Friday, February 12, 2010

Produce To Be Good

“Mommy what is capitalism?”
“ Oh, just another ism, like communism or despotism, only it’s the ism we’re living in. It’s a little complicated. You see the little fish gets eaten by a bigger fish who gets eaten by an even bigger fish who gets eaten by the biggest fish of all... We have to produce a lot of junk, like toys that break after you play with them once, clothes that rip after you wash them twice, and cars that fall apart after you pull out of the dealership. The best thing is for them to be produced in a U.S. territory, not the actual United States you see, but an island somewhere that no one has noticed or cares about. Then you can work foreigners to the bone and refuse them bathroom breaks and pay them pennies and still slap a tag that says “Made In America” onto your product. That’s how you make a profit. If Xu Lin doesn’t want to make the big bucks selling her body to support her family she gets a job in a factory making designer brand hand bags. Let’s say she makes 10 cents an hour and finishes 10 purses in one hour, how much did it cost to make one handbag? One cent. That’s right, although you also had to pay for materials so lets say that it costs you 4 cents per bag. Consequently you pay out a total of five cents. Then you sell the bag for $105. You earn a profit of $104.95. That’s capitalism. You could keep a factory here in the continental United States, but then you’d have to pay your workers at least minimum wage and you’ll probably have to offer them health insurance of some kind and that’ll cost you something too, so you’d end up earning a profit of only $95 dollars per bag. Clearly, you will make more money if you build your factory and hire somewhere over seas or just across the border in Mexico and take advantage of some truly impoverished peoples. You’re allowed to do that if you are a Capitalist, because capitalist are free. The other great thing about being a producer in a capitalist society is that you can form a corporation that will protect you from the consequences of your irresponsibility. For example, if I start pouring poisonous waste into our neighbor’s well to dispose of it cheaply and they get sick and die, I’ll have to go to jail. However, if my corporation pours water into my neighbor’s well and they get sick and die, the worst that can happen is that the corporation will get fined, but I won’t have to go to jail. That’s capitalism. In a capitalistic society you have the right to form a sociopathic entity to do all of your dirty work for you and you can sit back and reap the rewards. The other important part of capitalism is consuming. You need to buy a lot of things to be a good member of a capitalistic society. The more you buy the more money another capitalist makes. And the best part is that nobody tells us what to think. For example we can pray in whatever church we want to, or buy anything we want, or watch as much television as we want. Some of the other isms can’t do that because they are afraid if they watch certain shows or read certain books or pray to certain Gods or buy whatever they want then they’ll become capitalists too. And they’re probably right. Who wouldn’t want to be a capitalist? It’s the best ism of all!”

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