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Where Have All the Capitalists Gone?
September 4, 2011
by William P. Meyers

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Gone to socialists, every one.

In our media saturated society anyone might think we are going through a major revival of free market capitalism. It is the Tea Party and Republican Party verbal remedy for all that ails American society.

Socialism and even just ordinary good government are anathema. You would think the government owns Walmart or General Electric, or the entire S&P 500, given the way the political candidates carry on. Even government regulations, like not selling poisoned food, are decried as socialistic.

The entire business community of America, and the workers who follow their leadership, claims to be against socialism. The capitalist spirit remains unbroken and ready to rumble despite decades of New Deal stimulus, Great Society redistributions and even ObamaCare.

Then there is reality. You remember reality. It is what videos are sometimes made from. It is what you have to drive through to get to work in the morning, if you have a job.

There is a litmus test. There is a way to see whether people with money, which is too say capitalists large and capitalists small, stand by their rhetoric.

Real capitalists put capital to work in business. On a large scale this is easy to quantify: most of America's capital at work in business can be measured in the stock market. Every public stock has a value called its market capitalization, and you can add all that capital up to see what the free market capitalists are doing business with.

Phony capitalists put their capital in government bonds. There really is nothing in our society more socialistic that a Treasury bill or bond. To buy a bond is to turn ones back on capitalism and free markets. To buy a bond is to believe that the federal government's ability to tax is sounder economics than a bet on a business making profits.

In case you have not been following the stock and bond markets, let me catch you up to date.

The stock market has been largely abandoned by investors. That happened in late 2008. There are still a few brave capitalists out there, and even some individual investors, but the market has been kept afloat, to the extent that it is afloat, by stock buy backs. That is, the companies are, by and large, quite profitable, and they use much of the cash they generate to buy their own stock, allowing the socialists to get out of their investment in capitalism.

The bond market, on the other hand, is stuffed to the gills with the money accumulated by socialist investors, mainly from selling stocks. These former capitalists love the taxing power of the government, which guarantees the safety of their "investment." They are happy to lend money to a money-losing government rather than risk it on money-making public companies.

It is time for capitalists to put a stop to this hypocritical behavior.

It is time for all Republican candidates to take a new pledge:

"I pledge all of my capital is invested in the stock market or private investments, and I have no capital invested in the socialist government bond market, and never will."

In fact, all Republicans should make that pledge and take action that aligns their investments with their capitalist rhetoric.

When will they ever learn?

Disclaimer: William P. Meyers has a retirement fund that is 100% in stocks and owns no government bonds.

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