Tuesday, November 9, 2010

No such thing as a free lunch

One of the things that the liberal crowd out there doesn't seem to get is that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Somehow, somewhere there is a somebody somewhere along the line paying for it.

The anti-capitalism crowd oftentimes doesn't seem to get the fact that the so-called fat cats were not always fat. At one point they took a leap of faith of some sort and created a business enterprise of some sort. When they did this they generally had a lot to lose.

In the business I am in, my investment really comes to a little more than a hundred bucks, and that is in the form of the various licenses that I have connected with the job. They must be renewed periodically, which is fine. Actually, when I started out in this business, the licenses used to be free.

So I really have a very minimal investment in my career.

On the other hand, the financial numbers that the owner of the outfit I work for has deal with are astronomical. He has really stuck his neck out and has built a whole slew of multi-million dollars pieces of equipment. I sure the hell hope it pays off for him!

Truth is, the owner does stand to get rich and I hope he does, but there's a whole lot more to that then some rich guy sitting behind a desk all day counting his money, smoking cigars and waxing fat. It ain't that one way. He works his ass off.

The guy I work for has created wealth.

Because of him there are a number of people that have good jobs that can afford homes, food, vehicles and a lot of other things. They pay taxes. LOTS of taxes. My employer has taken people off of the streets and made them self-supporting. In short, he has made the world a better place to live in by taking action and investing in himself and the country in general.

He's given me a pretty good job and I respect it.

One thing about capitalism that people forget is that not a whole lot of people get to the top alone. They have to bring people up with them. Gates put an awful lot of meat on an awful lot of tables on his way to the top. He made quite a few millionaires and created a slew of jobs for people that otherwise might be either unemployed of unemployed.

Of course, because the owner of an enterprise has made a comfortable life for himself, the envious start to complain that it isn't fair.

What in the wide, wide world of sports isn't fair about it?

We are all given the same opportunities to do just what he did. Any one of us is free to open a business of some sort and try and make a go of it, yet some people that have that very oportunity and do not take it seem to feel contented to gripe about someone else doing well.

But the whiners complain that it isn't fair so they gripe to the government to make it fair and the government comes along and takes some of the fruits of the successful (in the form of taxes) and give it to the whiners (in the form of welfare and other social proograms). This really doesn't sound too fair to me, really. The whiners have had every opportunity the successful have. Truth is, they have either been too lazy or made the wrong decisions in their attempt.

This mentality of punishing the successful begins early. How many of us have seen where a kid scores a piece of candy and gets caught eating it. The teacher promptly asks the kid eating the Snickers bar if he brought enough candy for everyone.

I grew up in the 60s and watched the hippies and I'll say this about them. They could find something wrong with just about anything and tear it to pieces. There was something wrong with just about everything and they were probably the finast all-around wrecking crew ever to arrive on the planet Earth. The Marines could learn a thing or two from these guys when it came to tearing things up.

Fact is, that's as far as it went. They tore things up and left them because they neither had the concepts nor the means to replace what they tore up.

'Good vibes' and 'creative energy' don't put food in someone's belly. It takes good old fashioned cash, or in the absence of that, a whole lot of hard work.

I remember watching a whole slew of them at a rock festival in 1970 in Connecticut. There were a whole lot of people there that were talking about how to take care of each other and damned few that were trying to solve the problem of how to keep everyone fed and taken care of. I remember just about the only people there that seemed to have any concept of organizing a free kitchen were the Cosmic Labs people, a pretty sharp dropout group that appeared on the scene.

Guess what, people? They used the same type of organization that businesses and the military does to set up their free kitchen. They took their cue from the very same evil empire they sought to destroy.

Why? Because it worked.

Being young, I decided to pitch in and help make the festival a little better. I had a curiosity about the psychedelic drugs that were going around during the era so I decided to earn from someone elses experiences about the possible side effects. I did this by pitching in and helping out at the trip tent. It cured me fast, as I decided after dealing with so-called 'bad trips' that gaining true enlightment and a trip to the booby hatch were too close to each other for my tastes. I chose to stay away from the drug scene.

The trip tent was really a makeshift booby hatch where people that had an adverse reaction to whatever drug they were doing were sent. A makeshift booby hatch of sorts if you will. I helped a couple of very overworked MDs deal with the problems associated with an overabundance of mind altering drugs and a shortage of responsible people to take care of the drug users that went over the high side.

Between watching the Cosmic Labs people trying valiantly to feed a bunch of hippies and working in the trip tent, I came to a few conclusions. One of which is that it takes competent people, work and money to get things done. While the Cosmic Labs people didn't have a whole lot of money to work with, they did have management and organizational skills and seemed to do a pretty good job considering what they had to work with. The overworked MDs in the trip tent managed, but you have to remember that even though they were volunteers, they were competent people to begin with.

The other conclusion I came to is that there are a lot of people out there that come in two flavors; they are whiners and doers.

Sometime after the rock festival was over and done with I found I had a little more free time on my hands and the good old MGB was running well so a pal and I decided to go and check out a genuine hippie commune on the other end of the state.

I have just read a Wikipedia article on the commune and it surprised me to find out that managed to stay together in some form or another for eighteen years after I visited it, and it had been up and running for two years prior to my arrival, so this is the perspective I had of it when I arrived on scene.

Most of the people I met were young and impressionable. They were idealistic and energetic.

The property the commune was on at the time was a bit ramshackle, but I understand it was improved later on.

My pal and I were invited to stay for a few meals which were actually a part of the recruitment process, I'm sure. One thing I noticed was there were a lot of government issued foodstuffs in the kitchen which told me right off the bat that the place was not as self-sustaning as they wanted me to believe. Government-issue foods were a sure sign of welfare at the time.

The next thing I noticed was the presence of the typical self-appointed charismatic leader that seemed to be the norm for a lot of hippie enterprises at the time. We heard that almost everything a member had was turned into the commune for the common good.

After a day or two of listening to a bunch of prattle about creative energy, good vibes and other fantasy rhetoric my friend and I decided that we were not going to buy into the lifestyle drink the Kool-Aid so we left.

I mention that the commune lasted for another eighteen years. How did that happen?

Simple. They turned capitalist, threw out unproductive members, opened a number of successful businesses, paid taxes and screamed to high heaven every April 15th.

How else?

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/

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