Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kris Kardashian's Butt: Capitalism In Motion

In honor of the pending death of capitalism, thanks to American conservatives deciding that Rick Santorum somehow should represent conservatism, I figured I would explain why capitalism served us well. . . before we kill it. To aid me in this, I’m going to use the Kardashians, the NFL and the reasoning techniques of the famed Greek philosopher Rambloniclese. Onward!

There is nothing redeeming about the Kardashians as far as I can tell. They’re like a combination of the Manson Family, the Addams Family, and a porno. But I do like one thing about them. See, I never would have made them famous, but somebody else did. And that’s what makes capitalism great. Stick with me here.

The Addams Family Porno
Capitalism works because it allows 310 million Americans to look around themselves every single day and make their own decisions. If they see something they think the rest of us would like, they have the right to try to sell it to us. And we have the right to buy it or not. And nothing proves the value in this system more clearly than the fact that I never would have looked at Kim Kardashian’s butt as a money-maker, but somebody else did.

Ditto with the NFL. The NFL combine begins on Thursday as a large group of male sportswriters and NFL types get together to take nice long looks at a bunch of male athletes and judge them on how they look in their underwear. And no, I’m not kidding. Sounds kind of gay, doesn’t it? But more importantly, it sounds kind of dull. But get this, people watch it. Not only that, they talk about it, they write about it, and somebody even included it in a videogame. Just like Kris Kardashian’s butt, somebody guessed right.

The point is simple: if it were up to me to run the world, there would be no Kardashians and I never would have thought to put the NFL draft on television. It’s only because our system doesn’t rely on me that we have these things. Now imagine what else the world wouldn’t have if it were up to me to decide what people could watch, read, buy or believe?

Now let’s consider a man named Gary Lineker. He’s an a-hole from Britain who announces soccer games. I’m told soccer is some sort of sport. Old Gary, who hosts a program on the BBC, says that soccer players earn too much. Indeed, he thinks they shouldn’t be paid more than nurses or teachers. Gary’s a flaming hypocrite because he gets paid £2m a year for basically flapping his lips. But let’s not worry about that because hypocrisy is the new black in fall fashions. Instead, let me ask a series of questions to see if I can enunciate the problem with Gary’s line of “reasoning.”

What happens to the rest of the money soccer earns if it doesn’t go to salaries? It would go to club owners. So really Gary has decided that some people shouldn’t be made millionaires because that’s unfair to billionaires. But how can all these billionaires be so stupid as to pay this amount of money to the players if they aren’t worth it? And what gives Gary the right to decide that he knows better than the billionaires how much to pay the millionaires?

In truth, Gary doesn’t care about the billionaires. He’s just a spiteful little turd who doesn’t like some people earning more than others. But why pick teachers? Why not convenience store clerks? Why even pay soccer players at all? They should be like government employees should be and they should play for room and board. . . and live on a plantation. In fact, now that I think about it, why do teachers earn so much? Teachers should earn $1 an hour. And my opinion is as valid as Gary’s so why don’t we go with my opinion?

Also, while we’re readjusting the world to our own prejudices, I don’t like really soccer and people shouldn’t be allowed to watch it because I don’t like it. And before you try to tell me that people want it, let me just cut you off and say that I don’t care what people want, because I know what’s best.

Get the point?

Here’s the thing. Capitalism works because it lets millions of people try to sell their ideas to millions of other people in the form of products and services. When a want or need appears, somebody fills it, they don’t have to wait for me to decide if it should be filled. And through the trillions of decisions made each day by every single one of us, the human race goes about making each other happy.

It’s only when the *ssholes get involved and decide they want to control what people get paid or what products can get made or what ideas can be brought to life or which companies should be winners and which losers that things fail. That’s when there are no Kardashians or NFL draft or new cars or butter or health care. . . just lots of lousy GM cars nobody wants. And every dollar the government sucks away from us and every regulation they impose to help some crony is a decision the government deprives us from making. Government is the enemy of freedom.

So let’s all raise a toast to Kris Kardashian’s butt, to rap music, to overpaid athletes and a million other things we don’t like but which somebody else does, and let us thank God that for a brief moment our country was bright enough to adopt capitalism. It shall be missed.


P.S. There’s a Politics of Trek article up today at the film site.

42 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

how true, how true, how true . . . . Marketing, specifically, is the culprit here, oh, and let me throw in that great buzz word "content." That said, oh please, oh please let it not be Rick. If we, as a party, nominate Rick Rocket, and let this election be about Roe vs. Wade or evangelical Christianity, instead of the failure of the Obama administration and halting their unprecedented power grabs; then WTF.

T-Rav said...

I call bullcrap! Soccer's not a sport!

Joel Farnham said...

I love capitalism. Too bad it is going away because of Santorum and his enablers.

StanH said...

The Free Market system has given us every modern convenience that we enjoy, and also Kim Kardashian. Winston Churchill once said “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others” This quote extends rather well to your capitalism expose’ .

Oh, Kim’s butt is her only redeeming quality, work with what you got.

LawHawkRFD said...

Capitalism works. That doesn't mean it's always pretty.

T-Rav said...

As an aside, there are no words for how much I loathe the Kardashian family and the fact that a bunch of idiots see them as "celebrities" when they have literally done nothing with their lives. Of course, if they can get away with conning millions of people into watching their smut, more power to them (I guess), but seeing them makes me cringe every time.

AndrewPrice said...

Sorry about the formatting mix up, Blogger inserted extra code all on it's own... it does that sometimes. Everything should be fixed now.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Glad you agree! :)

On Rick, it looks like the Republican base has made up it's mind and is intent of not only handing the election to Obama, but making the Republican brand toxic. Very depressing.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'm only repeating what I've been told. I cannot confirm that this is in fact a sport. ;)

rlaWTX said...

Jed- your comment was def worth a double-post!
T-Rav- good points all round!

I have to admit I actually watched the original show a couple of times to see who/what... I still wasn't sure afterward.

I almost have too much going on around here to even stress about this election.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, My thoughts exactly. But hey, he's a "fiscal conservative" who just happens to believe in massive spending, creating new entitlements, heavy regulation, and stopping Satan's "bad capitalism" so we that only "good capitalism" can flourish. What could possibly be wrong with that?

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, "work with what you got!" LOL! Bravo! :)

Great quote from Mr. Churchill. I think it's very true. We may not like a lot of what other people do when they are free to make their own decisions, but I wouldn't trade our system for any other. Capitalism is about people trying to make each other happy so they can get rich and buy the things that make them happy. Anyone can play and anyone can set their own goals. All the other systems are about trying to control what people can like. How in the world anyone can favor anything other than capitalism is beyond me... except spite, insecurity and intolerance.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Very true. But I would say that at a deeper level, capitalism is actually the only moral choice as well because it allows people to make their own decisions. It doesn't try to force anyone to buy or sell anything for a price they aren't willing to pay. All the other systems end up forcing one person or another to surrender their labor, their money and their rights so that others can have them. And that's slavery in my book.

T-Rav said...

You know what's really not a sport? Tennis. Tennis is not a sport. (I wonder how far I can push this before I start catching flak.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I feel the same. Like you, I loathe the fact that people who have done nothing except sell their dysfunction to the world can be a success. BUT, people have different tastes, which is what makes us interesting as a species and causes us to keep reaching for greater things. And as I note, the beauty of capitalism is that somebody realized people would buy what the Kardashians had to offer. If we lived in a world where people's tastes got regulated by the government, there would be no Kardashians.... but there wouldn't be much else either.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Jed makes a very solid point. And on the one hand, I'm glad you have other things to take your mind off the election, on the other hand, I'm sorry to hear you're swamped. :)/:(

I'm honestly not sure what "the Kardashians" are either. As near as I can tell, they are just a strange family who fight with each other in public, tweet what they eat, date athletes, and get invited to A-list parties. But ours is not to reason why, ours is just to turn the channel.

T-Rav said...

rla, I do what I can. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Keep pushing! LOL! I've watched a little tennis in my life (played maybe 3-4 times). I will say this about tennis on television, it was more entertaining in the past. These days it's all about the massive power serve. At least in the past, there was more suspense.

Doc Whoa said...

Andrew, I think you've lost your mind! LOL! But you still make great points even when you're insane. Congratulations, you've given an excellent defense of capitalism.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Doc! What a strange world were Kim Kardashian's rear end proves the benefits of capitalism?!

T-Rav said...

With all this in mind, I cannot WAIT for tonight's debate. And when I say that, I am being extremely sarcastic.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I too am THRILLED that there's a debate tonight. Woo hoo. :(

I'm not even sure it matters anymore frankly.

DUQ said...

I can't for the life of me explain how the Kardashians got famous. It doesn't bother me though precisely for the reason you state - it doesn't hurt me that other people like different things. And thankfully our system lets people cater to all the different tastes that are out there. Because if it didn't, I'm pretty sure my favorite things wouldn't be made.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's the point so many people who want to control the public forget -- the odds that the powers that be are going to favor your tastes are pretty low. In fact, expect that most everything that isn't truly lowest common denominator will vanish in that kind of world because governments are concerned with making everyone happy, they are just concerned with keeping "the people" happy. Only a consumerist society cares about individual consumers.

CrispyRice said...

Andrew, that is truly one of the weirdest pictures I've seen in ages. Whoa...

Let me also add, that I have no doubt that everyone would be very, very happy living in CrispyWorld. You'd have to be.


Or I'd expel you, with extreme prejudice.

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, "Or I'd expel you with extreme prejudice!" LOL!

It is a truly weird and disturbing picture. I think they were going for a 1930s kind of feel, but it comes across as something like the Addams Family Redux to me.

Apparently, they send out strange family pictures like this every year, which I guess is actually kind of a cool tradition.

DUQ said...

Andrew, Very insightful. That's the funny thing about liberalism. They always assume that whoever ends up in charge will agree with them. That's a poor assumption.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks DUQ! That is one of the problems with giving the government power, there's no guarantee it will do what you want with the power. Not to mention the inefficiencies and the immorality of trying to control other people.

Ed said...

Somehow I don't think we'll be seeing this in any textbooks in the future, but it should be there! Well done! :D

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Yes, all textbooks should speak of Kim Kardashian's butt. LOL!

tryanmax said...

I think the popularity of K-dash's butt can be somewhat attributed to the constraints already on capitalism. Not all of these are government imposed. Look how the entertainment industry has strangled itself.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, True, but that's also the beauty of capitalism. When you do something stupid, you create opportunities for other people to take your place.... unless the government is there to bail you out.

Individualist said...

Andrew

This is an excellent defence of "Capitalism" and I could not have said it any better myself.

I guess the only nitpicking point I would make is that waht we are defining as Capitalism for your article I would more properly label "Democratic Market Economics". There is a better term but I forget.

The point I mean is that society through the government seeks to do the following:

1) Protect Private Property Rights
2) Seeks to as much as possible allow open and free trade among its members only regulating when events would hinder this (such as Anti-monopoly legislation fro instance.

When a country promotes free trade the individuals within in it are free to choose those things they want even if it is Kim Kardashian's butt. Then again.... OK I'll refrain from going there.

To me Capitalism is the ISM that ISNT. Unlike Communism and Fascism, Conservatism and Libertarianism it is not a preplanned set of rules defined by a philosophical ideology.

To me Capitalism is rather the laws that one would generate from one's observations of the way economies work. Just as we know that gravity is proportional to the mass times the square of the distance we know that Price will be dictated by where Supply meets Demand. The fact that the numbers are subjective does not change the rule just makes it harder to predict.

Thus the laws of Capitalism are equally in effect in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union despite the fact that both are different forms of a command economy. These governments have set up a monopsony (single buyer of labor i.e the government) and a monopoly (single seller of goods i.e. the government or Corporations it controls). We can predict the economic effect of these institutions and can show that the laws of Capitalism would dictate the underground markets, the failed production of goods becasue they met the government's needs and not the people's, the overall depression of the economy as productivity is lowered.

Capitalism would explain all of this just as Quantum Physics would explain the half life of Carbon 14.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, Thanks!

That's a good point. Capitalism is basically a description for the way mankind interacts economically and to some degree everything outside of a utopian, communist state would necessarily involve capitalism to some degree.

But the term itself, "Capitalism" has taken on an ideological component which means a prejudice for limited government intervention and maximumization of freedom. It's not quite laissez faire because it does allow for government intervention to stop abuses and distortions, but the implication when someone says "I'm pro-capitalism" is that they favor free markets and free people with limited regulation.

That's why when a guy like Santorum divides "capitalism" into good and bad, he's showing his socialist colors. Someone who truly understood and respected free market economics would realize that the real problem is the distortions caused by monopolies or government interference... not some aspect of capitalism. But he doesn't get that. He sees capitalism as lacking morality and thus he would use the government to regulate capitalism to create a more "moral" outcome. In effect, he will cause the same problems Obama does, just with a different goal in mind.

rlaWTX said...

BTW, when I am Queen of the World, we won't have these problems. I won't decide what IS, simply what ISN'T to be. Much simpler. :)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Good thinking! That would make things simpler! LOL!

ScyFyterry said...

Yeah, Kim Kardashian's butt! LOL! Adam Smith would be proud. Well, actually probably not.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, Adam Smith would not be proud as he was very strongly religious and did not approve of things like the Kardashians. Of course, who knows? If he lived today, he might change his mind.

ScottDS said...

You just had to bring her up, didn't you?! :-)

To quote The Soup, Kim Kardashian is famous for "having a big ass and a sex tape." That's all. I can't say I follow their adventures (kill me if I did!) but I can't disagree with your thesis: capitalism gave us this family, but capitalism can get rid of them, too.

Marketing, on the other hand, can often be a problem, whether it's Magazine X trying to convince us why this idiot family is important, or Cookie Company Y secretly shrinking their packaging while claiming to offer "More!".

Capitalism is one thing but I don't trust corporations any more than I do the government. The only advantage is that there is more than one corporation in this country, but only one government. :-)

P.S. Great Trek article, though I don't have anything to contribute at this time. (I figured I'd knock two comments out with one stone!)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree with you. I'm not a fan of deceptive marketing practices and frankly, that's one area where I favor regulation.

Nothing to add on the Star Trek article? Have you seen the episode?

ScottDS said...

Yes, I've seen it but this is just one of those cases where I don't have anything to contribute. :-)

(I always try to offer something other than "Great article!")

I did look at Memory Alpha after reading your comment wondering how the Romulans were originally received by fans but I couldn't find anything.

AndrewPrice said...

It would be interesting to find out because there's no indication that they would be recurring. And in fact, they only appear twice more. But they ultimately become incredibly popular with the fans.

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