Charlie MacArthur: A virtuous profit
March 14, 2010
I recently found myself discussing whether America is finally at its end. As we are currently moving closer to a quasi-socialist paradise, there is little doubt that like previous generations, we have issues to work out. There are people who bleed the producers and there are those who produce. Our government bounces in the middle, sometimes swaying for the producers, more often stepping in the way. I cannot think this is the end, because at age 24, I have too many years ahead of me to give up. I have but one choice: to believe that I can work hard enough to stay ahead of intrusive government and professional freeloaders so that someday I will find myself able to give back to those who helped along the way.
As a warning, I plan on making a profit. I do not believe that anyone will benefit from my hard work if I do not benefit first. As I develop, I will hire others to help. If I make a bigger profit, I will hire more people, we will do more work, and through this more people will benefit. I don't agree with our president. I hope that the bankers, Wall Street brokers, and auto and insurance companies are able to turn a profit this year and every year after. I hope that with every transaction, there are two winners, the person willingly purchasing a product and the company making a profit off that product. If the products are not quality, I hope that nobody steps in front of the free market and that company fails. As these companies make profits, I will enjoy watching the people they hire who live and play by the money they've earned. I believe in this system. I only fear the inevitable day when every producer, baffled by the injustice of being demonized for providing for so many, finally gives up.
This week, the Steamboat community stepped in the way of a producer and for that we owe an apology. We should not apologize for turning down the 700 project, for that was a force of the free market. We should apologize for lying to Danny Mulcahy and to ourselves. Like Francisco d'Anconia in Ayn Rand's infamous novel "Atlas Shrugged," Mulcahy made the terrible mistake of giving the public exactly what it had been asking for.
For Danny, I ask that you do not quit. Whether in Steamboat or elsewhere, being a developer is not a sin. Through each hour you work to create, you will support countless others. You will drag them, sometimes kicking and screaming, into a better life. You will not be thanked, but you will know that on your shoulders rests the burden of a virtuous profit.
For the Steamboat community, let's stop deceiving ourselves. We do not want affordable housing; we want to think we do. It is wonderful to proclaim that we are looking out for every teacher, nurse and laborer in our community but when faced with choice, we choose to keep the value of our homes at inflated rates. We choose to keep Steamboat "exclusive," a synonym for expensive. We do not want solutions to our traffic problems, and we do not want the West of Steamboat Springs Area Plan; we drafted that like we draft New Year's resolutions, without a connection between our resolve and the goal.
I ask that as the community reflects and analyzes, remember the importance of those who produce. I, for one, will be striving for a profit, and that profit will be virtuous.