AmericanMissive — A friend of mine posted a link to an Op-Ed in the New York Times. The Op-Ed was by Hedrick Smith and entitled “When Capitalists Cared”. I read the article and responded on facebook. I enjoy a discussion about economics and politics, but in this instance it appears, like a Window Salesman, I have overstayed my welcome. Because I enjoy his friendship and do not wish to bombard my friend with more on his facebook page, I have taken this discussion on to American Missive.
To put it simply, I disagreed with the Op-Ed. I do not think I went over the top and turned into a partisan yahoo on the matter. (There was no name calling, and my blood pressure never rose during my reading or commenting on the article. Though, I should know, when the “see more” link starts showing up in your facebook comments, you have probably typed too much.) I just found Mr. Smith’s opinion to be factually lacking and based on false premises.
The reason I read the article was largely because of the title. I consider myself to be a capitalist, so I was curious as to when it was I cared and when it was I stopped caring. Unfortunately, I learned all these events predate my existence so it turns out my heart has no say in the matter. Apparently I am a Capitalist without any colleagues, in a cold, lonely land, with one of two options for a path forward, curl up with time and wither into the shadows, or prey on the less fortunate and rob them of their dignity.
I stipulated that Mr. Smith was presenting a false premise on potentially two fronts. The first would be juxtaposing total aggregate wages with the profits of a minority of businesses employing only a small fraction of the total American Labor pool. And the second was rooted in his conclusion:
“step beyond political rhetoric about protecting wealthy “job creators” and grasp Ford’s insight: Give the middle class a better share of the nation’s economic gains, and the economy will grow faster.”
On the first premise, I found the opinion to be based on a simplistic view of historical economic events. Mr. Smith gave little weight to the invention of the microchip, demonstrated a misunderstanding of economies of scale, a seeming lack of knowledge of German apprenticeships and governmental economic policies rooted in austerity, and the disregard for the scale of impact the 2 billion workers India and China poured into the labor market in the 90′s. His simplistic view of economic history was coupled with a gross misrepresentation of for whom the vast majority of the American middle class works. Or at least, would work if they were not unemployed or working part time.Continue Reading on americanmissive.com