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I, pencil

Des Plaines, IL. Feb, 2011. 

This edition will be more of a blog of sorts… The essay I, Pencil by Leonard Reed, is very interesting in it's claim that no one can make a pencil. It's a testimonial to the free market system as opposed to the central planning actions of socialism, and it's worth re-visiting in light of the current administration's plans to "create jobs".

That being said, let me step back and state where I stand in the state of the State. No, we'll save that for later, for now, I'll examine where I stand in the spectrums of Capitalism vs. Socialism, Conservative vs. Liberal, and the like. I don't particularly like capitalism, but I'm all for the free market system. I'm mostly conservative, but I believe in "safety nets". Let's do some definitions here… (what I think the words mean.)

Capitalism - The monetary system that provides a means of acquiring the funds necessary to start, operate, and expand a business enterprise. These means may be by bank loans, or by private or public investment.

Socialism - The system of government in which the state provides the goods deemed necessary for it's citizens. The "deeming" is the catch.

Free-Market system - A system of social interaction by which needs are met by an operation of "Spontaneous Order".

Now, for where I stand… I'm more Conservative than Liberal. Possibly because a degree of wisdom has set in with age, but also because I've seen that liberalism is essentially a relativistic notion that tries to say that everybody's truth needs to be accepted. It seems that anyone holding a firm moral belief is deemed as "out of the main-stream". In other words, you have to be firmly wishy-washy to be a true liberal. ;^)

I'm fonder of privately held companies, small business and large. Private companies are started by an entrepreneur, and usually they stay in charge. The small business owner is the one that is going to create the most jobs, basically because most businesses, by an order of magnitude, are small. Often these are at the entry level, but the owner will have to keep his good employees with good pay and benefits. The large business owner is also going to create jobs, but here the range of job/skill levels will be broader. Consider S.C. Johnson, "a family company". They used to be know as Johnson's Wax, and they've been in business for a long time. They continue to develop new products, and obviously, the types of jobs created are more than cashier.

My problem with public companies is that they are often driven by the immediate bottom line rather than potential growth over the long term. Not always, but often enough. CEOs are being paid 30 million bucks for "short term gains" that are often accomplished by job elimination. CEOs are EMPLOYEES! Pay them as such! If they want to earn that kind of money with their talents, let them be entrepreneurs. Another problem I have with public funding (sale of stock) is that it is very impersonal. Perhaps in the spontaneous order of things that is ok, but I think it helps drive the short term focus.

Enough for now

Item: Michael is starting a new business venture as a graphic artist and web designer.

Item: My brother Tom is undergoing Gall Bladder surgery as I write this; prayers are appreciated.

Item: Vince had surgery to remove a cancerous growth and is planning to return to Southern Illinois University next semester.


3D - Cross your eyes...

Item: An evolving section on Prayers of the Church.

More info from some prior versions of this page... Hurricanes, basement, kitchen, patio, etc...

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