Mrs. Barack Obama is well known for espousing the value of community service instead capitalism with her comment “don’t go into corporate America.” This implies that striving for profits and wealth is unethical if not immoral. Of course in her case not being in “corporate America” meant pulling down $312,000 a year as VP of community affairs for the University of Chicago Hospital – a non-profit. I think it safe to say most Americans would not consider a salary of $312,000 to be a sacrifice.
Her husband is well known as a “community organizer” from his days in Chicago before he went to Harvard. His biggest achievement in that position: getting asbestos removed from an apartment building.
Bill Gates on the other hand left Harvard before graduation and started a company called Microsoft. You may have heard of it. Microsoft has created more wealth in the last 20 years than any other institution in world history.
So who has done more good for mankind, community organizer Barrack Obama or capitalist Bill Gates?
Gates just announced his charity, funded by his donation of Microsoft stock to the tune of $30 billion matched by the other uber-capitalist Warren Buffet, will be funding $3 billion worth of research into malaria, AIDS, River Blindness, TB and other disease this year alone. Compared to Obama’s getting asbestos removed from one building I think Gates contribution to the well being of mankind wins in a landslide.
Of course community organizers couldn’t exist without the profits generated by capitalism. Profits create capital, capital becomes investment which in turn generates more profit and on and on. Increasing profits means increasing tax revenue which is the source of all funds for community organizers, social workers and teachers. Increasing profits and capital and investment means more and better paying jobs which means more tax revenue. Capitalism generates more taxes and more charity and thus more good than any other system in human history.
On the other hand, decreasing profits means decreasing capital which means decreasing investment which means fewer jobs and lesser tax revenue which means fewer community organizers and lesser good.
You need look no further than General Motors, United Airlines or Motorola to see the negative effect of lack of profit. Did 500,000 former GM employees do more good (i.e. pay more taxes) or do the current 100,000 employees? Bankrupt United’s former 80,000 highly paid employees or their current 30,000 employees? Motorola’s 1999 employee roster of 150,000 or today’s 66,000?
Barack Obama’s favorite jobs, community organizer, social worker, teacher, can only exist in a world where Bill Gates and other capitalists have the right to make unlimited profits. How many community organizers do you think there are in such unprofitable countries such as Zimbabwe, Cuba and North Korea?
However we do know that capitalism’s wealth generation is responsible for such liberal concepts as the UN. The three most profitable countries in the world, the US, Japan and Germany pay for 51% of all UN expenses. The other 188 less profitable members pay 49%. So where would the UN be without capitalism and its profit motive and wealth creation?
It is understandable why politicians like Obama, Dick Durbin, Rod Blagojevich and Lisa Madigan are uncomfortable or even hostile to the capitalist system. None of them have ever worked in the private sector and have no idea how difficult it is to make a profit. They have never created a job (or the wealth creation that goes with job creation) or put at risk their own capital in hopes of getting a profitable return on their capital investment. In their minds every community organizer could be a billionaire investment banker if he wasn’t a dedicated public servant because making a profit is easy if you are just greedy enough.
If the areas serviced by community organizers had more capitalists and thus more investment there would be more jobs and wealth and less need for community organizers. For example in the Chicago Loop there are tax-paying capitalists cheek by jowl and nary a community organizer to be found.
On the other hand two miles from the loop, in the poorer areas of Chicago where Barack Obama worked, there are few if any capitalists but many community organizers. Which makes you wonder why Obama did not petition the government to make it easier and more hospitable for capitalists to open a business there instead of petitioning the government for tax money? The Loop shows that wealth creation is a community positive that negates the need for community organizers.
So in the final analysis what is the difference between a community organizer and a capitalist? The community organizer petitions the government for money, which ultimately comes from the capitalist, while the capitalist petitions customers for money which if successful results in money for the community organizer via taxes. So the source of the community organizers money is the successful capitalist. The community organizer considers his petitioning honorable while seeing the capitalist’s petitioning distasteful at best, immoral at worst.
If there were no poor people would community organizers have a job? And if the answer is “no,” what would they do for a living being as they are the die-hard anti-capitalists? Would Acorn and Operation Push disband?
Or is the philosophy that community organizers are more valuable to society than capitalists self perpetuating, creating a poverty-industrial complex at least as powerful as the military-industrial complex? After all we know that where capitalism flourishes wealth is created and where government flourishes poverty is created.
So who is more likely to rid the world of poverty, community organizers or capitalists?
Bill Zettler is the owner of a computer-consulting firm in Illinois.