Cars & Capitalism




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As a young man, I was not a car person. I was not interested in getting my license and not interested in owning a car. I relied on walking, running, and biking to get around. When I started work at Florida A&M University, I tried biking to work. My bike was destroyed, and I barely escaped serious injury. I decided that I just needed more speed, so I got a small Yamaha. After several near-death experiences, I decided I needed steel all around me and got a Tacoma in 2001. I was still not interested in vehicles and just took it in for service as needed. It had a few problems over the years, but the shop I went to generally did a good job and the prices were not bad. In the fall, it developed a mysterious hum that proved expensive, this got me interested in cars. Or rather, my truck. Being a philosopher, I naturally think of my experiences with the repairs in the context of a theory, in this case, capitalism.
Practical folks are usually not interested in economic theories. They mostly operate within systems that theorists crudely mirror in theories to criticize or justify the behavior of these practical folk. Consider, for example, capitalism. The theoretical ideal is that equals meet within the free market to engage in a fair struggle for success. In the case of businesses (broadly construed) the ideal is that they engage in battle until the businesses with the best products and best prices stand atop the corpses of their competition (with the invisible hand making this all happen as it should). In the case of the consumer, the ideal is that they engage as equals in the free market with these businesses, thus ensuring that they will get the best products at the best prices for themselves. The workers, within the magical world of the theory, also engage as equals with the businesses and work out a fair wage, fair working conditions, and fair benefits. Outside of the theory, none of this holds true. So, let us look at cars and capitalism.
As I mentioned, my truck. . .

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News source: A Philosopher’s Blog