John Ransom

It’s a simple concept that’s been around since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden:

Get a job.

That’s how all the stuff you have is paid for, even if you live in a socialist country.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return - Genesis 3:19 KJV

Of course capitalism produces more bread, more efficiently, and there is more innovation and surplus than in socialist countries. Out of that surplus bread come things like the arts, entertainment, books- the things that add color to life.

Show me a country where people aren’t free to buy and sell bread and I’ll show you one that doesn’t respect freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom from search and seizure. Try defecating on a cop car in China and see how quickly you are Tiananmen Squared.   

In a capitalist society a job is about more than just bread. It’s about creating other jobs, creating value for yourself and for- gasp!- shareholders. It’s about investing in yourself over the long-term; it’s about the freedom to become whatever you want to be. It’s about becoming a stakeholder in society.

And it’s the stakeholders of society who create demand for art history majors and novelists and stand-up comedians.  

The more jobs that we have that create value- not just a time-serving paycheck- the more jobs we can create for those people who just want bread, who just want security.    

Say for example, you’re a political activist who just finished up an election cycle and who also works as a freelance writer. Let’s say you previously had a professional career that makes you highly knowledgeable in a popular subject.

You can take a job with a high traffic website, and create a whole new channel for them in that subject. As the business grows, they can hire sales people to sell more ad space; companies can buy ads; and when they sell more products, those companies hire more people to service more business.

That, in a nutshell, is how half the jobs in the country are created- by the incremental success of small businesses, like our hypothetical website.

It starts with a company looking for one guy who wants a job that creates value for the company he works for and creates value for himself.

When companies like that grow, they hire more workers.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.