Gongol.com Archives: May 2012
Brian Gongol

May 14, 2012

Socialism Doesn't Work A "week without capitalism"? Go ahead and try.
Groups that apparently have little to no actual contact with reality are talking about spending this as a "week without capitalism", which one might also take as a week without any sort of market activity whatsoever. Good luck with that. The inescapable fact is that the entire world -- human and natural -- is a perpetual cycle of inputs and outputs, trade-offs, production, and consumption. Just look at the activity inside a forest: The sun provides energy, which is captured by green plants. Those plants become food for herbivores, which in turn become food for carnivores. And when anything dies, it becomes food for the fungi, which recycle it into something useful for everything else. If any one part of that cycle becomes unbalanced -- say, if the deer become too populous -- then the market forces of supply and demand make a correction. ■ We may be more sophisticated than the deer and the squirrels, but to think that market forces are anything but massive, natural, and irrevocable is to ignore the basic rules of the universe. We can (and should) be aware of natural corrections that have to be made to the market system to try to corral some of those natural forces so that they don't harm us -- but in general, efforts to force human authority over the system results in poverty and misery for all. ■ Capitalism is simply an acknowledgment that some resources can be stored and that they will tend to seek their highest level of reward -- just like a plant will lean towards the sun. The plant doesn't "think" about it, and money doesn't either. But over time, people will save and then invest their money where it will create more money, whether they are farmers who choose to invest in land and tractors and seeds, or whether they're investors who look for the most profitable companies to own. It's not that it's philosophically good or bad -- it's just the natural order of things. And anyone who tries to push against that natural order for very long will find that nature wins out every time. Just ask the folks who starved under China's Great Leap Forward.

Humor and Good News The State of the Web: Spring 2012
Satirical/comedic site The Oatmeal pretty well nails the state of things. This is the same site, it should be noted, that recently rose to the defense of the honor of Nikola Tesla, because that's what geeks (a term of endearment, here) like to do.

Humor and Good News Thank goodness for Taiwan-imation
(Video) How else would we be able to fully grasp the magnitude of the grandmother-cheerleader tryout story?

Business and Finance Estimate: People pulled $2.3 billion out of the S&P 500 last week
Um...why? American companies are bringing in record-level earnings, and yet stock prices as a multiple of those earnings are well below historical norms. This is hardly a formula for pulling money out of equities. In other words, if you can buy companies that are more profitable than ever, and you are paying less per dollar of profits than normal, why in the world wouldn't you be eager to buy more pieces of those companies (that is, shares of their stocks)?

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