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5 Lies That Businessmen and Capitalists Believe

Updated on January 20, 2017
TessSchlesinger profile image

Growing up in a political family, Tessa joined her first political party at 14. Her interest in progressive politics & economics continues.

Being Told Something Over and Over Again Makes You Believe It!

It’s hard not to believe what one is told when one is very young. So given that the propaganda for capitalism was plentiful as a result of the cold war, it was never really critically examined. In addition, the idea that there was a dribble down effect gave government the idea that if they supported business, then even the people who didn’t own businesses would benefit. In addition, business owners were put on a pedestal so that they could do no wrong.

Here are five reasons the ownership class give us for their ‘moral right’ to take the bigger piece of the pie.

Are Business Owners Really Smarter? Or Are People with Doctorates Smarter?

Of course, it’s difficult to prove that someone isn’t smart. However, one has a choice here. Either businessmen are smart and evil or they are stupid and good. That’s because so many of their enterprises come at the destruction of our planet, its people, and our long term common good. However, even if they were smarter, that still wouldn’t give them a moral right to take more of the pie. It is the value towards the community that

Businessmen are Less Smart!

Wai evaluated the general intelligence of people across professions. He and his co-researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at a random sample of 400,000 high schoolers which tracked them for 11 years...
Wai evaluated the general intelligence of people across professions. He and his co-researchers at Vanderbilt University looked at a random sample of 400,000 high schoolers which tracked them for 11 years... | Source

Do Business Owners Really Take All the Risk?

Business owners are not the only people who take a risk. I would venture to say that people who put themselves through trade school, university, or some other sort of training also take a risk. They take a risk that when they have become skilled, they will have a job waiting. Without their skills, no matter how much money the ownership class invests, they could not launch/run their business. In addition, in the United States, there is no labour protection, so people can be fired at will. This is also a risk. Yet another risk are the many writers, artists, techies, etc. who are asked to work gratis so that the ‘ownership class who took the risk’ can get the business running. They say that when the business is making a profit, then they will think about paying their staff. The entire point of the ‘taking the risk’ part is that the ownership class PAYS their staff a living wage. It’s only then that they can say that their workers are not taking a risk. The risk for workers and owners is equal. Each gives something different.

John Maynard Keynes on capitalism

Did Business Owners Invest Their Own Money?

In the old days, mostly the bank supplied the money with collateral from the lender. Depending on the way that the business was set up, if the business went bankrupt, they didn’t even have to repay the bank. Their personal possessions were/are protected. Business owners can also raise money through crowd sourcing and the stock market, thus demonstrating that it is NOT their own money. So they are not entitled to more of the pie because they ‘supplied the money.’ Even if they did supply every penny from their own pocket, workers supply their time and their skills. Why should their time and their skills have any less value than the money supplied by the ownership class. There is NO moral imperative for that, and it’s simply a marketing dictum to get people to be part of a system of unequal exchange.

In reality, as Thomas Piketty pointed out in his book, Capital in the 21st century, the people who are able to make money and go into business are the ones who inherited property! They didn't work to earn it. They inherited it. They, therefore, have the collateral to lend money and if their businesses do fail, then they are not personally responsible. So they take no risks.

Capitalism leads to massive inequality

Does Polluting Streams in the Name of Manufacturing Add Value to the Community?

The idea here is that without the business, the community wouldn’t have as many resources as they would if the businessman provided his particular services. Consider that where inventions and discoveries are involved, that it wasn’t their own. This is particularly true of artists where the writers and the musicians get very little of the pie. Consider also that in order to sell their product, they have to use a method of brainwashing (advertising, marketing, public relations, and spin) to convince people to buy their goods. One of the major reasons for the Great Depression was that too many goods were produced by the ownership class and people weren’t interested in buying them. That situation was corrected by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Freud, who taught business people that constant repetition makes human beings believe what they are told. Thus advertising was born. Nobody needs to buy a phone every second year and nobody needs to have a rubber duck in the bath. The landfills are full of things that weren’t really needed or which were created with a built in obsolescence date so that businessmen could stay in business. The ownership class does NOT add value to the community for the most part; instead the community adds value to each individual.

More to the point, all the things that require doing are not profitable so business doesn’t touch them. This means billions of people throughout the world are living in dreadful conditions because it isn’t profitable to serve them.

Far from being the best system that humanity devised, it’s as bad as any other. The best system devised so far is Socialism as demonstrated by countries like Norway, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, etc. They have the best quality of life, are the most highly educated, and are the most prosperous.

Seven oil companies, including petroleum giant Chevron, have been given until the end of the week by state officials to stop their decades-old practice of injecting oily wastewater into Central Valley aquifers or face penalties.
Seven oil companies, including petroleum giant Chevron, have been given until the end of the week by state officials to stop their decades-old practice of injecting oily wastewater into Central Valley aquifers or face penalties. | Source

Does Working Hard Make You Rich Even If You're Serving at McDonalds?

"I worked hard!" This is the classic retort when someone wants to justify ‘their success.’ Staff at McDonalds work 40 hours per week. And they work in horrible conditions at minimal pay. They work very hard. Others work three jobs (sixty hours a week) because they are only paid minimum wage and it isn’t enough to pay the rent, buy food, and all the living basic living costs. They work hard. The forty percent of students who graduated in 2008 but still haven’t found jobs worked hard. Most of humanity works hard. Working hard does not give anyone the moral right to be paid more than someone else.

Do you think your efforts are worth more than you are paid?

Do you think your efforts are worth more than you are paid?

See results

Is Owership Justification for Profits as Well as 150 Times the Salary?

In some African villages, the headman gets more than the other members of the village. However, he has a moral responsibility towards all the people in his village to ensure that they have food, water, shelter, and are protected from dangers. He will need extra resources to do this, ergo he is given those resources for the community. He also has a few extra things for himself because he works longer hours – not for his own profit, but for the good of the community. (Incidentally, this is the tribal model.)

That is a moral basis for being paid more.

Read the story of Ubuntu which demonstrates the African ethic of sharing.

© 2015 Tessa Schlesinger


Submit a Comment
  • Goodpal profile image


    4 years ago

    Yes, the quality of life in many European countries is far superior. Human life is multidimensional; one dimensional capitalism can't fathom it all.

  • TessSchlesinger profile imageAUTHOR

    Tessa Schlesinger 

    4 years ago from South Africa

    Classic answer of someone who has no conception that there are many economic and political systems aside from communism. There are NOT only two economic and political systems in the world, i.e. Communism is NOT the opposite of democracy and communism is NOT the oppoiste of capitalism. Why don't you read Thomas Piketty's book 'Capital in the 21st century?' You'll be more informed.

    I don't live in the USA anymore. It's a dog eat dog world. I prefer the socialism in Europe. Much higher quality of life. All people are wealthier, much happier, plus they are far better educated. They realize that communism isn't the opposite of capitalism.

  • dongately profile image


    4 years ago from Sana Clarita, California

    If capitalism is so bad, why don't you go live in a communist country?


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