Wherein The Boy And I Have “The Talk”

No, not the Birds and the Bees talk. That’s what the Internet is for.

I’ve been musing about the difference between free markets and Capitalism. I’m very for free markets: People + stuff = trade. That’s pretty much how things work, and the closer we keep to that, the better off things seem to be. I don’t see the struggle we’re undergoing now as “Communism versus Capitalism” but “Slavery versus Freedom”.

Capitalism arises as organically from free markets as free markets do from people + stuff. Naturally some people are going to want to trade money for more money. And just as naturally, some people are going to end up just trading money for money. This leads to people saying “Hey, those guys aren’t doing anything but making money offa us!”

This, in turn, leads to upsetting or compromising the free market, even revolution.

Well, I was trying out this logic on The Boy, and he would have none of it. He pointed out that problem wasn’t Capitalism, but envy. Or ignorance. And I pointed out that Capitalism had always failed, ultimately leading to less free markets. And he pointed out that the State was always involved in the failure.

And so I said that if the system always failed, how was that different from Communism?

Well, The Boy wasn’t having any of it. He was quite deftly arguing his point, puncturing my arguments and standing his ground. But I didn’t let on that I basically agreed with him.

An hour or so later, he emerged from his man-cave and said that he’d always thought I knew everything and had all the answers magically. Now, of course, I’ve done everything I can to discourage that notion, gently, and he’s been coming ‘round to my less-than-divine status for years, but I’m not sure it fully dawned on him until that night.

It’s a very good thing.

He did reassure me I was still magical, though, just in a different way.

sniffI promised myself I wouldn’t cry…

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