The Privatization of Ingenuity

I applied to this part time position recently for an editor of this magazine. The magazines theme was dwindling capitalism. But as I was reading the “about” page, I began to notice something shocking: these guys liked capitalism. They wanted to know why capitalism was going down the sinkhole, and who it was that had to be blames. I saw a few rough ideas thrown out there, but one of the ones that stuck out to me was welfare. Allegedly, there could be a connected drawn between the increased reliance on welfare and the deterioration of “dynamism.”

First off, poppycock.

Capitalism is the sole reason why so much ingenuity has been destroyed. Capitalism does not benefit if the poor can become rich. Capitalism strives off the exploitation of lower class citizens.

Second, let’s stop calling it welfare. The word carried some very heavy negative connotation that implies, thanks to our bullshit protestant upbringings, that needing help is something to look down upon. Needing help is fine. I repeat, needing help is fine. You’re not trash because you can’t afford to eat. That is a failure of the system that allows for people to starve. There are always those who point to the few who do abuse the systems in place and then use those to generalize and demonize the rest of Americans, but the truth is that many more people benefit than the ones who take advantage. There is no shame in having a safety net, because not all of us are blessed to have the money and affluence to afford even the most basic tenants of human rights.

“Welfare” is one of those systems that allows for people to aspire for creativity. What a lot of people don’t understand is that there is a certain allowance of freedom that comes with a safety net. When you’re not worried about food, you can spend some time trying to paint or create something new. Instead of working three jobs just to afford ricing NYC rent – the city you grew up in – and eat something that isn’t fast food, you can spend more time learning and inventing. But that is a luxury most of us don’t have.

Instead, that luxury of ingenuity is reserved for the upper echelons of society. It is reserved for the few who have the money and the backing to spend a little extra time on something new. They have the backing that allows them to make a few mistakes before finding the right business. If someone who grew up poor made a mistake, there would be no coming back. That wiggle room that allows for the creation of something beautiful is only there if there is a safety net to catch us when we fall.

Capitalism rips that away from us. It finds every nook and cranny that hasn’t been exploited and sticks their corporate dick in it. Anything that has the capacity to be privatized will be. Even health, which is something so basic, is a multi-billion-dollar industry. So many Americans would rather die than go to the hospital because the crushing debt would just be too much for them to handle (a topic for another day).

In summation, capitalism kills the creative spark in so many American. How many of us are forced to work shitty jobs for sixty hours a week because we’ve amassed so much college debt? How is that even fair? We’re told we need an education to make ourselves credible, but then you charge us exorbitant amounts for it. Capitalism is the sole reason why the United States will fall behind in ingenuity as the rest of the developing world passes us by.

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