Capital–what is it and where does it go?

The Communists maintained that private Capitalism was the Devil incarnate and that all capital would be eliminated by them.   Everyone was going to live in an Utopian paradise where it was all for the State and the State was for all.   Capital was such an evil that no one would be allowed to have any.   But if the capital was owned or controlled by the State then it was a blessing.  Sure enough they made a grand effort at erasing it from their system, they even killed millions of their own in the effort. 

Of course capital exist and always will.  It can’t be eliminated anymore than the air you breathe.   It is a question of who controls the capital.  Capital is the land itself, the ores of the earth, buildings, machines, artwork and creative works, and of course labor.    The list goes on and you can add more.  Even the Communists realized that the capital would not simply vanish but they sure wanted to give the impression that it had and that all the resources of the USSR belonged to all the people collectively.   That was a myth.  Who controls the capital is the real issue.   You don’t need to have a big salary if you have a big house, a dacha in the country and regular trips to the Black Sea resorts and access to all the luxury goods of the world.   Someone got to use all those things.  It was the Party big wigs.   Before the dacha might have been owned by a merchant, doctor or professor, now the dacha was not owned by anyone but the State but if you were a Party favorite you had the dacha as your own.

Even the Communist had to use money.   Their ideal of a moneyless  society never got anywhere.   I mean if you wanted a pair of socks you had to pay for them.  The Communists realized they couldn’t merely allow anyone to go to the “sock” store and take as many as they wanted.   And money was a useful tool they soon learned for controlling behavoir.   If you were a good Party man you would be rewarded with the higher wage.  Non members were left on the sidelines financially.   That wealth of capital labor was controlled by the State.   It determined what your labor was worth.   There were no unions of course because they had no reason to exist according to the Communists.  Everything already belonged to the workers  through the State.  Throughout the existence of the USSR it kept gold reserves just like  the capitalist nations they publicly demeaned.  

Over the last several decades we have allowed more and more of our capital to be owned outright by the Government or controlled by the Government.  Look at Fannie and Freddie as only two examples of this.   If you thought about it you could make quite a list of the American assets (capital) now controlled by the Federal Government.  Some are proposing even more of those assets come under Federal control.   The Congresswoman from California recently stated she wanted to socialize the oil and gas companies.   Many want the universal health care system to go the full nine yards and end up with the Government not only controlling the dispensation of medical care but the actual ownership of the hospitals, medical equipment and all pharmaceuticals.   All those are captial. 

Who do you want controlling those assets?  Maybe you do prefer the Government because you think the Government will take care of the people.  With that control and the ability to “reward” special interests or punish percieved enemies comes the power to abuse.   Anytime capital is taken from one of our fellow citizens it is all of us who are at threat.  You may drive a cab and think it makes no difference if the Government owns all the hospitals but someday the same Government might decide public transportation is vital also and seize your cab and make you a Government employee overnight, at a wage set by a bureaucrat in Washington.  Every time the Government stakes out a claim to an area of industry or enterprise, it is taking control of capital that formerly belonged to a fellow citizen.   Think well upon this and how much capital and power you want to cede to people far away in Washington.   I trust you, my fellow citizens, much more than I do them, speaking for myself.

We are all in this together. It is well to remember that in this political season.  As  Ben Franklin said “We must, indeed, all hang together , or most assuredly we shall hang seperately”.   Don’t let them pick us off one at a time.   Each of us thinking that it won’t be so bad and “they” didn’t take my job, my asset my career, it was the other fellow.   You might be looking at the “other fellow” one fine morning in the mirror.

The crepe myrtles are in their fall bloom and the hummingbirds are still flitting away in the afternoon sun.   The deer have their full antlers now.   Soon the ladies will be planting their fall asters and seasonals.  More than one grumpy husband will be pulled into that venture.   The low scudding clouds always look a bit different once the calender turns over into September.  Have you ever noticed that?  They have that “fall” look even though the temperature hasn’t really dropped that much yet.  I havenoticed this since I was a child.

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Filed under Culture, Economics, government, Politics

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