Matt's Little Idea
Matt Yglesias wants us to know he had a brilliant idea
all on his little own:
This competitive market sure looks like a horrible place! You might make a living there, but you sure as hell aren’t going to get rich. Think of the immigrant family that owns the dry cleaning shop around the corner—long hours, hard work, modest income. That’s your capitalism and it pretty much sucks.
Obviously the whole reason to become a businessman in the first place is to get rich. Operating a business in a competitive marketplace is for suckers, or immigrants with limited English ability.
The whole reason to become a businessman is not necessarily to get rich. It's to make money, which is not necessarily the same thing. Sure, some businessman use their smarts and their customer service skills and become wealthy. But a whole heckuva lot of them just achieve the middle class, which doesn't really suck in this country at all; it's a pretty nice lifestyle, especially if you don't live beyond your means.
And of course Matt's later observation about how smart businessmen seek to limit competition, etc., is hardly a shock. Even the dry cleaner knows that barriers to entry exist in the competitive marketplace; if there are three dry cleaners at a intersection, nobody in their right mind is going to open one on the fourth corner.