Can morality be best described as a commodity auctioned to the highest bidder within our oft maligned profit-driven society? That is the question that Paul Farrell posed in the Wall Street Journal's online publication earlier this week.
I know. I know. For the time being, it's best to overlook our unbearable misery as we consider the once unabashedly free-market news source and its tortured descent into liberalism's seventh ring of equity. In this Obamian Utopia that we are creating, many heralded conservatives have succumbed to the feel-goodism of state sanctioned avarice for the sake of pragmatism. Why should the Wall Street Journal be any different? Instead of the wasted grief over the infidelity of this previously great ally in the conservative war against materialism, let us, for a moment, consider the question at hand.
Does capitalism kill morality? In Mr. Farrell's opinion, it does. Billionaires control the vast majority of the world's wealth, says he. And that is causing disparity and the ultimate collapse of our economy:
"You don't have to be a fatalist to know that without a total economic collapse, market capitalists — including 1,426 billionaires, Wall Street bankers, hedgers, lobbyists and every other special interest getting rich off the new market society — will never voluntarily surrender their control over the American political system."
Quick side note - if this guy ever grows weary of peddling his prose on the evils of capitalism – how's that for oxymoronic – he might do very well as the next head of the Chicago Teachers Union and be an oxymoron on a much grander scale… just saying.
To the heart of Mr. Farrell's thesis, most of the planet's population lives in squalor while America thrives in its greedy affluence and coarsens to the despair of international hardship. In short, capitalism breeds corruption and immorality because it creates dysfunctional societies where everything is for sale. If the world is to survive, America must yank itself loose from the grip of this free market economy and embrace the ashes whence the new world economy will rise. I do so love the creative circumlocution of the Left in trying to hard-sell their socialism…it's quite whimsical, really. And hard-sell is precisely what we're talking about as the progressive thinkers continue the conscience-killing process of justifying the forcible separation of individuals from their property, profits and wealth.
You know, let's give credit where credit is due. Over the last hundred years, the Left has more than adequately expressed its rationalizations for slave market economies…Oh. I'm sorry. What would you have me call them? If you are not free then you serve a master and if you serve a master with a gun to your head then you are a slave.
Anyway, thanks to pop culture, education and the MSM, we are all fairly well versed in the arguments against capitalism…one might say that we're fluent. But what's the argument in favor of profit…an argument that we ought to start articulating if conservatives insist on registering no shame in the production of that profit. Is it possible that the yield of one individual can benefit society as a whole without government intervention and without the rise of post-apocalyptic economic collapse as Mr. Farrell insists is our natural progression?
I offer you anecdotal evidence as I recount my world-traveling husband's experience with the model socialists' vision of profit-free, progressive medicine. While we have frequently been entertained with the opus in favor of the single payer system, we might try ignoring the song and dance about how socialized medicine could be if we all lived in a vacuum and get the perspective of someone who has actually experienced this cluster – that is, if we want to make any educated decisions about how we will visit our doctors in the not too distant future.
On one of his many journeys into Utopia, my husband experienced a flare up of an old injury and he required medical attention to assist him with debilitating pain. He's had this happen before and he is familiar with the normal process of treatment. Now, his previous American experiences are what we might call a benchmark for judging the performance of international medicine. Benchmarking is good because it helps us to draw conclusions about systems that are broken so that we may go about the rather profitable business of improving them.
Now, my husband was experiencing severe pain…not an Advil pain or Aleve pain… severe pain one morning, so his colleague drove him to hospital (as they say) to have him looked at. They noted the squalor within that facility which was crowded and dirty and they decided to find another hospital. Not an auspicious start, I'll grant you. At the second hospital, the receptionist told my husband that it would be several hours before a doctor could see him, so his colleague drove him to a third hospital where they also told him that it would be several hours before a doctor could see him. So they drove to a hospital in the suburbs. It was clean but crowded and my husband could travel no more, so they began the process of procuring medical treatment.
Keep in mind that in the US, it would normally take about 45 minutes from the moment of initial registration to the time he could exit the sliding doors with a solution for his problem but let's not worry about that right now. Let's focus on Utopia for the time being.
My husband has insurance, of course, but this was not needed because health care is free in Utopia. Free of insurance companies, free of profit motive, free of the rich getting richer...you know the drill.
So my husband registered and sat down in a chair in the waiting room at about 10 AM Utopian-time. At 11 AM, my husband's colleague went to the registration desk and pointed to my husband who was slumped over in his chair with kind of a balmy green pallor. The very kind receptionist nodded and directed a nurse to their wilting patient with an IV containing a low dose of morphine. The doctor was still not available to see my husband so he was asked to remain seated until someone could attend to him. At 12 PM, the nurse took his vitals while he sat in the waiting room with the many other people who were attached to IVs and morphine drips. At 1 PM, his colleague asked how much longer the wait would be, but the nurse said that when they had taken my husband's vitals, his case was returned to the bottom of the queue as is the custom.
At 2 PM, the morphine was quickly wearing off and my husband's colleague went to the nurses' station, but he was told that my husband would need to wait another hour before he could have more. His co-worker – having never seen Terms of Endearment …
…went the "no problem" route and returned to his seat. Somewhere around the 3 o'clock hour, my husband received additional morphine and was told that he would have a CT scan. My husband said that he didn't think that was necessary because he knew what was wrong and just needed to get a prescription for the pain. Not to be sidetracked, the nurse waved his protests off and placed him in the queue for the orderlies to transport him to imaging.
At around 3:30, my husband's colleague asked the nurse if he could just support my husband as they walked the 30 yards to imaging and this solution gained her skeptical approval. Once there, he was placed at the end of the queue once again. For my own part, I'm thinking that the concept of FIFO has not been clearly understood by the people of Utopia. I'm not an efficiency expert, but perhaps they should consider studying those nuances as they might be applied to the world of triage. Just a thought.
At 5 o'clock Utopian-time, my husband was led away for his CT scan, and then, with his coworker's assistance, he walked the 30 yards back to the waiting room where his case returned to the end of the queue. He remained there until the doctor could see him which was around 10 PM. Would that I was exaggerating this process. Alas, I am not.
Ironically, the doctor confirmed my husband's self-diagnosis and he wrote a prescription for the pain. Important point to this story: the approximate amount of time that my husband was actively evaluated by trained medical personnel was about 45 minutes just like in America. It's just that those 45 minutes spanned the length of 12 hours.
And it wasn't that the hospital was short staffed. There were a lot of employees standing around waiting for someone to fall into their queue. There were other people getting slammed in the bottleneck because there was no motive to allowed for process improvement. That's where we are headed with Obamacare. That is social justice in action.
Redirect…is capitalism immoral?
I sure don't think so. My husband suffered through long hours of unnecessary pain at the hands of the socialists. Was this outcome more moral because everyone was suffering along with him? Was that better?
Additionally, he lost a full day of work. His coworker lost a full day of work. Everyone in the waiting room lost a full day of work. The hospital wasted morphine and scheduled unnecessary tests because people could not move through the intricate system of Utopian medicine with any level of productivity that would allow for humane common sense.
I contend that capitalism is infinitely more moral because profit motive encourages producers to keep their clients happy which sparks competition. Productivity not only makes the rich richer, it turns the 12 hour seminar on equity into a day where my husband and his coworker (and everyone else who was attached to unnecessary morphine drips) are free to pursue their own happiness and their own profit if they so choose. That pursuit of happiness was stolen from them in the name of social justice.
Let's be clear. Immorality comes from the minds of people who no longer see their fellow citizens as anything but a member of the queue. Capitalism is not immoral. Materialism is immoral. And regardless of what the Left would have you believe, capitalism and materialism are not synonymous. Materialism contrasts idealism, neutral monism, and spiritualism, and nowhere can materialism be seen to flourish with greater vigor than within moral relativism of the progressive mindset.