureaucrats and OWS protestors do not throw out the baby with the bath water, or bite the hand that feeds them…whether it’s invisible or not.