Saturday, October 11, 2008

When Entrepreneurs Become Profiteers

Ah capitalism. There’s nothing like the smell of capitalism in the morning. On the morning of a hurricane’s landfall, that is. It smells of . . . fetid turds.

Want to know why we are in a financial s**tstorm these days? Greed. Sheer greed. The greed of entrepreneurs. The greed of capitalists. The sheer greed of businessmen who will stop at nothing to get more for them and deprive everyone else of theirs; including breaking all the rules set against them to do this.

That’s why we are in this financial fix.

And greed isn’t just on Wall Street. It’s on Main Street as well. It’s among us.

The proof is in the pudding. When Governor Perry declared southeast Texas a disaster area, that immediately triggered state laws that prevent entrepreneurs from making obscene profits on the misfortunes of others.

But that didn’t stop the people who run the Hotel Nacogdoces in Nacogdoces, Texas from doubling their standard room rates of $49.99 a night to $99.99. Profiteering on the hard luck of Hurricane Ike evacuees.

That didn’t stop the people who run the Super 8 Brookshire Hotel in Katy, Texas from raising their room $99 per night room rate to $125 as Ike evacuees sought safe haven from a monster hurricane that was bearing down on their houses.

That didn’t stop gas stations from hiking their already burdensome prices all around the southeast.

No, it did not.

It seems we have a new plague that has spread across our country. It isn’t a biological plague, but a psychological one. The plague is called greed and while it has always been with us, it has been restricted to a small subpopulation of our society in the past.

In the past, most of us had a sense of fair play and empathy. Those two have been replaced by raw greed and it is more common than it has been in the past. More common because people have become aware of the fact that “greed is good” to abuse a quote from the movie Wall Street. Good because now it goes unpunished.

Greed is now rewarded.

Prove me wrong, I dare you.

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