I saw first-hand this past week how capitalism is both extremely effective at generating money and merciless to those without a formal education. My company has been doing quite well the past 5 years, growing our revenue 20-30% each year. This year we're on track to generate $100M! in profit on $400M in revenue. If anyone wonders where money to build roads, fund healthcare, pay salaries and build warships comes from, it is from companies like this one that produce lots of tax revenue for the U.S. Government.
However, in the same speech that our CEO announced our unprecedented profits, he also announced that the best thing for our company's profitability is to outsource about 30% of our U.S.-based manufacturing jobs overseas to Malaysia which will result in further savings of millions of dollars each year. Marxists--take up your arms!! Because who benefits from this? Clearly the shareholders, the remaining employees (typically white-collar ones) and the U.S. government all benefit. But who gets the shaft? Yes, the semi-skilled workers. However, what's interesting about the make-up of our manufacturing employees here in Silicon Valley is that 99% of them were not born in the U.S. Most of them came over here to find better-paying jobs and they presumably found them (otherwise they would return to their home countries)?
Anyway, in seeing all of this take place, it reinforces a number of things for me: without an education, you're in a very vulnerable position; American multinational companies are extremely efficient and often ruthless; the bulk of the substantial money produced by companies goes to the OWNERS of the efficient company, not to the EMPLOYEES. The Dutch corporation that owns my relatively small company gets $100M in profits this year and the employees will probably get a "bonus." It is a good idea to own, if you can, your own profitable company.
By the way, this past week Ivy and I watched an excellent documentary on the Enron debacle--called Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Lay and Skilling were unbelievably deluded and corrupt and it shocking to see, however, how legions of bankers and analysts went along for the ride. The employees, sadly, were the ones who obviously lost out the most. It was also impressive to see that a young reporter (who is one of the co-authors of the book of the same name) was responsible for raising initial red flags about Enron being overvalued.