Sometimes here in the Forum I see a comment like this one that is deeply embedded in a recent thread ostensibly discussing something other than the merits of capitalism: “Capitalism’s best friend is a secure, healthy and well educated workforce.”
There are many problems with this statement, although to be fair it captures a sentiment most of us can agree with. After all, a secure, healthy and well educated workforce would be the “best friend” of any economy.
For a capitalist economy, however, such a workforce is just one of several types of capital. Other types of capital include land, plant-and-equipment, technology and money/financing, to name a few broad categories.
Capitalism’s real best friend is capital. Which brings us back to the sentimental notion I am highlighting. Capitalists certainly acquire and improve land; they certainly acquire and improve plant-and-equipment; they certainly acquire and improve technology; and they certainly acquire and improve money/financing.
Why should anyone assume that capitalists don’t acquire and improve workforces?
I get it that the narrow interest of one single businessman might only improve the security, health and education of a hamburger flipper in terms of flipping hamburgers, but I’d argue that that’s enough. It is probably more than enough.