What is it and how does one acquire it? And just how does capitalism work anyway?
I would gather that most students are never taught what the dollar bill really is. I had the benefit of both public and private education and no one in my school was taught this. Have you ever really looked at a bill of the United States currency? It has printed on it ‘Federal Reserve Note’ which basically means it is an I.O.U. It is a piece of dirty paper that has no value except what the Federal Reserve Bank will back up.
To put it a better way, it is an I.O.U. which allows the bearer to trade it in on goods or services. Remember that; goods or services. In America, one trades either a product he or she has made or provides a service another wants or needs.
Most Americans go to work. They trade their time to receive a paycheck. Their employer either creates a product or provides a service that others trade their dirty pieces of paper for.
For example let us look at Apple. They produce several products that people need and or want i.e. an Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod or a service like iTunes. The employees of Apple trade their time to create the product or support the service that others will ‘pay’ for. In return, they receive compensation for their time.
Now the employee can then trade their ‘dollar’ for a product that they want or need like food, medical services or the like.
I know that some of you are saying that you already know that, but let us look deeper. Let us take two people. For the purposes of this argument, let us say they are twins and had the same environment growing up. Both men are valuable in their own right in society. As a human, each are indispensable and unique. Now, the first twin decides to be a janitor. A job that needs to be done and is valuable to society. The other twin becomes a neuro-surgeon. Also a very valuable service. Now the Janitor is a job that will not take years to learn. The basics of the job can be learned in a short amount of time. It does not mean the job is any less important. The neuro-surgeon goes to college for years. Goes thru a residency program for years. Then must go to school even longer to specialize in neuro-surgery. Lets say this twin did it all in 12 years for the purposes of this example. He has spent countless hours studying, observing, training and working with and around other people dedicated in the field of the human anatomy focusing on the brain. Both men provide a valuable service but one has learned his service in a fraction of the time the other has. He can be replaced more easily than can the neuro-surgeon. The amount of compensation for the surgeon will necessarily be greater because the service is more specialized and can not be done by nearly as many people as the janitor.
In these few examples, we do not judge the men. Both work hard and provide a valuable service. However the compensation for each reflects the difficulty in performing the service and the ease or difficulty of replacing them.
The more value in your product or service, the more of these dirty paper I.O.U.’s you can get. They act like coupons. It says that you have provided a product that someone else wanted and/or needed or provided a service that someone else was willing to pay for thus allowing you to then trade that coupon for goods or services that you want and/or need.
Too many people associate salary with human worth. Socialism says all compensation should be the same, Capitalism says all humans are equal in their opportunity to provide a service.
I recommend you look into Nightingale/Conant course entitle ‘Lead the Field’. Earl Nightingale does a much better job of explaining how capitalism works. Once you realize how capitalism works, you will see it is the best way, although not perfect, in allowing a person to succeed and excel in order to reach their full potential and benefit society.
The Thinking Tinker