Lockdown Day 16 – 11 April 2020 – Capitalism

Sharing is caring!

This morning I am listening to If I were a rich man

Today is also my wife’s birthday.  I made her breakfast in bed after I did my journal.  It was a long journal, I am not going to share everything.  I will rather write a book.

Quotes come from Brainy Quotes

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
Winston Churchill

“Capitalism does a number of things very well: it helps create an entrepreneurial spirit; it gets people motivated to come up with new ideas, and that’s a good thing.”
Bernie Sanders

“You know capitalism is this wonderful thing that motivates people, it causes wonderful inventions to be done. But in this area of diseases of the world at large, it’s really let us down.”
Bill Gates

“Capitalism has shortfalls. It doesn’t necessarily take care of the poor, and it underfunds innovation, so we have to offset that. “
Bill Gates

  1.  I am a capitalist at heart and I believe capitalism made the world what it is (good and bad).
  2. I do not understand why some people think you have to be a communist or socialist when you criticize capitalism.  If capitalism is above criticism we are in deep you know what.
  3. We need to distinguish between wealth and income.  Wealth is build over time with the income you earn.  It is a lot easier to build wealth when you earn R100 000 per month than if you earn R5 000 per month.  Unless wealth is acquired illegally, that should never be touched.  My idea is to have a more equal spread of income so that more people can build wealth.
  4. If there is one lesson I hope we learn from this virus, it is that the CEO and manager are not more important than the cleaner, packer or delivery man.  No, I am not suggesting they earn the same, there is a difference in responsibility.  I do think the salary differences should be addressed.
  5. What I would like to see is capitalism with a heart.

Neil Diamond is now singing Both Sides Now

Two stories that shows something of what I believe.  The first is just a story, but conveys what I try to say in #4 above.

One evening over dinner the Captain and Head Engineer of a ship decided to settle their old argument:  who is more important on the ship?  First watch next day, they will swap jobs.  Mid-morning the Head Engineer pipes down to engine room “You win, you are more important. I just sailed us onto an island.” The Captain pipes back, “I was just about to tell you you win, you are more important.  I ceased the engines.” A boat or ship, like any organisation, is run by a crew or a team.  To work, ship or business or NGO or Government, every team member must do his/her job properly.

This is a true story.  A year or two ago I went hiking Mybugh’s Ravine with another hiking club.  I am a stranger in the group.  There is also a South African man who now lives in America.  Let’s call him Ron.

Also in the group is a manager at a privately owned construction company, let’s call him Clive.  I know what Clive does, because Ron asked him.  Ron replies with leering smile and knowing innuendo “Oh, you have a lot of labour problems then.”

This is Clive’s story.  In about 1990 the company realised things are changing in South Africa and they formed a committee representing the workers.  All stakeholders, therefore all races, all cultures, all religions.  “The one thing I learned was, that no matter which group you represent, we all want the same things,” says Clive.  This  committee still exists.  Any decision that lies on the level of human beings/strategy goes through this committee.  The committee members are elected for 3 years and 1/3 are up for election annually.

Also back in 1990, the company decided on profit share for every employee who has more than 3 years service.  In the third year they did not make a profit.  (That is when I realized I must not walk too close to Ron.)  “Oh, I hope you asked the workers to pay in then,” is Rons reaction. (Bloody fool, hope he stays in America!  The workers are not the opposition – unless you treat them that way!)   Clive is a better person than I.  Management decided the loss was not because of something the workers did.  It was a combination of economy and management decisions.  Profit share was paid.  (I raise my hat for management like that!)

When the company turned 50, they printed a book.  There were photos of all the projects, where possible with photos of the workers.  Every worker got a copy of the book “So that he can go home and show his family what he is doing and what his labour has brought about.  We want our people to be proud of what they do and they must be able to show it to their families so that the families understand what they do.”

This story should be an MBA case study.  But it also illustrates something about capitalism with heart!


Sharing is caring!

This entry was posted in Covid-19 Journal, Wealth and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.