Friday, August 21, 2009

Very strange...

I just got a robocall from Omaha, Nebraska. A male voice said, "Press one to hear a message about capitalism."

"Sure," I thought. "Why not?"

I pressed one, and heard, "America was founded on the principle of small government and allowing people to pursue their dreams. Keep capitalism strong in the USA."

That was it – nothing more.

The only capitalist I associate with Omaha is Warren Buffett, but, of course, a robocall phone bank can be anywhere and hired by anyone. I doubt the call came from Buffett, who is not known for wasting money on useless gestures.

If I were so inclined, what would the call's originator have me do to keep capitalism strong? Expand my stock portfolio? Set up a lemonade stand in my front yard? Send back my social security check in protest?

More likely I'm supposed to oppose the public option for health insurance reform; or, maybe, oppose new regulation of the financial markets. Maybe I should be supporting unlimited worldwide immigration so that labor markets can be internationalized as thoroughly as capital markets, or working to eliminate the unfair and uncompetitive tax advantages enjoyed by religious organizations.

There's capitalism, and then there's capitalism, after all. One way or the other, I think it's become fairly obvious that keeping it on a shorter leash might not be that bad an idea.

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