Capitalism Appreciation Day

I doubt there is an actual capitalism appreciation day, but as I sit here eating a slice of a large pepperoni pizza that only cost me $5.00 from Little Caesars, and drinking coke out of a shiny stainless steel coca-cola cup, I've been inspired to put in my two cents about how great it all is.

I've had a great day thus far today, thanks in no small part to the talent and industriousness of other people. I had fun at work today while making money at the same time, thanks to Home Depot (my employer), Microsoft - runs our computer system, Colorspot -brings us flowers to sell (I spent a while talking to the Colorspot guys today) and many many thousands of other companies that sell products through Home Depot. I couldn't even tell you how many people and companies are involved in keeping our lights on, our hardware running, and our products stocked and moving.

Next of course was Little Caesar's. I haven't had their pizza since I was about 14 (a good 10 years), and a new one just happened to open up not far from me. They don't deliver instead they offer carryout pizzas for $5.00 all the time. They keep them ready so you don't have to call in or wait long. We just showed up and got a hot pepperoni pizza fresh out of the oven and an order of crazy bread in 5 minutes for a grand total of $7.58. :cool:

As for beverages we had a couple 3 liters of Coke waiting at home that we got for around 1.00 each at the large well stocked retailer across the street from our apartments - Wal-mart. I couldn't even begin to figure out how much of the stuff I use everyday came from the aisles of Wal-mart, probably the jeans and socks I'm wearing, about half the DVD's we own, 90 percent of our food, and all of our cleaning products, sheets and towels not to mention a couple of our bookshelves.

I deposited my paycheck today and my bank, Washington Mutual, made my whole check instantly available to me. I was with Bank of America for about 4 years and they couldn't get a paycheck into the available balance of your account in under 3 days even if it came from the University of Georgia, the campus of which was all of 20 feet from their office. With Washington Mutual there is a 9 day waiting period on depostited checks for the first couple of months after you open the account. After that your money is there instantly. You could give them your check then walk out the door to their ATM and withdraw every bit of it.

Speaking of which I have often wondered what the world would be like with out the Automatic Teller Machine, not to mention the debit card. Let me tell you, carrying around a sack of gold (or platinum or silver) everywhere is not my idea of a good time. So while I'm not especially fond of the lunacy that goes along with fiat money, you gotta figure the credit card/check card would be around in some form regardless. Thus the glory of my visa check card. Its not that Visa is "everywhere I want to go," its that they are everywhere I do go - which is far more useful if you ask me.

Right now I'm contemplating how to get tickets for a certain movie opening tonight. Thanks to Universal Studios who in my mind is ranking right up there with the gods for taking on this movie. I'm utilizing a very reliable low cost dialup service (Netzero) to view showtimes at every theater in a ten mile radius of my current location. However there is one theater in particular I favor nearby (Cinemark), because I can see movies at night (as in non-matinee showtimes) for $4.75, and its a fairly comfortable and well-kept theater.

Meanwhile if I want to go all out there is a theater less than a mile from me that serves everything from pizza to sub sandwhiches, not to mention beer, wine, and a handful of frozen drinks in the theater during the movie - Alamo Drafthouse Theater. Of course the one closest to me isn't playing Serenity... ::sniffle:: I'd have to drive to downtown Austin to see Serenity with a table of food and frothy beverages in front of me so I'm leaning towards the cheaper place.

Meanwhile here are a few of my other favorites brought to you (and me) by capitalism:

Google - my favorite spellchecker and the only toolbar I happily and voluntarily stuck on my browser.

Yahoo - Its still one of the best free email services out there. They have never deleted anything from my account that I didn't ask them to (lets just say I don't recommend anyone use hotmail ever unless you need a temporary account for a very short amount of time). They have gone from offering 6 megs of space to a gig or two on their standard free account in the last 6 months - thanks in no small part to competition from the aforementioned great company. Their spam protection actually works great for a free service (once again don't even bother with hotmail). I get maybe 1 spam message that makes it past the bulk folder into my inbox every two to four weeks.

Mcdonald's - Big Macs, and 99 cent double cheese burgers, also the only company that would hire me at age 15 and thus my first employer.

Wendy's - Super Value Menu - Chili, chicken nuggets, jr. bacon cheese burgers, the best chocolate shakes on the planet (frosties), caesar side salads... all for 99 cents.

Waffle House - If I had known there weren't any of these in Austin I would have seriously reconsidered moving here. You can't get a better chicken sandwhich for your money than Waffle House's grilled chicken, and you can get it at any time of day or night.

Honda - gets me to work, and school, and home again everyday.

Tivo - Need I say more. Actually I can - Tivo increases the value 100 fold of another something I utilize quite often...

The Sci-fi channel, Comedy Central, HBO, Fox - on occasion, The Weather Channel

Other great products:

Showers, light bulbs, computer chairs, terry cloth, cheese, denim, refrigeration, ice makers, air conditioning, blinds, cable television, ice cream, chocolate, cheez-its... I could go on, but you get the idea.

Capitalism :smitten:

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It just seems like 6th grade

It just seems like 6th grade all over again. What name is on your jeans?

Mmm, Capitalism This is one

Mmm, Capitalism
This is one of the most orgasmic posts I've ever read. I need a break. :)

"Anyway, my point wasn’t

"Anyway, my point wasn’t that we have a free banking system; it’s that it’s not as archaic as you claimed."

Monetary transactions are really just a form of communication. They merely consist of people exchanging mutually agreed upon units of value for goods or services. Compared to other forms of communication, it is indeed extremely archaic. Voice and data have been completely digitalized haven't they? Hence, they can be sent around the world at the speed of light, anonymously. But money in today's banking system is continuously running into bottlenecks. ATMs, checks and credit cards are all bottlenecks that severely slow down the flow of money and expose people to identity theft and fraud. Specifically, when it comes to checks and credit cards all kinds of problems can occur.

In a lot of ways we are still operating on old style banking terms. All the banks have done is thrown us a few technological bones here and there.

"The kind of system you describe will never exist on a large scale as long as we have a system of confiscatory taxation, because the government simply won’t allow it."

You speak as if the government is omnipotent. The government has a lot of resources at its disposal, that is true. But if people truly wanted anonymous digital currency transactions, the free market is able to provide it. But in any event, if people no longer deposited their money into bank accounts, that alone would be a severe blow to the government and its cozy deal with the banks.

Wow, Rainbough has found a

Wow, Rainbough has found a really nasty detractor.

Mr. "Karl Marx", don't you have anything better to write?  No?  I guess that says it all.

Brian:  That's hilarious.  Almost as funny as the restaurant worker I met a couple years ago who had no idea what "gluttony" meant.

“Is your Pizza and Coke

“Is your Pizza and Coke diet an everyday thing? How much do you weigh and are you diabetic? Do you have medical coverage to cover all the maladies that you are headed toward on that poor diet? From what you’ve described as your daily existence, I’d want to commit suicide or at least start smoking Marlboros unfiltered. The rat poison is on aisle 3, by the way.” Comment by Karl Marx
Great Karl, maybe you have a better idea than capitalism, like Soviet Russia where everyone except Party members had to wait in line for hours to purchase the few meager, crappy products found in half empty stores while the government spent all its money building weapons and spreading the glorious World People’s Revolution. A few years later the entire society collapsed.
Or maybe Cuba is your favorite place. No fat people there since everyone walks or drives 1957 Chevys but if you do happen to get diabetes you get free medical care in ill kept unsanitary dumps. (http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/004070.php ) , unless you have AIDS in which case you get monitored in a way no liberal would accept in this country. (.http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc3.asp?DOCID=1G1:11885112&num=2&ao=ave)

My only complaint is that there is not enough capitalism. The fact is that this country is already 50% state controlled. You are going to improve it with more socialism? And don’t get suicidal about capitalism. It is not supposed to make you happy. It is just an economic system, not a religion or all inclusive spiritual road to happiness like socialism is supposed to be.

I view having to go to the

I view having to go to the bank to deposit checks or go to an ATM to withdraw cash as a major inconvenience.

I get my paycheck via direct deposit and make most purchases with my debit and credit cards. Then I pay my credit card bill with a wire transfer. I'd venture to guess that I participate in less than $1000 worth of cash transactions most years. Checks I use almost exclusively to pay the rent.

Now I've heard it all.

Now I've heard it all. Someone who works at Home Depot singing the praises of Capitalism. Home Depot usually hires part-timers because that way they can pay less and offer few or no benefits. Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? What chance do have for advancement at Home Depot? You have to shop at Wal-Mart; that's all your paycheck can withstand. I don't mean to knock your supposed happiness any, but are you on Prozac? Is your Pizza and Coke diet an everyday thing? How much do you weigh and are you diabetic? Do you have medical coverage to cover all the maladies that you are headed toward on that poor diet? From what you've described as your daily existence, I'd want to commit suicide or at least start smoking Marlboros unfiltered. The rat poison is on aisle 3, by the way.

"Anyhow my bank isn’t run

"Anyhow my bank isn’t run by the government even if their money is and they offer better services because of market competition so I think they qualify."

Your bank is part of a cartel that is run by the government. Competition in production of goods such as pizza, cars and soda are good. Competition in who can create the most credit out of thin air is bad.

As for the banking system, if you think about it, it is pretty damn archaic. In this day and age you would think that currency would have long been completely digitalized with instantaneous transfers. I view having to go to the bank to deposit checks or go to an ATM to withdraw cash as a major inconvenience.

Owe, wood ewe really

Owe, wood ewe really now?
Eye can't sea how yew could miss
Sum thing so blatant.

:grin:

(I find myself doing it sometimes too.  Annoying to catch myself at it... especially after I've clicked the "Post" button.)

To collect amusing

To collect amusing mis-spellings from people who notice? (It's Little Caesars.)

To be picky, the original may be most properly spelled Cæsar.  That's æ in there.

Very nicely expressed. I

Very nicely expressed. I often wish that socialists could get exactly what they want in a world parallel to ours, and see how much they like it.

Whaddaya mean, no capitalism

Whaddaya mean, no capitalism appreciation day? I celebrate capitalism every year!

Every time i nail a trade

Every time i nail a trade for a couple thousand profit, and $20 trading fee, i love capitalism more, and conversely, could care less about the people who don't. :smitten:

Not to rain on an

Not to rain on an appreciation parade, but I doubt you can find a major bank anywhere in the nation that isn't part of the Federal Reserve, thus pretty well disqualifying it (and Washington Mutual) from the beloved capitalism label.

But I do get the point. Free choices in free markets benefit me in so many ways so often I sometimes have to step back from the latest outrage and admire what we do have.

I also don't know of any

I also don't know of any retailers that refuse government currency... Anyhow my bank isn't run by the government even if their money is and they offer better services because of market competition so I think they qualify.

BTW I wonder why people find

BTW I wonder why people find such joy in finding random things - unrelated to content - wrong with posts and commenting on them thus ignoring the entire content of the post. I'm sure there are other misspellings, and probably a few comma splices, at least one fragment that I know about if anyone wants to track those down... feel free. :stupid:

You inspired me to celebrate

You inspired me to celebrate Capitalism Appreciation Day myself.

Well Rainbough, a spelling

Well Rainbough, a spelling error in a post that mentions a favorite spell checker is at least a little bit funny. (BTW, I called TBS to verify that it was funny.)

OMG she mentions a spell

OMG she mentions a spell checker and mis-spelled a word, now thats funny!!

See I just don't get it. Funny to me is saying something like "qualities I value: dilegince, inteligents, thorowness..."

I spell check individual words when they look funny to me with google. As far as I know you can't run a whole post through it... though with all the stuff google can do I wouldn't be surprised if you could. As for the "Caesar" thing - I know how to spell it I just accidentally dropped an "r" into the middle of it - thus it wouldn't occur to me to check it. My brain does weird crap like that when I'm typing sometimes. Its much funnier when I say something like "I wood like to..." which I've done on occasion when typing.

why do you keep mispelling

why do you keep mispelling little ceasers?

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

You are also exposing all of

You are also exposing all of your transactions to the IRS.

Well, since my employer and stock broker expose all of my income to the IRS, and since the IRS taxes income and therefore doesn't particularly care about my other transactions, I don't have a great deal to gain from anonymity.

Anyway, my point wasn't that we have a free banking system; it's that it's not as archaic as you claimed.

The kind of system you describe will never exist on a large scale as long as we have a system of confiscatory taxation, because the government simply won't allow it. The bank may be safely out of reach in Bermuda, but the government will shut down any merchant who uses it to receive payments or any employer who uses it for payroll. Besides, employers who pay their employees off the books can't deduct those expenses, so they don't have much incentive to take the risk.

There's really only one scenario in which I can see it working: A company which is based in a tax haven and deals in information (software, publishing, etc.) hires workers to produce content remotely and pays them anonymously. Of course, the worker then has to be careful to avoid attracting attention from the local tax authorities through conspicuous consumption or mysterious deposits into his bank account.

Hey Rainbough, Do you work

Hey Rainbough,

Do you work as a Prostitute Stalker at Wal-Mart? Any information on why Walmart would have such a job title would also be appreciated.

Is there really so much trouble with "the ladies of the evening" walking the aisles at Walmart that they need to hire stalkers? If so any economic theories as to why they ply their trade there? Is it the cheap condoms and wide aisles?

I would really appreciate knowing their hours also. :)

"I get my paycheck via

"I get my paycheck via direct deposit and make most purchases with my debit and credit cards. Then I pay my credit card bill with a wire transfer. I’d venture to guess that I participate in less than $1000 worth of cash transactions most years. Checks I use almost exclusively to pay the rent."

You are also exposing all of your transactions to the IRS. Let's suppose one day you liked capitalism so much that you didn't want to pay taxes anymore. You won't be able to get away with that using today's banking system. You see, not only is your bank a part of a government run cartel, it has also struck a deal to allow IRS and other government spies to view your transactions and even freeze your accounts. In essence, the banks and the government have formed a pact. The banks get to create false credit and the government gets to use the banks as a means to enforce tax laws.

If you call that 'capitalism' you are koo koo.

As for your digital transactions, those are for the most part all merchant based. You the consumer go somewhere to buy something from them, the businesses. Person to person transactions are still going to have to take place using a check or cash.

Furthermore, credit cards and even having a bank account exposes you to identity theft, a phenomenon that has exploded within the past few years. An ideal system would be instantaneous and anonymous, and would use non-merchant based digital cash. For instance, I would be able to send anyone (merchant or non-merchant) anywhere in the world $50 instantaneously and anonymously. You won't find that in today's archaic banking system, and you never will. For that you would have to turn to an Internet based system, which I believe will eventually start seriously competing with the banks's checking accounts. Pay Pal is just the beginning.

"Someone who works at Home

"Someone who works at Home Depot singing the praises of Capitalism. Home Depot usually hires part-timers because that way they can pay less and offer few or no benefits. "

The benefits for part time and full time employees at home depot are almost entirely the same. The only difference is how much sick and vacation time you accrue. The medical, dental, 401k, disability, tuition reimbursment, adoption reimbursment, stock purchase plans etc. are all exactly the same and everybody can get these benefits after their 90th day.

You have to shop at Wal-Mart; that’s all your paycheck can withstand.

Actually no. Wal-mart is the most convenient and typically the cheapest place to get the things I want so I'm there often. But your right obviously my life is horribly deprived that I shop at a store that has thousands of good products at low prices. If only I could wait in long lines to get bread in a country where retail didn't exist.

From what you’ve described as your daily existence, I’d want to commit suicide or at least start smoking Marlboros unfiltered.

If I got my jollies by turning a simple description of someone else's day into a hyperbolic description of a nightmarish existence where the person worked for the same wage the rest of their life ate the same food every single day - food that would "obviously" make them fat and diabetic - could only afford to shop at a place they happened to mention liking to shop at, and died poor and miserable from the excesses of their poor lifestyle and diet, because I didn't have a real argument against capitalism - and then didn't even have the courage to put my own name on the post - I would have committed suicide long ago.

You know minus the mention of an actual place to shop at and an actual wage thats a pretty apt description of life under communism. Except I think the people typically died of starvation and the leaders died diabetic (or by suicide).

Too bad there's not a real marxist around. They are occasionally interesting to argue with.

"Steven, I’m afraid that

"Steven,

I’m afraid that the politicos have all the bases covered. The tranaction costs and risks associated with hiding your assets from the government just aren’t worth the trouble. Any scheme that you come up with for “digital cash” is going to be black market and therefore open to predation. Instead of the government stealing from you it will be you digital cash provider, and when he steals it’s going to be the whole nest egg and not a portion.

Regards,
Brian"

People trade music, movies and all kinds of other copyrighted material on the Internet all day and every day. The government would like to shut that down, but they can't.

In essence the government has completely lost control over copyrighted material. Now, money is a somewhat different issue. But as I said before, money is just information and currency transactions are just a form of communication. Hence, the same thing could happen with currency transactions.

Heck, the government cannot even keep tons of drugs from crossing the boarder every year. Even further, the government cannot even keep these drugs out of its own prisons for crying out loud. And drugs are made of atoms. If they can't even keep tons of physical stuff out of the country off the streets, or even out of their prisons how in the world could they keep bits out of the Internet? Encrypted bits at that.

I'm surprised at your lack of faith in the free market. Even in black markets there are reputations; it is not total chaos.

How could the government's system become entirely obsolete? Well the first stage would be that cash would become entirely digital (I believe this is inevitable). Another part of the first stage would be that non-banking institutions would be facilitating cash transactions over the Internet. The second stage would be that these institutions would begin issuing their own currencies (perhaps backed by some commodity such as gold).

The first stage is critical. The reason why is that there is a major psychological attachment to physical 'cash' that people have. Everyone knows what cash looks like and that is what they think of as 'money.' If you remove this physical aspect and go entirely digital the lines become a lot more blurred. Now you have bits instead of something you can hold in your hand and touch. If we are just talking 1s and 0s, why would I believe that the government/bank's 1s and 0s are more viable as currency than a private issuer's?

After the second stage occurs, what is the government going to do? If I set up a site that is transacting in 'widgets,' the government is going to start forcing disclosure of 'widget' transactions? That's ridiculous. What would happen is the method of taxation would literally have to devolve into some kind of barter tax. And how that would be enforced is beyond me. The government comes to your house and checks what kind of car you have in your garage?

An interesting book on this topic is called 'The End of Money' by economist Richard W. Rahn. Check it out on amazon (you can get it really cheap used).

Love is two people sipping

Love is two people sipping Coca Cola from the same straw on a warm sunny day.

Steven, I'm afraid that the

Steven,

I'm afraid that the politicos have all the bases covered. The tranaction costs and risks associated with hiding your assets from the government just aren't worth the trouble. Any scheme that you come up with for "digital cash" is going to be black market and therefore open to predation. Instead of the government stealing from you it will be you digital cash provider, and when he steals it's going to be the whole nest egg and not a portion.

Regards,
Brian

Every time i nail a trade

Every time i nail a trade for a couple thousand profit, and $20 trading fee, i love capitalism more, and conversely, could care less about the people who don’t