Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank you 1%!

While raking about 100 bags of leaves this autumn, I was given time to ponder the top 1% that the Occupiers despise. But this time, I was given less time to ponder thanks to my new six dollar yellow hand-held-rake-leaf-picker-uppers. Fellow rakers know that raking or blowing leaves is the easier part. The real drudgery is bagging them. Those oversized frisbees with claws and a handle probably saved me an hour of bagging.

There have probably been dozens of people with the same idea, but only one had the guts to pay for the patent process and seek out investors. (All the while thinking, “I can’t believe no one has thought of this before.”) I’d like to say thank you to the individual inventor, to the venture capitalists, and to the company who made that cheap hand held device. I hope they’re raking it in, the money that is, and I hope they make the top 1%. They capitalized on an idea that will save leaf rakers millions of hours over the years.  In fact after the inventor, the venture capitalists, and the factory owners have passed on, they will leave behind both their money and their idea. With capitalism, the benefit of the idea is socialized. Ironic isn’t it?

This process has been repeated millions of times since civilization gave up slavery and statism. This is why the average American enjoys luxuries that a wealthy medieval feudal lord couldn’t imagine. Ice cream, air conditioning, traveling 70 miles per hour, electricity, not dying during child-birth, 800 channels of news and entertainment instead of a court jester and town caller, are some facets of modern capitalist life that come to mind. Behind most modern advancements you can find a bunch of one-percenters, whose ideas we continue to benefit from long after their lives and wealth are gone.