Without regulations, we will be exploited by people who believe that since morality is subjective, anything that is legal is fair game.

If it is too difficult to work for yourself instead of someone else, the more power and money will be in the hands of people who are focused on gaining more power and money.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
-- (Matthew 19:23 NIV)

I believe that both of these statements are separately true, and that the result of the combination over time has been an economic domination of the massively wealthy over everyone else.

Statue of Liberty against blue sky“Statue of Liberty” by Charles Sporn is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The hardest part of launching my own business is attempting to understand the what I need to do in order to actually run a business.

Not the understanding of what I need to build. Not the technology pieces that I understand or can learn with effort.

It is knowing what it actually takes to manage the books. What I need to do in order to comply with local, state and federal laws. Understanding what impact my choices will have.

I could learn all of these fields, but it’s a long process that pulls my attention away from actually learning the technologies I need to build my solutions.

I can use a globally available tool that is far cheaper than an expert, but will not leave me understanding any more than I already did, or that I can interact with in a meaningful way.

I could hire local experts, if I still had the money.

Big companies can pay a lot of money for expertise, which both incentivizes high hourly rates and raises the cost of living in communities where there’s a large amount of money coming in.

“The great Way is easy, yet people prefer the side paths.
Be aware when things are out of balance.
Stay centered within the Tao.

When rich speculators prosper
While farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn-
all this is robbery and chaos.
It is not in keeping with the Tao.”

-- Tao Te Ching Chapter 53 (Williams Translation)

When companies can achieve brand loyalty on a global scale, they will attract the best and the brightest in a society focused on success. They will achieve “Great” things. They will obtain money.

The way to stop this would require changing the actions of people in your community. As long as people believe in the strength of numbers over the power of individual creativity, it will be harder for individuals to retain any power in their lives.

You can have all the skills in the world, but using them to make enough to live on depends on the local cost of living, and your ability to find someone willing to pay you on your terms. That says something both about your personal capabilities, and the mindset of the people around you.

“The corporate state is to Mussolini what the New Deal is to Roosevelt.”
-- Fortune Magazine (1934)

There’s a political component strongly involved here, which ensures this path remains difficult.

Politicians who believe in quantity of money over quality of life meet confrontation by politicians who seem to exclusively blame government and attempt to de-fund it through tax cuts.

What do they expect to happen when they shower money on the people killing us through greed?

“Fascism is the open, terroristic dictatorship of the most reactionary, most chauvinist and most imperialist elements of finance capital”
-- Communist International

Getting from here to where we need to be is difficult, but doable. It only requires different choices for an individual.

Support local business.

Invest your money locally in people, not just spend it. Consumerism is not patriotic.

Build community, not empires.

The question of “what is capitalism,” exactly — and likewise, regarding its main rivals, what is “statism,” “socialism,” “social democracy,” “communism,” “fascism,” or “corporatism” — shouldn’t be a matter of mere semantics. These are real political systems affecting real people, whether for good or ill. Political systems are free, un-free and oppressive, or mixed. We cannot legitimately make up terms or equivocate (i.e., switch meanings from one argument to the next, to evade or twist the logic) about these political systems.

-- Richard M. Salsman

Understand the impact of your labor.

When corporate leaders tell us that they are legally required to put profitability over life itself, understand that this means that either the rules need to change, or we need to treat companies bound by those rules as our political and economic foes.

When those corporate leaders have the support of both political parties, understand that real change is needed, not just another shove of the pendulum.