After Lane Meyer turned me back onto the Dennis Miller Show, I went to iTunes and grabbed a bunch of a recent interviews from the Dennis Miller show.
Miller gives a great interview.
One of the interviews happened to be with another radio show host, columnist and author, Michael Medved. Medved was plugging his new book, the Five Big Lies About American Business.
Medved hit on a concept that Miller didn’t even seem to understand and I’m not sure he understood after Medved explained about two and half times.
Medved said that many people view business people as greedy and not giving back in the way charity to communities. But, these business people do contribute to society. They produce goods that other people value enough to voluntarily buy.
That’s very important.
At the root of capitalism is the idea of voluntary, mutual beneficial exchange. Mutually beneficial means both sides come out ahead. Win-win.
By providing one side of those transactions – goods and services that people value enough to buy – they are contributing to society. They are adding value to society.
I’ve said before that in all of the trade that has taken place between myself and Bill Gates, Bill Gates really got the short end of the stick. Now, I don’t feel sorry for him in anyway, but the point is to recognize that he has added a great deal of value to my life. Much of my the livelihood I’ve earned over the past couple decades were based on Bill’s products.
Medved’s point is one that we each experience every day, but very few ever recognize it. On your next purchase, ask yourself why you purchased it. Was it voluntary? Why were you willing to give up some of your hard earned money for it? What value did it bring to your life? How much would you have willing paid for it? How much more of it would you buy if it were cheaper?
Miller heard Medved, but he took Medved’s point to mean that the businessperson contributes to society only by providing jobs. That’s important too. But, the value the businessperson provides in his or her products or services was Medved’s point and it’s invisible to most people.
It shouldn’t be.