During a January 1980 television interview, then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher stated, “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well”. Our current times make this keen observation particularly relevant. We continually are bombarded with facts and figures concerning fairness, income distribution, giving and sharing the wealth.

I am a capitalist. In certain circles that assertion is met with derision, claims of selfishness and images of Dickensian hoarding. I plead guilty. I seek, pursue and continually work to increase my share of the planet’s treasure. I do so honorably, with planning, effort, assumption of reasonable risk and a fair amount of toil. I have the opportunity, and in the United States, at least for now, the right to try to succeed. I also have the chance to fail.

Adam Smith, the original philosopher for capitalism, wrote of the “Invisible Hand”. His theory was that people working in their own self interest, pursuing gain and profit, indirectly contributed to the common good by dint of their selfish efforts. If I start a business, I typically am trying to make a profit. That is the goal of any private enterprise. However, as I push to achieve my profit goal, I will consume supplier’s goods and services, pay fees and taxes to government, probably have to employ labor and invest in plant and inventory. My selfish pursuit of profit inadvertently benefits a wide range of other entities.

Without profit, and thus success, there can be no Good Samaritan. By succeeding in one’s chosen endeavor, we have the ability to pay taxes, thus funding government. We can endow universities. We can give to a vast array of charities and religious organizations. Whether for Live Aid, Tsunami Relief, food for Darfur, or the local food-bank, success and profit enable most good works to happen.

Government is a consumer of profit. Government makes nothing and produces no wealth. Government has no money except the revenue it takes from citizens through taxation. When a government grant is bestowed on your town it is not a gift. It is simply your tax dollars being returned after a HUGE discount has been absorbed in the state capital or Washington, D. C.

There has been a wonderful hoax perpetrated by the modern political class. Promise something for everybody and project that another group is going to have to pay for the benefit. Only profit making enterprise, paying employees wages and consuming suppliers goods and services provides the capital to fuel the insatiable lust of government for ever more funds to grow ever more programs and benefits.

When profits disappear plants will close, employee jobs are lost and ultimately the ability to pay taxes and donate to worthwhile causes is inhibited. This is the exact reason that high taxes cripple growth, while lower taxes create the impetus for industry to expand, and thus, generate more goods, services, jobs and revenue that can be taxed.

And yet, many of the people most beholden to the “Invisible Hand” of profit generation, government employees, bureaucrats, charities, those receiving government benefits and the dole are most contemptuous of the capitalist system that funds this largesse. A successful businessman is pictured as greedy. A prosperous business or industry is cast as profit mongering. When was the last time a Hollywood film represented business as anything other than a Gordon Gekko parody?

All over the world the pursuit of success, free enterprise and freedom is on the rise. Former second and third world economies are rapidly industrializing and assuming many of the traits of capitalism. Centrally planned economies, even in formerly doctrinaire Communist countries like Romania, Russia and Bulgaria are following more and more of the American model to prosperity.

Success is an admirable goal. Profit is wonderful. The creation of some form of wealth, financial and personal, should be everyone’s goal. Accumulated capital enables us to fund our wasteful, contemporary, bloated government, but more importantly donate to causes and groups we deem important to society. As Margaret Thatcher stated of the Good Samaritan, “He had money as well”. We should all be thankful he did.

Author's Bio: 

Geoff Ficke has been a serial entrepreneur for almost 50 years. As a small boy, earning his spending money doing odd jobs in the neighborhood, he learned the value of selling himself, offering service and value for money.

After putting himself through the University of Kentucky (B.A. Broadcast Journalism, 1969) and serving in the United States Marine Corp, Mr. Ficke commenced a career in the cosmetic industry. After rising to National Sales Manager for Vidal Sassoon Hair Care at age 28, he then launched a number of ventures, including Rubigo Cosmetics, Parfums Pierre Wulff Paris, Le Bain Couture and Fashion Fragrance.

Geoff Ficke and his consulting firm, Duquesa Marketing, Inc. (www.duquesamarketing.com) has assisted businesses large and small, domestic and international, entrepreneurs, inventors and students in new product development, capital formation, licensing, marketing, sales and business plans and successful implementation of his customized strategies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Business School, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.