Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Labour Day woes

Labour Day again. That outmoded day commemorating the struggle of labour against the evil capitalists. I would suggest that we set aside a second day to commiserate with those poor evil capitalists. Like that scene in Life of Brian: what did the capitalists do for us anyway? Erm...

  • They created a middle class and freed us of Feudal monarchs and princes thus producing the seeds of modern democracy.

  • They empowered women by enshrining property rights as one of our fundamental rights (although Aristotle was sympathetic to private property) enabling women to own and control their own property from which women could launch the emancipation movement.

  • They improved the standard of living by accelerating technological development through competition most notably by accelerating communication (through the Gutenberg press), improving transportation (through rail and steam engines) and by reducing prices (through mass production).

  • They have lifted billions of people out of poverty by generating wealth on an unimaginable level and are continuing to do so.

  • They improved the quality of goods sold through competition.

  • They have provided security for us as we grow older through efficient financial systems that allow us to save for our retirement with the confidence that our wealth won't suddenly disappear.

  • ...

But aside from this what have the capitalists ever done for us?

For more on the miracle of capitalism, I would recommend reading Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. Here's to capitalism's future and hail to chairman Friedman and general secretary Hayek:

Chairman Milton Friedman

General Secretary Friedrich von Hayek

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