Friday 30 April 2021

After Four Years In Office …

They Did This: On March 27th 1939, Michael Joseph Savage opened the new Social Security building. Built in just 7 weeks, the new structure replaced the half-completed Social Security headquarters destroyed in an arson attack on 2 February 1939. In his book The Quest For Security, W. B. Sutch recalled the ceremony taking place “in the presence of thousands of people, in time to mark, five days later, the end of poverty.”

IT’S 30 APRIL 1939, and the New Zealand Labour Party has been in office for nearly four years. On the 15 October 1938, the government of Michael Joseph Savage had been re-elected with 55 percent of the popular vote – a still unsurpassed level of support.

April 1939 began with the coming into force of the Social Security Act. Described by the National Party as “applied lunacy”, and by the Labour leader as “applied Christianity”, the Act represented one of the most far-reaching social reforms ever undertaken by a New Zealand government.

Just how popular Labour’s social reforms were among the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders was revealed when, on the morning of 2 February 1939, the half-completed Social Welfare departmental headquarters situated in Aitken Street, not far from Parliament Buildings, was burned to the ground in a deliberate arson attack. Savage refused to be daunted by this overt act of far-right defiance. “We have got to get the Social Security Act working on April 1st and it’s going to work”, Savage told the country.

The Labour prime minister was as good as his word. “We are not going to weep,” Savage’s irrepressible Minister of Public Works, Bob Semple, bellowed. “It is a question of getting our backs into it, and getting the job done.”

While firefighters were still dampening down the smoking ruins on Aitken Street, Semple promised the construction of a replacement building within six weeks. The Public Works Department, Fletcher Construction, and the building firm of R.C. Love began work immediately on a site in Aotea Quay.

This breakneck schedule would “necessitate the working of two 10-hour shifts”, James Fletcher admitted, “and it is anticipated that approximately 150 men will be required for each shift”. The normally obstreperous building trades unions agreed to work the site around the clock. Fletcher and Love agreed to take no profit.

Thirty years later, the eminent public servant and historian W. B. Sutch, recalled the almost festive atmosphere that permeated the construction site: “Wellington citizens daily visited the job to share, to encourage, and to offer, at breaks, refreshment for weary workers.” Astonishingly, the construction was completed in seven weeks – just 7 days shy of Semple’s wildly optimistic target. Even the normally hostile journalists of the daily press were forced to acknowledge “an achievement never approached in New Zealand before.” On March 27th 1939, Savage opened the new building. In his book The Quest For Security, Sutch recalled the ceremony taking place “in the presence of thousands of people, in time to mark, five days later, the end of poverty.”

When the First Labour Government said “Let’s do this!” – it meant it.

Because, of course, the Social Security Act (1939) and the herculean rebuilding of the new department’s headquarters, were not the only things Labour was able to show after nearly four years in power. Between 1935 and 1939 Savage’s housing czar, the charismatic John A. Lee, had overseen the construction of thousands of so-called “state houses”. According to Sutch: “[D]uring 1937 there were three times the number of houses built compared with 1932 or 1933; by 1938 this had risen to five times”. By 1940-41 fully 40 percent of all houses built in New Zealand were state houses.

It is important to remember that the Members of Parliament who served in the First Labour Government were overwhelmingly drawn from the same working-class that made up the solid core of the Labour Party’s electoral base. Hardly any of them had much in the way of formal education. University graduates were few and far between. Trade unionists, on the other hand, were sufficiently plentiful to secure the passage of a bill making union membership universal across most of the New Zealand workforce. For good measure, they also reduced the working-week to 40 hours.

Like the Sixth Labour Government of Jacinda Ardern, Mickey Savage’s ministry was fond of harking back to the darkest days of the Great Depression, when New Zealanders were subject to the tender mercies of the right-wing coalition of George Forbes and Gordon Coates. Unlike Jacinda’s government, however, Savage’s never resorted to highlighting the Tories’ failures as a way of justifying its own.

Michael Joseph Savage made a promise to transform New Zealand, and nothing – not even a right-wing arsonist in Aitken Street – was going to prevent him from keeping it.

This essay was originally published in The Otago Daily Times and The Greymouth Star of Friday, 30 April 2021.


CXH said...

Seven weeks to rebuild. Jacinda would still be working out who would be on the consulting committee. As for Fulton and Hogan doing something for no profit, yeah right.

Barry said...

As we see all around the world, woke governments have almost all come from a theoretical/academic background. Most have never had a job where one had to actually produce something of value.
Its remarkably similar to the failure of applied socialism - otherwise known as communism. It was all theoretical and was a murderous failure. The supporters of socialism say "but it wasnt applied properly".
Thats exactly what the current dopes in wellington will say when things like emergency housing and education etc,etc all fail.

greywarbler said...

I am enjoying this post Chris. Thank you for gathering the information and publishing it at this particular time. Quotes from Google :

If you don't know where you've come from, you don't know where you're going. Maya Angelou
USA poet 1928-2014

If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. Lewis Carroll

Yogi Berra — 'If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.'

Joni Mitchell - But leave me the birds and the bees. Please! Don't it always seem to go. That you don't know what you've got - till it's gone. They paved paradise. And put up a [parking lot.]

Another USA dreamer. From an age that embodied such dreams that have turned into apocalypse but do businessmen/women care? In this age we need new dreams, yet holding onto the best, humane and practical ones of the past.
Peter Drucker 1909-2005 - The best way to predict the future is to create it.

Tom Hunter said...

I've pointed out before that you can't build the same thing twice. Is Adern's Labour government going to build another Social Security system? Another Public Healthcare system? Another building to house the bureaucracy for them?

The low-hanging fruit was plucked by the First Labour government. There may be equally revolutionary things like a Universal Income that they could try to implement, but I see no signs of such things from this government.

Which, as a Right-Winger, suits me just fine. I may even vote for them in 2023 on the sound basis that the more useless a government is the better it is for the individual.

But then I recall that even a government that's too useless to build anything can still stuff things up badly by constantly saying "No" and stopping people doing things, and that's so easy that even this government can do it. In fact it seems to be their speciality.

David McLoughlin said...

Fascinating piece of history, Chris, thank you.

Was anyone convicted of that arson, do you know? I've done a rudimentary search, and found that the arsonist managed to burn down most of Aitken St. But nothing about an arrest. It was of course long before all our time...

David George said...

Thanks Grey, can I add a couple of my favourites,

"Ancient Chinese saying; Man going nowhere is certain to get there."

“The secret to your existence is right in front of you. It manifests itself as all those things you know you should do, but are avoiding.”
― Jordan B. Peterson, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Nick J said...

Tom, you say you can't build the same thing twice...manufacturers are forever upgrading to the next model. The welfare state should be no different, it needs to be fit for purpose as opposed to dismantled (which would just take us back to conditions which were why we needed it).

Nick J said...

Barry, the academic theoretical nature of the Left is why they dont stay in power for long. They get replaced by practical realists who make things happen. These Right wingers are generally oblivious to the bad effects of their practices which academics warn them of. That in turn results in their governments being voted out.

The only winners are the public servants who dont seem to go away or perform regardless of who is in government.

Tom Hunter said...

manufacturers are forever upgrading to the next model.

I'm thinking more in terms of infrastructure than consumer items. We don't go around building duplicates of bridges, roads, or buildings for that matter when the existing ones are already in place.

Perhaps once every fifty years a new highway goes in, so for example the ;ast section of the Waikato Expressway to the East of Hamilton will finally replace the old SH1 system from Auckland to Hamilton. But that will be it, and this time perhaps for a century.

Sure, all those things get upgraded and patched, and certainly our Public Healthcare, Education and Welfare systems need similar work.

But they're not going to be duplicated or - more to the point - supplemented by anything equally as large and extensive. At the time of the First Labour government there was plenty of room for an expansion of government. But nowadays, ironically thanks to the growth of those institutions, there's just no room left in society for governments to do such huge stuff, aside from the Far Left who still think a central command and control economy is the way to go, but it's only a tiny fringe who still support that, even in the age of "Catastrophic Climate Change".

So tinkering with the existing systems is all that you're going to get.

Jens Meder said...

Yes, Michael Savage's welfare state was applied Christianity only up to the point of love thy neighbor and give him help in need - but neglected or forgot to complete that help with guidance and help for the needy to become creative and self-supportive.

In other words, instead of abolishing poverty, it actually generated widening needs and demands for help, with the foreseeable result that this kind of incomplete applied Christianity becomes unsustainable or widening poverty eventually.

Since there are too many of us now to survive as cave dwelling hunters and gatherers from the gifts of Nature alone, saving for reserves and investment are the only ways to keep us out of naked have-nothing poverty, so should not our applied Christianity be perfected with the help of COMPASSIONATE CAPITALISM, defined by the effort of achieving an adequate rate of poverty defeating capital (i.e.wealth) ownership by all citizens eventually?

The NZ Super Fund is a good example of compassionate capitalism, because high income earners pay during their life much more into it (for the benefit of lower income earners) than what they get back through universally equal NZ Super for all from age 65.

KiwiSaver is another start in this direction, which could be made more universally effective by granting the $1000.- kick- start unconditionally to all who have not received it so far, from new-born babies to seniors over 65.

How this can be done out of existing capital savings accumulated already for retirement welfare and without needing an extra taxpayer contribution has been explained on this blog already, and can be explained for debate again, if there is a need for it.

And is not compulsory taxpayer financed elementary education in all civilized countries already another example of compassionate capitalism, preventing the growth of underprivileged illiterates, which on the tangible wealth level needs also prevention of the growth of underprivileged have-nots ?

All this is in principle easily achievable (and partly being achieved already) e.g. through wealth ownership creative components or percentages built into our taxation and welfare benefit systems.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well, if we going to be quoting:

"All paradises, all utopias, are defined by who is not allowed to be there."
-Toni Morrison

“Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the stupid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental.
For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”’ James Baldwin

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
PJ O’ Rourke

“Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that's horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it's nothing. It's just bibble-babble. It's like a fart in a wind tunnel, folks.”

Harlan Ellison

"If they're on fire and you have water, then you can sell it to them."

Jordan Peterson.

You may say, 'Well, dragons don't exist'. It's, like, yes they do — the category predator and the category dragon are the same category. It absolutely exists. It's a superordinate category. It exists absolutely more than anything else. In fact, it really exists. What exists is not obvious. You say, 'Well, there's no such thing as witches.' Yeah, I know what you mean, but that isn't what you think when you go see a movie about them. You can't help but fall into these categories. There's no escape from them.

Jordan Peterson.

"The idea that women were oppressed throughout history is an appalling theory."

Jordan Peterson

Some of these make eminent sense, some don't.

Anonymous said...

You can check out, but never leave. Hotel California.Eagles. Leaving Five Eyes. It would be like leaving the Mafia.'Paul Buchanan. Former Auckland University Politics lecturer and US State Dept.NZ Public Radio. Discussion Manning 3/2021.
And the Good Shepherd. US Full release fiction film based on formation of the CIA and it's predecessor US intelligence agents 1937-1962.In particular the period of US///German intelligence cooperation in 1937-1940 and the Anglo German Yale Harvard friendship societies at Yale and Harvard.
As I have pointed in 1908 the despatch of the great white fleet was the first step in the plan to extend the protection of the Monroe Doctrine to Australia and New Zealand and the USA very nearly annexed NZ in 1908 as the Great white fleet actually arrived in Auckland from both sides of the harbour implementing the invasion plan. In 1938-39 in some senses the actual far left government of NZ had actually been deposed by a US coup with the arrival of the the heavy cruisers US Louisville and the French Jean dArc another cruiser. In support was Von Luckner and his yacht full of Nazi officers on the Hitler/Goebbels financed peace cruise which actually consisted of showing hours of film on the German Navy near victory at Jutland, the new Kreigsmarine and Hitler's Army.These event occurred in halls decked in Swastikas and even included receptions in RSA halls similarly adorned with Swastikas and large Maori attendance, since the German Army plan seemed to breed a new superior fighting man by breeding the Italians and Maoris together to improve the beauty and fighting quality of both.
Effectively the view in London and Washington seemed to be that the Labour Government and it's rising star John A Lee and his red book programme was communist and neither the health or import licensing to promote subsidized local production in favour of importing US or UK cars and machinery was going to happen The leading supporters of JA Lee and PM Savage , NZLP President Clyde Carr, a former Vicar aka as The Groper and NZFOL President Fintan Patrick Walsh were persuaded probably in the hot tub at Hot Springs with a lot of naked ladies to become life long passionate supporters of progress, freedom, wine, woman and song the usual kind persuasion and conversion experienced by Robert James Hawke and John Kerr and numerous Wilson Labour Cabinet members provided with the usual US thin flat chested love doll.
This extension of the Monroe Doctrine was of course legitimized by the 1951 Anzus Treaty which was as John Foster Dulles stated to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1951 not some sort of watered down Nation, but in fact the extension of the Monroe Doctrine to cover Australasia as always intented since 1908 to give automatic defence protection against the comon danger of Russian and Chinese Communism externally and internally remembering it's 1951 and our Holland Government is facing the 1951 Waterfront and Mine strike and Robert Menzies is proposing to outlaw the Australian Communist Partym

Terry Coggan said...

I’m trying to think back to my school grammar lessons - what was the definition of oxymoron? Something like “the combination of contradictory terms”? Like, for example, “compassionate capitalism”?

greywarbler said...

Anonymous at 15.26 - Can you put your hand on your heart and swear this is all true? If so have you added a bit of hyperbole to colour it up?

And people who quote Jordan Peterson a lot are going for the low-hanging fruit. If you listen to him for long he will say something that you sort of agree with but dared not say yourself. My antidote is to listen hard to Slavoj Zizek for a while, if his mannerisms bother you just listen and don't look. He doesn't speak as fluently and run on like a river, but he is hot on his subject which is concern for people and the world, not cool and manipulative pretending to be caring, but actually encouraging people to resile from society and 'get your own house in order' before you ask government and others to do things. The problem that people find is that their personal agency is often very limited, and easily collapsed; it is just a few steps to becoming homeless these days for people doing their best to cope and to manage their lives.

Jens Meder said...

Tony Coggan.
You are apparently ignorant that without capitalism - saving or accumulating for reserves, trading or useful (i.e. PROFITABLE) investment we would be still cave dwelling hunters and gatherers surviving off the available "gifts of Nature"

If you cannot refute that with just one practical or imaginary example of creating anything new or additional on the material level without someone having to save or sacrifice for it at the cost of "hand-to-mouth" consumption potential, you will just have to accept, that profitable capitalism is just a basic universal physical principle for survival.

Thus, even in the animal kingdom, accumulating fat reserves for survival through hibernation is a must, and is not a bird's egg a clear example of reserves accumulated for feeding the new life UNTIL IT IS CAPABLE OF NOURISHING AND ACCUMULATING RESERVES BY ITSELF?

In other words, surviving without capitalism is possible only as long as pre-existing capital reserves last, and survival under unprofitable capitalism means stagnation at level of hand-to-mouth poverty, and starvation if for some reason not enough sustenance can be found or produced.

How can compassionate capitalism be a self-contradictory term, when it is meant to signify an effort or moral principle to facilitate active participation in capitalism
by the underprivileged poor or "have nothings" ?

As has been mentioned already, is not the compulsory primary education system in all of the civilized world another clear example of compassionate capitalism to prevent emergence of an underprivileged class of illiterates ?

Anonymous said...

Hello Anonymous, nice block of text but interesting stuff.

The Americans are still extremely interventionist in New Zealand, they have just been very clever about it and people haven't really picked up on it.

John Podesta loads activists via into the training and mentoring system of

The head of every activist organisation and its key staff in New Zealand are all fellows. Most of their career opportunities have arisen from their participation in this network. It's left capture, it's been very successful and it's unknown to the public and even highly political commentators. And it's only one part of the US's influence and in some cases interference strategy here, which is largely covert. I suppose when people are screaming in your face that Pakeha are white supremacists and waving communist flags you don't think to check whether they are tied up with r funded by the US State Department or the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) or their common funding partners, who are typically rewarded for their philanthropy by being awarded government contracts and otherwise a strong often tech foothold here.

Look over the names on page 20 of this report and if you follow progressive advocacy or their efforts via the newspapers you will recognise a lot of names:

Anonymous said...

On T.Roosevelts, Great White Fleet and it's aim to project US global naval power and extend the Monroe Doctrine to Australasia and possibly invade and even annex NZ as the first key move in it's strategy for a Pacific war.
My views of 1938 are based on the NZ Herald and other 3 main Auckland/Wellington dailies in 1938/9. There are photos of Von Luckner and the Cpt of Joan Arc the French cruiser together. Extensive descriptions in news stories of the swastika decked halls and RSA clubs Von Luckner spoke to, lists of the major citizens who attended and the general topics covered. Hours of film and talk on the German Navy at Jutland and the post 1933 Kreigsmarine and German Army.Von Luckners view expressed to his closest supporters was about the need to recolonize the country with Scandinavians, Germans and Balts and his general view of the audience was' they were dumbest white people he had ever seen, this was Hitler's and Goebbels personally sponsored voyage. The RN , Labour Unions and University professors of course filed dissenting stories and saw it as Nazi propoganda.
On the 1951 Anzus Treaty and Sec of State John Foster Dules view expressed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
G.Modelski and L.C.Webb. in Seato six studies, pp 49-61. FW Cheshire/ANU.Melbourne (1962) pp 49-57. And many other period sources in North Island varsity libraries
On the suggestion that the coup against the 38 Labour Govt and Whitlam in 75 are similar and indeed against the Allende in 72-3. I have quite a few first hand sources, largely deceased and no official record. But family. Christopher Boyce's suppressed claim, he only occasionally got out, relates to the buying of unions and union heads in Australia and Chile and by very direct assertion by Boyce that Australia's FOL head in terms that can only apply to Robert James Hawke brought, provided with woman and blackmailed.
In terms of Clyde Carr and Fintan Patrick Walsh there tastes and interst in young ladies are pretty well known. The Groper Clyde Carr was a brilliant long term Labour MP and there is a recent very biased thesis by a Kerr ( NZ SC Farming and Newspaper dynasty) and Stefan Eldred Kerr recent work covering the late 1930s is very left wing but makes a few points about the NZ Nazi elite support and the fact British finance was frozen and London incomunicado in 1938-9 and the UK Treasury door was shut. Stefant Eldred Grigg thinks it's unlikely the savage Government would have been replaced by direct role from London or thrown out by like the NSW government of Lang in 1932. Newfoundland was not necessarily a less significant province to London than NZ. And from the time the Dominion office established an actual office in Wellington and moved here in 1930, a very negative view of this country as a dump and disaster and the Labour Party as worse, is the second hand view of the major Auckland business history of the time
In terms of influencing major UK politicians with the provision of good looking slim CIA alligned women It is understandable as the GRU/KGB did the same and worse. Tony Croslands wife Susan Crosland/Susan Barnes was from a CIA family and like Crossmans similar bride resulted into a fairly radical conversion to a rightish US consistent position from being very left. In David Owens case, a rather similar NY beauty was certainly helpful in being Wilson's right wing appointment to balance Healey as Defence Minister.As MP for the Plymouth Navy seats David Owen had to he right wing in full support of massive navy spending.Later as Foreign sec he was seen as in some senses as a Milisovich supporter to the horror of the Foreign Service After his political retirement David Owen spent 20 years combining living in Britain and Russia he both was the king term chancellor of Liverpool University and Managed Steel mills pa n Russia.Like Admiral Jeremy Black he appears to have multiple defence/ author/academic identies which are the same person.

greywarbler said...

...Yes, Michael Savage's welfare state was applied Christianity only up to the point of love thy neighbor and give him help in need - but neglected or forgot to complete that help with guidance and help for the needy to become creative and self-supportive.

In other words, instead of abolishing poverty, it actually generated widening needs and demands for help, with the foreseeable result that this kind of incomplete applied Christianity becomes unsustainable or widening poverty eventually.

What a mean-hearted person you are Jens Meder. You have a theory and cherry pick ideas to fit it. Getting out of poverty using your own resources is hard, most people need a helping hand. When Michael Savage helped the poor of course they got their basic security, and looked to advance themselves. That is what capitalism is built on. Also they wanted to build a society where such lows in the economic graph didn't occur. They then wanted to ensure regular work and started to create a self-sufficient society that also traded overseas. There was talk then about price-smoothing for farmers so they wouldn't be beset by the boom and bust nature of commerce that had hit the colony regularly since the Tiriti signing around 1840.

Brian Easton looks at three NZ depressions: 'n the 1880s and the 1930s' -

From the late 1870s to the mid-1890s, New Zealand experienced a depression that was...part of the worldwide Long Depression. The depression was foreshadowed by the closing of the City Bank of Glasgow in 1878, which in turn led to a reduction of credit that was available to New Zealand....

This seems a good overview of the NZ economy.

Managing demand for overseas-produced goods from the people who had profited from the balanced, regulated society became hard and economists were needed to help cope with this when the overseas trade that supported the opportunity for buying overseas goods was disturbed in 1975. Capitalism won over the internally balanced society which has been unequal since. Those who have attained wealth have avoided the enticements to waste their strength on idle talk accompanied by alcohol, they have avoided thieves and fraud, and noticed and followed up opportunities largely successfully, and were driven by a dream to achieve a personal goal. Capital helps, and provides an easier way than having to sculpt that dream entirely oneself.
But like medicine if taken in the wrong doses it acts against the body politic.

Thanks for the interesting comments from the Anonymi? (See -

Terry Coggan said...

Jens Meder.
You present hibernating animals and egg-laying birds as examples of capitalism in action. Goodness me, even the fiercest ideologues of capitalism like Ayn Rand or Milton Friedman would be scratching their heads at this.

You imply that some form of capitalism has existed throughout history, but it is only one of many modes of production that humanity has evolved. Nearly all of these had some method of providing for the future, instead of just engaging in "hand to mouth consumption." Pre-European Maori developed elaborate storage techniques for food and other essentials to get them through lean times. In writing about the future communist society, Karl Marx stressed that not all the social product could be consumed, but that from it must be deducted a portion for the means of production used up, an additional portion for expansion of production, and reserves or insurance funds to cover against accidents, dislocations caused by natural calamities etc. The ancient Maori, who had a communal society, were not incentivised by the profit motive, and nor will be the communists of the future.

For a certain historical period capitalism did drive forward humanity's economic development. But it long ago exhausted its progressive mission. Now it only breeds growing inequalities, environmental destruction, and war.

The reason that the terms "compassionate" or "ethical" capitalism are self contradictory is not because individual capitalists are not compassionate or ethical. It's because of the nature of the capitalism system, which is driven by competition. If one capitalist enterprise wants to pay its workers a decent wage, or its peasant-farmer suppliers a generous price, they will be driven out of the market place by rivals who have no qualms about achieving the lowest production costs possible.

And public goods like the primary education system you refer to did not arise out of the goodness of some capitalist's heart, but only because generations of working people fought for them.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

That is an excellent reply to Jens Terry, but I think you will find that you are pissing into the wind as it were. He is immune to evidence or reasoned argument. Still, it's worth it for the "lurkers".

Jens Meder said...

Dear Terry Cogan.
You still have not come up with a single example of anything apart from hand-to-mouth consumption achieved WITHOUT someones savings, sacrifices or contributions at the expense of hand-to-mouth consumption potential - i.e.capitalism - OR WHAT IS YOUR TERM FOR THIS BASIC PROCESS ?
You don't seem to understand, that a laboriously polished stone ax is an investment of time and effort to achieve higher productivity (profit?) potential and that no traveling to NZ by Maori, James Cook, or to-days visitors is possible without having to save and accumulate reserves or capital for it.

And are you not totally unrealistic when critical even of efforts for a profit, when actually there is no survival without a profit over the energy you consume for making a living ?

The harder you work without a profit, the sooner you die of starvation after any existing reserves have been consumed, and I can come up with examples from real life, in case you doubt it.

Are not all the efforts of realistic people aiming first at profitability, then at pleasure, and are not those who want only the pleasure of a good living standard without the effort and risks of capitalism - in principle perhaps more selfish than capital creators and investors ?

Of course, among humankind there are people who abuse both profitability and capitalism - but as we cannot do without them (can you bring an example?), is not the most sensible thing to practice capitalism in a compassionate way, teaching and helping the poor to participate in capitalism through some wealth creation and ownership ?

Jens Meder said...

Yes, Terry Cogan - working people might have "fought for" compulsory education -

but had to resort to capitalism to get it delivered - and to some extent even participate in it through donating, saving or sacrificing a share of their hand-to-mouth consumption potential to achieve that goal.

Cheers, Terry !