A friend of mine asked why conservatives were making fun of the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their iPhones, Starbucks runs, Hot Topic regalia, and high tech cameras used for broadcasting “the revolution.” The Hot Topic clothing speaks for itself…but his general inquiry was: “Aren’t they only railing against corporate greed?” My response: If so, three cheers for Corporate Greed!
With that said, the question must be asked: What the hell is corporate greed? If it exists, is it any worse than Public Sector Greed? If we’re going down that route, then corporations are the lesser of two “evils” every time. Businesses must respond to changing situations (e.g., the death of a brilliant CEO), or die off themselves. Anyone who has been around long enough can recall the glory days of their favorite big business (e.g., IBM, Ford, JC Penny) that are now designated as such because it couldn’t adapt to a cut-throat world.
Take a bet with your best friend. What’s more likely to happen: that Apple will be at the top of the tech world 20 years from now, or that the public policy disaster you hate most will still be lingering around under a different name meant to make it seem new? When a company fails to provide goods and services people like for costs they can afford, it figures out how to rectify the situation or it goes under. When the federal government employs a program that fails (often for decades), those in charge usually blame a lack of funding as the primary source of poor performance. The federal government has an insatiable appetite—it’s eaten up 14 trillion of our dollars—and still it demands more. And if you don’t feel like feeding it, too bad! You have to pay.
At least with Apple or Microsoft or any number of other companies we’re willingly handing over our cash. For the sake of argument lets say that Steve Jobs was a greedy guy. Let’s agree with the liberal premise that the majority of businessmen are in it for some weird Machiavellian desire to exploit the masses. Even if that was the case, at least guys like Steve Jobs have raised the standard of living for hundreds of millions (perhaps billions?) of people! As ReasonTV notes, “Sultans and students now have iPhone 4’s.”
I know that the liberals who communicate through jazz hands think that “greed” could be wiped away if we all just channeled our inner “razzamajazz!”, but it won’t. And given that, I’m pretty darn happy with the widgets and gadgets and wonder drugs our businessmen have brought to the market over the years.
Apple computers or Cash for Clunkers? You’ll have to excuse me if I put down the V for Vendetta mask the kooky Ron Paul supporter hands me, and I pick up a Macbook Pro. Perhaps Commander Mike Fossum of the International Space Station put it best:
“In every generation there are great thinkers and people that have the vision of what can be and then have the energy, the skill, and the genius to make it happen. Steve Jobs is definitely one of those rare individuals, and the world’s gonna miss him a lot.”
Steve Jobs never set out to end poverty, but through his inventions the definition of poverty changed. The federal government set out to END poverty, and has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars to do so. How’s that working out? Instead of throwing trillions of dollars at an impossible task, the world would be much better if we left that money in the hands of men and women with a knack for inventing products we didn’t know we wanted.
And now, if you excuse me, I have a protest song to listen to.