Katie Kieffer

The Beatles once rocked America with their cover version of “Money (That’s What I Want).” Today, I’ll rock you with my version. Capitalism don't get everything it's true. What it don't get I can't use. Now gimme capitalism (that's what I want).

Anti-capitalist sentiment is creeping into American culture and we need to immediately halt this trend. Even Republican presidential nominees Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are plunging toward the vortex of need-based morality by aggressively attacking Mitt Romney—not for his socialist slips like RomneyCare—for his businesslike communication style and his record as co-founder of Bain Capital Ventures.

When Romney recently said: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me," he inadvertently gave his rivals fuel to attack him as a profit-hungry job-killer.

Santorum preaches that Romney fosters social division by using the widely accepted term “middle class” instead the politically correct term “middle income.” Gingrich calls Romney a “looter.” And Perry quips that Romney is a “vulture” who pursued “get-rich schemes.”

Bain invested in a steel mill (GS Technologies) that eventually failed; layoffs ensued and Bain relied on help from the U.S Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to fulfill pension obligations. What Perry, Gingrich and Santorum fail to point out is that absurd union demands and government regulations (not warped capitalism) were largely responsible for the downfalls at GS.

It’s very dangerous to attack capitalism and capitalists for American job losses because, as financial commentator Peter Schiff explained on Fox News, our own government played a major role in steamrolling corporations and contaminating the financial markets:

“This wasn’t created by the free market. All this excess leverage is there because of the government; it’s there because of the Fed. They did this; they infected us with this disease. The fact that all these companies are now dying … what they did is they provided Wells Fargo and all these companies with free money and let them go up and leverage it up. And it’s like, I use the analogy, if a kindergarten school teacher … passes out Pixy Stix and soda pop and then leaves the classroom and she comes back and the kindergarteners have wrecked the place, who do you blame?”

In 2009, economist Jim Grant pointed out the Fed’s role in ravaging America’s free market system. He said on CNBC’s Squawk Box that inflation: “is based principally upon the rate of money-printing. … Inflation is too much money. … [And, with low interest rates, the Fed] has embarked on a vast experiment and moral hazard."

The vulture comparison reflects Perry’s misunderstanding of both capitalism and vultures. Ron Paul points out that businesspeople routinely reorganize their companies in order to operate efficiently within the free market and, in the long run, reorganization can create jobs. In nature, vultures operate by eating and safely disposing of toxic carcasses. Vultures never intentionally infect healthy creatures with toxic waste and then feed off them (that’s closer to how the Communist Party of China operates, not vultures.)

The problem with painting rich businesspeople like Romney as evil is that money and capitalism are not evil. Rather, I contend that socialism is toxic. For, socialism is irrational; it denies man’s inherent right to own private property by using “need” as the standard for morality.

Socialism also leads to communism, as seen in the land of America’s Communist Sugar Daddy:

“In China, the government can force farmers to sell their land to developers, often at rock-bottom prices, to fuel a state-run real estate machine that disproportionately enriches the elites. But rural folk, who have rising expectations for a better life, are pushing back, as evidenced by a highly visible battle over a landgrab in the fishing village of Wukan, where a local leader recently died in police custody. This is just one of thousands of protests in China every year—about 60% of them related to land disputes, according to Ran Tao, a senior fellow at the Brookings-Tsinghua Center. … [China has] hundreds of millions living on less than $2 a day—and cheap land to exploit, particularly in the West, ” writes Rana Foroohar in TIME Magazine.

If you define morality on the basis of need, bullies rule society. Might makes right and politicians will seize land, power and wealth for themselves because they supposedly need it more than commoners who scrape by on $2 a day. When need is the standard of morality, you lose control over your livelihood. Any powerful bureaucrat can take your money or property and call himself “Robin Hood” but you can’t get mad or call the cops or take him to court because he’ll just say he “needs” your property more than you do.

Now gimme capitalism (that's what I want).


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.