We all can readily and easily identify that the United States is a capitalist country, but we rarely take a moment to step back and look at what, exactly, that means.
I’ve recently heard Andrew Puzder’s views about capitalism, and they make a great deal of sense. Let me share those ideas with you, which seems a timely reflection on our past and present as we reach the half-year point of 2019. Puzder elaborates on capitalism and describes it as a process whereby merchants and others who are in the business of selling their goods, services and products to the public must develop those items that they plan to sell so that the products for sale are consistent with the needs and interests of the public of consumers. In other words, selling goods and services in a capitalist society is a transactional process – products must be developed that are of interest to consumers and offered at a price that they are willing to pay. Isn’t that an interesting way to look at consumerism and capitalism. For years and years, we have somehow allowed the view to be put forward that those “greedy capitalists” put things out for sale to the public and, in so doing, rip off the consumer. But no one has ever stopped to say, “But, wait a minute – if the merchants and product developers were simply developing what they wanted, without asking for public input; and if they were charging whatever they wanted to without thought to the consumer’s willingness to pay, then those goods and services simply wouldn’t be able to be sold.” Instead, capitalism requires the transaction that all goods and services are actually wanted by the pubic – otherwise, they go unsold. That’s the excellent dynamic of the capitalist system. My many thanks to Andrew Puzder for reminding us of what the capitalist system is actually all about – it’s about the people who do the consuming. it’s a system whereby a compact is struck between producer and consumer, whereby goods are developed that are of a wide range, with a specific interest in offering excellent selection and quality, and at a price that can be accommodated by the consumer. Isn’t that a lovely process – how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy it.