The other night I was in the restroom at a restaurant and I noticed the Crane logo on the urinal. I had seen that one before, along with others for different companies. I started wondering why someone would choose to make urinals. And if you did get rich selling urinals, would you tell all your friends at the country club?
Then I started thinking about capitalism, and that without my needing to even ask for it, someone founded Crane and built this urinal to meet my needs. The person who opened the restaurant then thought of ordering it and installing it. They even did their best to make a comfortable restroom, with fancy accents like tile floors. They even keep it clean for me.
They do this because they are hoping that I will eat at their restaurant. Crane does this because they want to make money selling urinals. They even work on making their product the best it can be – meeting many needs I don’t even think of in its design. Would someone do this if I had to eat at their restaurant or the restaurant owner had to buy their urinals? Probably not.
While there can sometimes be issues, and it certainly isn’t a great system for the guy who wants to be an artist and make pictures that only he likes, capitalism does an amazing job of encouraging people to meet the need of others. All over the company, people are thinking about how they can provide what people will buy and how they can do it for less than their competitors. They are thinking about our shopping experience and how we will feel about their products and services. They want to do a great job because they want us to buy from them again.
There is no central planning doing this – it is all do to people at the local level figuring out what is needed and filling that need – even the need for urinals. So the next time you’re standing at a urinal and see that Crane logo, think about what a great place you live where people are out there trying to fill your needs, and you can become wealthy yourself if you tend to the needs of others. Also, if you are one of the 99%ers complaining about evil rich guys, realize that one of those 1%ers built the company that provided that urinal in that Starbucks whose restroom you are using during your campout. Do you really feel like they are cheating you somehow?
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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.