by The Windjammer
When I was about 60-odd years younger and not nearly as smart as I am now (translate that "experienced"), I had a nodding acquaintance with a gentleman who was once nominated on his party’s ticket to run for vice president of these United States. That was his claim and I was too busy to try to research it to see if he was telling the truth. I suspect he was. The only problem was that his party was the Socialist Party and the timing just wasn’t right. He got less than 2000 votes and that was all over the U.S.
He still proclaimed that he was a Socialist. His son, who was about my age, also claimed to be a member.
We both had stores in the little town where nearly everyone supported home-owned businesses rather than the big chains like A & P and Kroger. Oh, Boy, I hope that last phrase is the only big lie I tell in this piece. I was an out-and-out capitalist and wouldn’t have denied it under any circumstances. He, too, was actually a capitalist (on a scale about two points above mine) but he would not admit it. I had two employees and he had six to eight, depending on whose fingers you were using while totting up the Workers. That was where the similarity in our capitalistic bent ended
He made money. I didn’t. I’m not sure why I didn’t, but I have a sneaking suspicion about why he did. I paid my two employees more than any similar business in town. One in fact received more pay per week than I took home to the wife and kids. I worked every day except Sunday in my little store and most of the time harder than either of my hired help. I’ll admit that much of that time was spent trying to comply with government regulations and to avoid cheating the IRS out of its blood money. That for me was just as hard as pushing a plow behind a reluctant horse on our rocky hillsides, a chore which I swore I would do no more..
He abandoned his socialistic principles when it came to the filthy lucre which he so despised. He did not want his workers to be burdened with too many finances which they were not trained to handle. If they went to the hospital, they had a choice, alms or else. There was a huge gap between his philosophical socialism and his practice as he saw fit. He was the only person I ever knew who would sell his soul for profit. OOOOPS! There’s another one.
I was in my favorite barber shop last week and the conversation turned to the troubles of Ford and GM. Ford and GM are a lot like me when they try to compete with auto makers who are subsidized in whole or in part by the government of the motherland. I just read that the subsidies may be in the form of health care provisions. At least that’s what a spokesman for GM is alleged to have said. The health care costs of employees and retirees are paid by the companies and they are hitting new highs. One estimate (it may be one of those educated wild guesses) projects as much as 15 Billion with a capital B. I jammed up my calculator trying to figure how much that is per car. GM is in deep, deep trouble and Ford is standing with its toes dangling over the grave site.
There is one thing that capitalists everywhere should be telling their socialistic workers. I coined an adage several years ago in one of my columns and it immediately became popular. I don’t know of a single instance of anyone else’s ever using it. "When you cut off the head of the goose that lays the golden eggs, the other end stops working." It may take a while for it to stop flopping, but whatever comes out of the egg port in the dying process doesn’t have much practical use.
Especially in a goose pasture.