Roger Marolt: Jesus was a lousy capitalist
Republicans say the damndest things. I hear a lot of them worrying that our country is headed for socialism. Some go so far as to say “communism,” but obviously they are confused on this and actually mean “socialism.” We know this because the Communists put up a candidate every single election and they don’t get too far with it. If they are going to succeed in taking over the country, it will have to be with intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads rather than by trying to overhaul the health care system.
But, we don’t need to hash out the differences between socialism and communism anyway. We are not going to become Socialists, much less Communists, anytime soon, unless we move to China. If you spend time stressing about this, you are going to worry yourself to a premature death, and that’s worse than being a Socialist, so I hear.
I like capitalism. This is not to say I am great at it. I do OK. I dabbled in it during middle school mowing grass at the graveyard. In high school I painted houses over summer breaks. When I came home for college winter break, I tuned skis at Poncho’s. I think they call this “having an internship” nowadays. Poncho was a great guy, but he was just OK at capitalism, too. He never saw the boutique model for ski shops coming. He actually believed people cared about a good, hand-tuned ski.
Eventually I recognized the steadiness of accounting and went back to school to study that. Now, I have my own small practice with my brothers and wife, but we all live in employee housing so, like I said, we are not the best at capitalism, but it’s all we know. I guess it’s become a habit.
I would love to be good enough at it to someday have a house on Red Mountain. I think I need to concentrate harder. Honestly, my best chance would be for a bunch of people who think they are really good at capitalism turn out to be not as good at it as they believed and have to sell for cheap to pay back all the money they borrowed. It almost happened in 2008. I’m not saying I want that to happen again; I’m just being honest — it probably is my best chance. That, or writing eight best-selling novels in the next couple of years. Who knows?
As much as I am intrigued by capitalism, I admit it has some flaws. It makes some people stingy and mean. Greedy is a possibility. Arrogant, for sure. You might say that capitalism could even, under certain circumstances, incentivize crookery and malfeasance. It’s happened.
I know a lot of good, happy successful capitalists, but there are enough miserable ones that you can’t ignore that potential consequence. It could be really bad. Let me put it this way: I don’t know of any poor people ever creating huge economic problems in our country. The real economic crises — the stock market crashes, The Great Depression and Recession — have all been caused by grade-A, excellent capitalists. I can’t prove this, of course.
There are a few good people who are not capitalists. As a man, Jesus walked on water, but he was a terrible capitalist. Over about three years toward the end of his life, he went from being a complete nobody to being the biggest celebrity in the world. Can you imagine the speaking fees he could have garnered? Hindsight makes clear the incredible book deal he missed. It doesn’t seem like he was into it. When he spoke, huge crowds gathered. They wanted to make him king! It would have been so easy to be cash in, but what did he do instead? He made dinner for everyone and then ran away into the hills. The only good capitalist in his band was Judas, who sold him out for a bag of silver coins. He figured they were going to kill Jesus regardless, so why not start a little nest egg? This must be blasphemy, but I can’t see it any other way.
And, I guess that highlights why I’m so sure socialism is not going to happen here anytime soon — I just wrote my way into a thick, squishy quagmire of words and while I’m grammar-checking my way out, all the while I am certain there are already great capitalists figuring out ways to make a crap-ton of money off of socialism in America and, therefore, turn it into nothing more than capitalism in Socialists’ clothing. Fox News has a jump on everyone.
Roger Marolt, for the moment, is far more worried about the very stable genius running our country than all the socialists in China. Email at roger@maroltllp.
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