Capitalism:
Helping Them Up When They're Standing
and Kicking Them When They're Down

We live in a society controlled by money, and so money is only a concern to those who don't have any (or enough). As a result, we find that the rich and well-off are more motivated by personal satisfaction, whereas the poor and the homeless are driven not by their wishes, but by the rumblings of an empty stomach.

The poor abandon their dreams and hopes for the future and instead go off to work in the mines, at the factory or in the fields. Why? Because they cannot afford to pursue their dreams. They cannot afford to become a poet or writer or painter when they have mouths to feed. In fact, according to the AFL-CIO website, "the current minimum wage leaves a family of three 24 below the poverty line."

The rich, meanwhile, have the immense resources to do as they wish with their lives. Our President, George W. Bush, for example, spent years in control of a failing oil company that he started. How did it stay alive for so long? Through generous investments by his father's friends. He never lost money on his company either. The other day I read about a millionaire who worked as a ticket collector for a train company. When an interviewer from the newspaper asked him why he wanted to work he responded, "Because I like it." In other words, because he had money, he could follow his dreams. He didn't have to worry about whether or not his paycheck would be enough to pay for enough food or clothes.

When I go to school and I hear people discussing what they want to do when they get out of high school or what they want to major in in college, the conversation often begins the same: one student will say that they want to become a writer, or a poet, or actor and the other student will say "are you sure? That job doesn't pay well, and you'll need to pay for food somehow." But here it differs. Sometimes the student will say "yea, but my parents said they'll help me out" and sometimes the student will say, "Oh." And stand there, shocked into reality.