The Problem With Capitalism Is Some Capitalists

Feb 9th, 2009 – Comment

Lou, Before I go too far in the initial reason for my letter I must tell you that no matter which derided tangent Oakley is on you are always a calming member of the show; a consummate professional, always very clear and wise in your guidance and advice. Rarely on 640 do I not immediately […]


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Lou Schizas is an equities analyst, investor, entrepreneur, professor and television and radio personality – and a true believer in the happiness-inspiring powers of capitalism.


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The Problem With Capitalism Is Some Capitalist

The Problem With Capitalism Is Some Capitalists

Lou,

Before I go too far in the initial reason for my letter I must tell you that no matter which derided tangent Oakley is on you are always a calming member of the show; a consummate professional, always very clear and wise in your guidance and advice. Rarely on 640 do I not immediately absorb the political direction that other members of the station present their opinion from, and I find it distracting. However when you are on the air I feel I am a more focused person in my style  as a result in hearing you on the show.

I dont wish to come initially from an overtly political place when I question your line “Happy Capitalism”. Thought I can range from moderation to extremes of left which may be the reason for the question.

Given the period we are in financially, and now in its wake socially and psychologically am I wrong in cringing when I hear a man of your trade and qualifications promoting a market style that one could make a claim has contributed to the malformation of society in recent times? With all of the many leaders in high financial places making decisions in private companies in unregulated waters that eventually in combination with many other factors all seem to have contributed to this meltdown.

I anticipate, maybe naively that you will say that the ‘Happy” part means many things, including proper, moral and responsible capitalism – however the way that capitalism has devolved is still a strain of the same genealogy of the market strategy which you promote. Why promote it? How Lou is there still Happy capitalism? Is it still appropriate to consider it a direction our financial socitey should identify with?

I need to understand what you see, because I tend to trust your guidance; your direction and your logic is ALMOST always sounds (with the exception of this topic) and I want to understand what I need to understand about this.

Lou please keep on doing what you are doing, the way you’ve done it since I first heard you. Run for office or open up one and guide people like me in our financial direction during these tough times.

Marc


Hi Marc,

There is a back story to Happy Capitalism. It’s a tribute to a former partner who died way too young. Rick Babcock was a classmate of mine at The University of Western Ontario with whom I started a business. The venture was based on a series of assumptions that once we had our skins in the game were rendered  untenable by a series of macro economic contractions beyond our control.

The challenges we faced forced us to be as creative, tenacious, and relentless. Which is what we needed  to overcome our lack of experience. After lots of effort we found a way out of the situation and were able to get up and over the problems. Everyday Rick and I would exchange the salutation – Happy Capitalism – on the way in and out of the enterprise.

At Times It Feels Like The Weight Of The World

At Times It Feels Like The Weight Of The World

What the phrase meant was – “You’re In It Up To Your Neck Fella And You Had Darn Well Get Yourself Out!” What  I took from the experience is that capitalism offers the pursuit of happiness but no guarantee that you will grasp it. That the golden dream can become the silver hook and that  capitalism can cut both ways creating wealth or destroying it.

But the best lesson was that the journey can be its own reward and that some of what we learn from the challenges we have to face serve us as we continue to pursue our passions and dreams. The effort in many cases is  its own reward.

Given the current environment and the challenges we find before us I can’t think of a better touchstone to get us through this swamp.

Happy Capitalism!

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