There are some noteworthy news items and I would like to tie them together.
First, Steve Jobs passed away yesterday. May he rest in peace. Jobs was a brilliant thinker and a brilliant entrepreneur. I don’t know what kind of a person he was, but he certainly made the world a better place.
There will always be comparisons between Jobs and Bill Gates. I think Steve Jobs was more intelligent than Gates is, but that is just my opinion. While Gates may have been less original, he was a more successful businessman to start. Just about the whole computer world used Microsoft. It took more time for Apple to gain its footing.
Overall, I am bigger fan of Apple than Microsoft when it comes to computers. The operating system on a Mac is superior. But again, Gates was successful as a marketer and businessman with Microsoft. Apple may win out at the end, but Microsoft certainly had its day in the sun.
It is reported that Steve Jobs was a liberal (in today’s language). While this might be the case, there are many libertarians who admire the work he did. While his opinions may have been leftist, his actions were not. He is one of the greatest examples of capitalism that we have. He was a major player in the internet and technological revolution.
Meanwhile, there have been protests against Wall Street. This new group is being called the Tea Party of the left. If you look at their list of unofficial demands, it is horrific. They want a “living wage”, even for those unemployed. Their ideas are anti-capitalist. They are contradictory in many ways. They are a dream that is impossible.
Just like the Tea Party, I’m sure that different people in this group have different ideas. Some are worse than others. Generally speaking though, they are a group of anti-capitalists.
I have sympathy for those who are speaking against government bailouts. I could not agree more that these big businesses should not be handed favors by the government. The problem is that most of these protesters go way beyond this. The other problem is that they should be protesting big government, not big business.
While I think many Americans are upset about government bailouts, and rightly so, I don’t think they are anti-capitalism like these protesters. Bailing out corporations is not capitalism. You can call it corporatism or anything else, but it is not free market capitalism. In a truly capitalist society, there would be no government bailouts. So the protesters are against the bailouts (I think) and yet they are anti-capitalist. Their own thoughts are contradictory.
Overall, I don’t see this mentality as a major threat. Going back to Steve Jobs, he is a hero to most people. Businessmen are often vilified, yet Jobs is not. Jeff Tucker wrote a piece on this and speculates that it is because “he made his products elegant and made our lives more beautiful.” While I agree with this, I am hopeful that it goes beyond this.
Speaking in generalities, one thing that still makes Americans different from many others around the world is that Americans like success. With the exception of a few on the far left, most Americans do not want to kill entrepreneurism. Some might be a little envious of those with more money, but most Americans think it is ok to be rich, especially when it is done by creating wealth and pleasing consumers.
I think the one thing where Americans need to learn a little more is that there are millions of people working every day to help consumers. Most people are nowhere near as savvy as Steve Jobs was. But there are millions of people in their own little way who work behind the scenes to fulfill human wants and needs.
The things that Steve Jobs helped produce were obvious and they were obviously beneficial. You don’t see the entrepreneurs and workers who manufactured and delivered all of the little things that go into an iPad or iPhone.
I am still hopeful for the future. Americans still want to see successful people. As long as that attitude remains, there is hope in regaining liberty.