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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Who Hates Capitalism? Who Loves It?

A point was raised by someone somewhere (I know who but that does not matter) that college professors hate capitalism because their salaries are puny compared to salaries of people (possibly lesser lights) in other occupations.

The Austrian-economics blogger Gil Guillory wrote:

All sorts of people hate capitalism for all sorts of bad reasons. Why should I take seriously the concerns of someone who earns less than they think they should? If a professor can't pay his bills, then he has over-extended himself. Surely you don't claim that professors are below the poverty line or some such. Instead, professors should realize that although teaching and learning are important, their marginal unit is not necessarily that socially valuable, and therefore their market salary is not necessarily the same as someone who applies the knowledge so taught.

Elsewhere Bill Murchison lauds the recent news from Ford as painful to the employees but a benefit to us living in a capitalist society. Why? Creative destruction. A new carmaker will arrive with people with creative ideas to replace the crotchety or immobile leaders of the bankrupt monoliths.

While there are tears aplenty for those who lose jobs, there cannot be a belief in perpetual employment by one employer anymore. Those who moan about Ford's (and GM's) financial woes always approved the high salaries of union employees while buying Toyotas and Hondas. Look again at the piece below from Arnold Kling. Big companies are dysfunctional. Better to be nimble as a company and creative as an employee.

And better to buy great products at a low price.

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