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Gutteling: Capitalism is not the problem

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By Edward Gutteling

I’m writing this on the 44th anniversary of the execution of that poster-boy of “social justice”, Dr. Che Guevara, viewing articles of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in Hawaii and the mainland. Some proudly wear T-shirts with Che’s image.

Many wave slogans, reflecting their fundamental beliefs.

That’s where the problem lies, as that matters. Screw up the fundamentals, and badness follows.

There are many signs like “We ARE the 99%” and “Blame Wall Street Greed.” Tea Party and conservatives can support that. But there’s also “Jobs are a Right, “ “Capitalism is the Problem,“ “People, not Profits”, “Tax the Rich” and even “Eat the Rich.”

They want to mobilize opinion against the institutions at the heart of our current economic problems. They see correctly that some big banks are government protected villains that have mostly avoided punishment, that the financial system’s failures hurt everyone and the poorest the most, and the badness can happen again. They see bleak futures ahead. No hope, no change.

Some understand the fundamentals of how money works: labor is stored as money, pieces of paper in which we trust government to maintain the value of our efforts. Our government has failed at that responsibility, under both GOP and Democratic administrations, repeatedly.

Major financial institutions still profit from that mismanagement while the economy tanks, jobs vanish, the value of our labor shrinks, and we are further impoverished.

The TeaParty and conservatives agree. But we don’t see tearing down capitalism as they way to create wealth for everyone.

So what are these protestors’ solutions? From the Occupy Wall Street website:

* “Immediate debt forgiveness for all,
* Guaranteed living wage ($20 / hr) regardless of employment.
* Free college education,
* Fast track to end the fossil fuel economy
* One trillion dollars infrastructure spending now,
* One trillion dollars ecological restoration… ”

They’ll spread the wealth and get that “free stuff.” But they say nothing about making the wealth.

Now we learn and government unions such as SEIU and United Federation of Teachers are supporting the protests, and the DC Tenants Advocacy Coalition paid some non English-speaking Hispanics to demonstrate.

Iran’s Gen. Jazayeri praised “America’s Spring. The last phase will be the collapse of the Western capitalist system.”

When Venezuela President “socialismo o muerte” Hugo Chavez broadcast his support, New York protesters cheered and hoisted a hammer and sickle.

What gives with all that?

My up-the-road Hamakua celebrity neighbor Roseanne Barr, a protest supporter, told Russia Today television’s Keiser Report: “I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million.”

(Roseanne at a mere $80 million safely misses the cut.)

“And if they are unable to live on that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded,” “I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty. Because it teaches children, you know,” she said.

No, I’m not making that up.

Dr. Guevara became president of the Cuban national bank, supervised forced redistribution of all private land, personally killed scores of imprisoned “counter revolutionaries”, and enforced codes of permitted behavior.

“For all the people.” You know, better than the “99%” Poverty blossomed, and some protested. Che said in 1961: “Youth must refrain from ungrateful questioning of governmental mandates.” “Instead, they must dedicate themselves to study, work and military service, should learn to think and act as a mass.” Those who “choose their own path” were “delinquents.” Che promised “to make individualism disappear from Cuba. It is criminal to think of individuals!”

No, I’m not making that up, either. Replacing capitalism with the tyranny of the state is not the way to “social justice,” nor “sustainability,” and certainly not to wealth.

Conservatives do see the problems, and fundamental principles guide real solutions. Stable money not a politically manipulated facade, free honest markets not state crony-capitalism, limited government and responsible individual sovereignty.

Consenting adults should be allowed to commit acts of capitalism in the privacy of their own domains, without the state or the mob butting in. Cherish liberty, thrive and prosper.

(Dr. Gutteling is vice president of the Conservative Forum for Hawaii)

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