Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why Capitalism Is A Good Thing

From page 63 of the January 14th-20th 2012 issue of The Economist:
Strange to recall, Kodak was the Google of its day. Founded in 1880, it was known for its pioneering technology and innovative marketing. "You press the button, we do the rest," was its slogan in 1888.

By 1976 Kodak accounted for 90% of film and 85% of camera sales in America. Until the 1990s it was regularly rated one of the world's five most valuable brands.

Then came digital photography....
They didn't/couldn't compete, and now they're ready for bankruptcy. Other companies have stepped in to fill the breach.

Is this "bad"? Should we lament the loss of jobs? Should government somehow step in and "save" this company, like it did with Sears or Circuit City? Oh, wait....

Sometimes, companies need to close their doors. Times change, the market changes, and those that cannot compete will be replaced by those that can. Always remember that this is a good thing; sadly, that seems to be only a conservative viewpoint anymore, not a common sense viewpoint.

(Yes, it sucks when people don't have jobs anymore. Are we going to lament the loss of all those whale oil and/or buggy whip jobs, too, while we're at it?)

6 comments:

mazenko said...

The creative-destruction argument is tired as a defense of capitalism. Are we still arguing that someone is arguing for maintaining outdated technology. I don't see anyone arguing for a government bailout of Kodak - even those European socialists in the White House. Then again, the internal combustion engine has been outdated for fifty years ... but those capitalist CEOs in the oil/gas industry have done a nice job of propping that sector up.

allen (in Michigan) said...

It's free enterprise that's a good thing. "Capitalism" is the somewhat haphazard concept birthed by Karl Marx another of those famous, nineteenth century frauds with which the twentieth century was so burdensomely saddled. His ideas, like the political philosophy they gave birth too, ought to be consigned to the historical garbage can.

Darren said...

Mazenko, I didn't know that oil and gas companies owned Ford, Toyota, Chrysler, GM, Fiat, Hyundai, Peugeot, Tata, Volkswagen, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Saab, BMW, Volvo, etc. Be sure to let these companies know that the ICE is outdated--I'm sure it'll come as a news to them.

allen (in Michigan) said...

You do, however, see plenty of people like yourself arguing for outdated technology like rail the inherent inefficiency of which is seen in the substantial subsidies rail sucks up to perform a service few are willing to pay for even at the subsidized price.

Just as a data point, Amtrak charges over $100 for a one-way ticket between New York and Washington D.C. while Big Bus charges $27 and takes only a half hour longer to make the trip.

MikeAT said...

Ok Mazenko, I'll ask. What in 1962 made the internal combustion engine outdated? Natural gas? Nuclear? Wind? Solar? Coal? Again, share us your insight.

MikeAT said...

allen (in Michigan)

As a tag on your comments on Amtrak vs Big Bus. Something else that the bus has is more reliable. If the train is unavailable for any reason (engine problems, track problems, etc) you are stuck. With a bus (or plane or rental car for that matter) you get another bus, move all the passengers and bags over and away you go!

And again for a lot less money!