Friday, September 30, 2005

Capitalism Appreciation Day

Rainbough Phillips at Distributed Republic had the splendid idea of a Capitalism Appreciation Day. She walked the reader through her day expressing her appreciation for every for-profit entity that made her life more pleasant. It inspired me to do the same.

I was awakened exactly when I wanted to be this morning, thanks to a GE alarm clock that has never failed me. I ate a satisfying breakfast courtesy of Post, which is owned by Kraft. I drove to work in an aging Toyota Corolla that is 10 times more dependable than a car from the government perk-laden American auto industry. I was able to work for a full day's earnings, thanks to the lawyers who hired me, and the companies big and small who hire them to protect them against largely frivolous lawsuits. My job was incredibly more pleasant than it would have been mere decades ago, thanks to the innovations of companies like Dell, Microsoft, Brother, and Pitney Bowes. And now I'm typing this on a marvel of minituarization, that would have been invented sooner by monkeys with pliers than some government agency: an Apple Ibook.

I'd like to expand upon this idea of thanking capitalism, with flipping off the government.

Screw you, CalTrans, who because you have such tin ears to market demand, won't innovate satisfactory solutions to L.A. traffic congestion. Thanks for that hour and a half commute.

Screw you, labor laws that keep my employer from letting me work more and earn more, because it would be too expensive with current over-time laws.

And screw you statists in general for making my paycheck so much smaller by taxing it to support your welfare state and attempts at social engineering.

GE, Microsoft, Toyota: these companies are lambasted by either anti-corporate zealots, paranoid protectionists, or both. But not one of these companies have taken my money without me offering it. None of these companies have threatened to imprison or shoot me if I don't support their idea of a "good product" or a "good outcome." Our relationship is entirely based on free consent. In most interpersonal relationships, that would be the bare minimum: freedom from physical coercion. And it would hardly be worth thanking. But in this world we live in, that freedom is all too rare. So to all those companies and individuals out there working for your money, and not trying to steal mine, thank you.