Message Number: 0001
Date: 08/02/1997; 01:24 AM
To: Our Little Friends
From: Bill Bates, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Boys and Girls!
Hey gang, today let's talk about capitalism vs. pseuo capitalism. That's it, make yourselves comftorable in my old cardboard hut 'neath the Interstate and while we listen to the cars and trucks trundling overhead I'll tell you what I can remember from the lore of our forefathers...
Capitalism! Golly, it's just about the most wonderful idea since the invention of the wheel! Can anybody tell me what it is? Humm?
Oh,okay, that's a trick question. I forgot, they don't teach capitalism in the public schools anymore. No matter, I'll take some of my medication to stabalize myself an try to recall the "oral traditions" handed down to us from our Founding Fathers. Lessee... where to begin?
Well, I suppose the idea of capitalism hinges on the novel idea that private property and ownership is a pretty darned wonderful thing. Yeah, that's right! And with private ownership there are certain unalienable rights and a whole bunch of responsibilities the private owner assumes and enjoys.
You see, boys and girls, way back in the old days a man's home was his castle. It was free of any encumberances such as taxes, usury, regulations, unlawful search & seizures, expropriation by the authorities for billeting troops or building highways. Golly,boys & girls, you just can't imagine what it was like to rule over your own land and enjoy the amazing freedom to be left alone!
But capitalism also meant a man was free to use his skills, property, and resources to earn a living without too much interferance. Why if you owned an automobile back in 1776 you could have gone into the Taxi business without acquiring a permit or liscence! Because, you see, it would have been your own car back then and it would have been your right in those days to make an honest living for yourself.
Ah, but how times change. You see, along with private ownership there were also some very real responsibilities and duties. No, back in those days a man's word was his bond and folks couln't reassign their responsibilities from private owwnership and business.
Say boys and girls, can you say: "Proprietary Theory"?
You see, that's what the capitalism of our forefathers was founded on. It's really the fundamental accounting principle of "private ownership". It means: assets are OWNED by the proprietor and liabilities are OWED by HIM! Why, it's as easy as saying: Assets - Liabilities = Capital.
You see boys and girls, the proprietary theory taught us that revenues increase capital whilst expenses reduce it! The net loss or income is wholly identified with the proprietor or owner. That is, in real capitalism, there is a "personal relationship" between the management of the business and it's owner. No, when your business profited you profited with it. When your business did wrong why there was no fleeing accountability or responsibility for that wrong! You see, under the old proprietary theory, the business and it's owner were the same! And the business owner took a very serious responsibility upon himself to run a safe, honest and responsible business because he knew he was entirely acountable for the conduct of his business.
Boys and girls, can you say: "Entity Theory"? That's the cornerstone of modern or pseudo-capitalism. It's a modern accounting theory that states a business has a SEPERATE accountability from it's owners. It can be easily expressed thus: Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders Equity. Under this theory all the obligations, revenues, expenses and responsibilities of a business are SEPERATE from the owners. In simple terms, the company itself becomes a "person" or "entity" which shields the proprietors or owners from any legal, moral, financial or social accountability/responsibility in the routine excercise of business. It's sorta like, if you own a "very bad" company that lies, cheats, steals or pollutes why IT AINT YOUR FAULT!! It's all the fault of that nasty old business itself. Yep, throw the business entity in jail for being a crook but let the poor inocent owners recover their equity free and clear because, after all, they're just inocent bystanders to the whole affair. Yes, boys and girls, the Entity Theory remade capitalism into a system of private ownership without assuming all the burdens or risks of any personal responsibility!
PS: Warning: Kids, don't do this at home because if you do some very professional people will take you from your house, call you paranoid and administer strange drugs and electric shocks to your central nervous system. Once you can no longer remember your name they'll put you on the streets to wander homeless and sleep alone in public parks. They will have assigned to you a permanent status as mentally ill and no one will give you a job except Goodwill Industries, for a few weeks a year. Finally you will die of hunger, exposure or some random street violence and the hospital will take all of your bodily organs and give them to decent people who aren't paranoid, unemployed or live in cardboard huts beneath the Interstate.
Bye-bye boys and girls! Be sure to look both ways before you cross the street on your way home! I'm afraid those professional people are back again. I can see they just pulled their van up outside my cardboard porthole and it may be awhile before I see all you little scamps again! When I do, if I don't remember you, please introduce yourself, I'll probably be very hungry and alone and need some help remembering my name....whatever it used to be.... :-)