by Neville Kennard, veteran preaching and practising capitalist
Businessman and adventurer-turned-philanthropist, Dick Smith, ever-hungry for some publicity, is now proclaiming his generosity by exhorting other wealthy people to do the same. His current targets are the “Greedy Bankers”. Greedy bankers are the villains-of-the-month. They may or may not be overpaid; it is not for me or Dick or anyone but the shareholders and directors of the banks to say. If these bank executives are overpaid (and they may well be), the market, competition and common sense will sort it out in due course. Funny though how the hugely wealthy sports stars and entertainers escape the wrath heaped on the Greedy Bankers: why don’t we hear about Greedy Golfers or Overpaid Film Stars?
“Giving it all away” is quite in vogue for multi-millionaires and billionaires. It is seen by the popular press as a good thing to do.
“Giving something back” is also a fashionable expression and practice. “Giving something back” seems to smack of some ill-gotten gain, like a child who has taken the toy of another and whose mother, rightfully, requires the child to “give it back” — to the child-owner. Or the finder of a lost wallet seeks to “give it back” to the rightful owner — an act of a good neighbour and honest citizen.
Being appreciative of the skill and intelligence with which one is endowed, some luck even, and the good fortune to live in a society in which opportunity is offered and one’s enterprise is allowed to flourish is a part of being an empathetic human. Giving to those less fortunate is generous and noble. Philanthropy and generosity gives the giver as much joy as it gives the recipient. It should not be an act of sacrifice but one of rational self-interest. Altruism, though much praised by priests of religion and social-equity, is not a noble thing but an act of self-denial. Ayn Rand in her book The Virtue of Selfishness explains this well.
Trying to shame those who don’t publicly and flamboyantly give their money away is a low act, even if they are the currently-out-of-favour Greedy Bankers. Generosity and philanthropy is a personal and private thing. So is “Capital Preservation”.
Capital creation is hard enough for most people. Capital Preservation may be even harder. Long term capital preservation is a noble goal. Capital, combined with enterprise and energy, creates opportunities, jobs, products and services. We are, most of us, Capitalists in some way. If we own a car or a house, some shares or bank account, each of us is a Capitalist. Capitalism is about owning one’s life and the products of that life. Capitalism, despite the bad press it gets, is moral and ethical.
If there was as much public acclaim for Capital Preservation as there is for Capital Dissipation we would all be better off. Capital, preserved and re-invested, brings benefits at least as much as capital dispersed in philanthropy.
If Popular Dick were President of the People’s Republic of Smith he would probably make it mandatory to not only pay all the tax you possibly could, but to also pay a “Philanthropy Contribution” another tax by another name. It could be called a “Compulsory Tithe”. Not sure who would manage this Mandatory Charity Contribution … a Department for Coercive Charity with guess who as Minister?
Each of us own our life and the morally and legally acquired products of our life. Our life and what flows from it is our “Capital”. It is ours to spend, to keep, to give away as we choose. Each of us has different needs, goals and ways to live. Celebrity Philanthropist Dick is doing it his way. I just wish he would keep it to himself and not try to tell others how to live and give. Buy another helicopter, Dick, or another Beach House or Farm, or give it away — whatever you choose to do. It’s your money! Enjoy it! Please encourage others to do the same. Even become a Celebrity Capital Preservationist.
- Welcome from Neville Kennard
- Think Tanks Don't Work
- "Market Failure": Just what the government ordered!
- The Tragedy of the Tax Pool Commons
- Corporate Welfare
- Citizenship for Sale?
- I Don't Vote
- Voting: Right or Privilege?
- Stockholm Syndrome and our Love-Hate Relationship with Government
- Civil Disobedience: The Rules of Engagement
- Should Respect for Law Extend to Bad Laws?
- Jaywalking as a Demonstration of Individuality
- Government Likes War
- Collusion is Our Right
- Why Not the Drug Olympics?
- Unconventional Wisdom
- Tiger Farming: An Alternative to Extinction
- Looking Backwards: Mont Pelerin Society Conference, Sydney, 2010
- Tax Avoidance is a Patriotic Duty
- Kennard Writes to IPA Review Editor
- Genocide by Welfare: A Tragedy from the Aboriginal Welfare Industry
- Separating Sport and State
- Your Home is Not an Investment
- Dick Smith, Celebrity Philanthropist
- A Libertarian's New Year's Resolution
- Extend Politicians' Holidays to Create Prosperity
- Entrepreneurs are Disruptive, and Bureaucrats Hate It
- What is a good Australian?
- Governments Like Employment But Hate Employers
- The Market Failure Industry
- Neville Kennard: The Tax Avoidance Imperative
- Wot if ...?
- The Tribal Chief and the Witch Doctor
- The Tannehills
- Democracy versus Property Rights and Prosperity
- Government Doesn't Work, and That's the Way They Like It
- Minarchy vs Anarchy
- Euthanasia and Self-Ownership
- The Right Policies to Fix a Depression
- Is Howard Our Best PM?
- Tax Producers vs Tax Consumers
- Where There's a Queue, There's a Business Opportunity
- Authoritarian Freedom
- Why Classical Liberals Should Debate Anarchocapitalists
- The Tyranny of the Majority
- If you could choose to whom you paid your tax
- Business Should Exploit Boat People
- The Immorality of Trade Unions
- "America" vs "The United States"
- Sweet Anarchy
- The Illusion of "Job Creation"
- Gold Is Money
- Guilty Capitalists
- Prosperity vs Growth
- Capitalism vs Democracy
- More people = More fun
- Self-Ownership - the very idea!
- Government will murder Neville Kennard if he doesn't back away
- The Australian Dollar Has Been Cowardly and Criminally Devalued, Harming the Poor Particularly
- Is Taxation Theft and Government a Tax Cheat?
- My Journey to Anarchy:
From political and economic agnostic to anarchocapitalist
- Government Needs Bad Guys –
that's why they like wars
- What Is Obscene?
- Traffic Economics
- Wayne Swan stands on the shoulders of other intellectual pygmies
- Neville Kennard Obituary