Workers Need the Rich to Buy Limos, Yachts and Mansions

Anti-capitalism seems all the rage. Malcontents in many cities throughout the world recently held demonstrations, including here in Seattle. Amusingly, in the Jet City, the police tasked with escorting the protesters outnumbered them, as they attempted to express their First Amendment “rights” by blocking Seattleites pursuits of happiness. For the left it was business as usual; it seems nothing is more important than what they believe.

It’s nearly impossible to imagine what, besides time and experience, could get through those granite noggins. The fact—yes, fact—that free market capitalism has made the world a much better place than the one it found on its arrival in the arsenal of American Exceptionalism, is undeniable. However, it’s also no mystery that these perennial protesters deny the undeniable. Logic seems to play a small role, if any, in their thinking and actions.

The anarchists, the socialists, the communists and the ignorant whine about the so-called “One Percent.” They ask derisively, how many jets, houses or yachts a rich person should have? I have two answers to that. One: as many as they want and can afford—it’s their money! Two: Hopefully, as many as possible. The second answer comes from all the aviation, marine and housing laborers who are responsible for putting food on their tables and keeping roofs over their heads.

The white-collar one-percent don’t physically build the cars; their blue-collar employees do. For every limousine, private jet or mansion built, companies need skilled and unskilled laborers to build them. Try making a list tracking all the hands involved in the manufacture of these products. General contractors, subcontractors, and designers; mechanics, carpenters, and bricklayers; stone masons, electricians, and plumbers; painters, landscapers, and gardeners; pilots, drivers, captains and crews; architects, accountants, and insurance agents and on and on. And this is just off the top of my head and not nearly a complete list. It doesn’t include the myriad ancillary businesses supported by the dollars these companies spend on materials, hardware, and parts, not to mention what their laborers pour into the economy.

No issue is as black and white as the social justice agitators would like to have us believe. Then again, critical thinking has never been one of the left’s strong suits.

 

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  1. Matt says:

    Nobody cares what the super rich are buying with their cash (other than elections of course). Current unrest is related to the shrinking middle class, and the concern that American capitalism has been continually distorted to benefit the few. Your argument is a straw man – intelligent critics of the oligarchy aren’t focused on the trivial purchases you emphasize here. I would go further to say these critics care more about a healthy capitalism with a solid middle class than your article seems to, as it acknowledges no shortcomings and appears to believe everything is just great. To make matters worse, you continue to childishly insult those you are disagreeing with. How could anyone ever find a middle ground with you? That is the definition of black and white thinking.

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      Steve Pomper says:

      Matt, Great challenge.

      First, I think we can engage in an intelligent exchange without insults. If you felt insulted by what I wrote, examine your own thin skin. My comments were hardly worth feeling insulted over. Although these days “taking offense” is an industry, so…. However, you seem to do what you criticize me for when you mention, “and appears to believe everything is just great.” Unless I overtly write that I believe “everything” is just great, please don’t assume I do. Crony capitalism has me in knots just like many people today. I advocate for truly free market capitalism. Just because I speak up for the benefits of the “little guy” who works to supply the rich with their toys doesn’t mean I disregard other aspects of the issues. Give me a break; there’s only so much time in a blog. Thanks for the thoughtful challenge:-)

      Steve

  2. Matt says:

    Hey, I’m not insulted at all. I was not a protester, I’m just a guy reading your blog, although “examine your own thin skin” is another statement aimed more at attacking the individual rather than the argument.

    I get it, you don’t identify with the left/progressive perspective, but here you have described the entire protest group thusly:

    *Anti-Capitalism, Malcontents: portrays group as un-American and edge-of-society types
    *attempting to express their First Amendment “rights”, but instead “blocking Seattleites pursuits of happiness”: so they have the legal right to march, but you don’t respect it due to their political leanings, and they are actually infringing upon other people’s rights by marching?
    *Protesters = the left as a whole, who only care about their beliefs / logic plays little to no role in their actions: they are fanatical and unable to reason?
    *Complaints amount to “whining about the 1%”: whining insinuates the concerns are illegitimate, or trivial
    *Anarchists/Socialists/Communists and the Ignorant; so three political leanings and an insult all go together?

    Please bear with my interpretation of the meaning of those statements, but there’s a definitely a negative drift, right?

    So these guys were organized by Anonymous. As I understand it, the major themes in these marches are problems with inequality, corruption, police brutality, and capitalism itself. I’m concerned about 3 out of 4 of those themes – how about you? Are you not also malcontent with the state of things? Or is “everything just great”, as I (perhaps?) incorrectly presumed based on your tone?

    If you don’t agree with the argument that the system has become increasingly slanted to benefit the 1% (actually a much smaller % I would say), why not focus more time explaining what has really gone wrong with American capitalism/the middle class rather than marginalizing the concerns of these costumed dudes? Why do they receive ridicule for suggesting that things aren’t great?

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      Steve Pomper says:

      Matt,
      Sorry, wish I had more time to address your challenges individually, but I have deadlines to meet. I supposed you’d have to stand face to face with these “malcontents” multiple times over the course of two decades to understand my reasoning and view of them and their perspective on the issues. Besides, I’m sure I’ve addressed those folks many times in my blog over the last few years. I’m not just watching them on TV then making my comments. I’ve dealt with them. They’ve hurled all sorts of infectives at us, spit on us, and have thrown bricks at us and urine on us. One of the self-proclaimed 99% defecated on a Seattle patrol car during the Occupy Wall Street nonsense. I’ll stick to my tack. Again, thanks for the challenges. Fun stuff. Steve

  3. Matt says:

    Yup, we’re all running short on time. Careful though, your disdain for the entire group based on your experience with a few bad apples seems pretty similar to the current anti-cop sentiment. The majority of protesters aren’t attacking cops any more than the majority of cops are abusing their power. It’s much better to judge each individual on their own merits and attack the arguments instead, and Limos/Yachts are not the heart of the debate here.

    Based on your non-answer to the most critical question, I’m guessing you’re not actually too concerned about the whole 1%/middle class issue. Maybe that’s where you’re coming from, it’s hard to tell.

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