Some ironies are almost too forehead slapping to even begin writing about. Nevertheless, we persisted.
Teen Vogue is a nicely profitable enterprise aimed at teenage girls — and probably those who want to still be seen as teenage girls — by writing stories about the newest and best products that are “in” for teen girls. Cool products. Hip products. Make you beautiful products. And some politics and a load-bearing wall of celebrity gossip.
Then they sell ads for products, including those they write about, along with the normal bevy of online ads, and make money through those advertisements.
They know their market, they understand the demand, and they meet that demand with a supply of content written by their staff, and advertisements sold by their ad department and others who want to reach their readers. This is just about as classic a case of capitalism at work as you see — and see thousands of times daily.
Every part of Teen Vogue magazine oozes capitalism and the glories therein.
Meanwhile, at the insane irony desk of the magazine, Teen Vogue published an article in April trashing capitalism and saying there are better forms of economics, such as — you guessed it! — socialism.
Then, two days ago, the Teen Vogue Twitter desk — presumably people being recompensed in return for providing social media services, so still an irony-free zone — decided to resurrect this powerful piece of economic thinking by tweeting it out again with this fact-free pitch:
Can’t #endpoverty without ending capitalism!
Yes, of course, this is a wildly far-left magazine. For instance, headline today: “Kanye West Is What Internalized Racism and Misogyny Looks Like.” Sure, he looks just like the racism of the Jim Crow South and misogyny of Islamic radical nations where women cannot be seen in public and their husbands can beat and rape them at will. That’s Kanye!
It’s all part and parcel with the indoctrination into leftism going on at American universities outside of the STEM fields — which is almost undoubtedly where Teen Vogue gets their writers.
It’s also worth noting that as the magazine shifted to heavily online, it also shifted to add a heavy dose of politics to its teen fashion staple. ‘Tis too much to dissect the entirety of nonsense in this article. But a few points are worth making. Author Kim Kelly explains capitalists this way:
Individual capitalists are typically wealthy people who have a large amount of capital (money or other financial assets) invested in business, and who benefit from the system of capitalism by making increased profits and thereby adding to their wealth.
That is just the worst understanding of capitalists. The vast majority start with nothing or almost nothing, work very long hours and, sometimes, are successful with their businesses. Some go into debt or re-mortgage the house to start a business.
Teen Vogue is headquartered in New York, one of the capitalist wonders of the world. I wonder if the author stopped at the bagel stand on the sidewalk for breakfast, or maybe the little deli for lunch. Those are capitalists, like the little place that does her hair. Pretty sure they didn’t launch the bagel cart or any of the others with a “large amount of capital.”
A capitalist nation is dominated by the free market, which is an economic system in which both prices and production are dictated by corporations and private companies in competition with one another…
Well, she managed to write something even less informed in that very next sentence. Prices and production are not dictated by corporations and private companies — they are dictated by the demand for product and the competition combined with consumer willingness to determine the price and production levels. It’s almost like she doesn’t really know what the words “free market” mean.
There’s 1,800 more words of this ignorance, but I won’t torture you with them.
In addition to the fact that Teen Vogue — including its fairly ignorant writers and social media people — are directly participating in capitalism, they are literally inundated with the joys, comforts, benefits and luxuries that have been created by capitalism.
One can’t help but wonder if they are even aware of it.
They live in housing built by capitalists who were supplied with all of the necessary materials by a train of capitalism including wood, cement, nails, glass, etc. Presumably they have furniture, also brought to them by capitalists. They checked their smart phones when they got up and used them all day — smart phones provided to them through capitalism. They drove to work or rode public transit to work or rode a bike to work all through capitalism. (Yes, public transit: who built the trains and buses, who supplied all the materials to do that, who transported them, etc.? Capitalists!)
Their place of work, built by capitalists. Their computers? Made by capitalists. The clothes and shoes they’re wearing? Made by capitalists. The food they’re eating? Provided by capitalist farmers through dozens of middle capitalists to capitalist restaurateurs. Wearing glasses? Capitalists. Taking an ibuprofen for a headache? Capitalists. Going on vacation? So many capitalists will make that happen for you!
Their historically comfortable, luxurious lives are entirely thanks to capitalism thriving on a foundation of individual liberties — both of which their socialism would do away with. (See: Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Union, Vietnam, North Korea and so on.)
And then there is the obvious fact that the Tweet itself is antithetical to all the data we have. Capitalism has brought literally billions of people out of poverty in the past 50 years.
The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide declined by an astonishing 80 percent from 1970 to 2006, at the same time that capitalism and free enterprise were taking off in countries around the world that had not wholly participated before. This is measured by the number of people living on a dollar a day or less, which fell from 26.8 percent of the world’s population in 1970 to 5.4 percent in 2006.
The writers over at Teen Vogue may not much care for this sort of factual data. But here’s some more anyway.
Global poverty by the same measurement captured 94 percent of the world’s population in 1820. But with industrialization (capitalism) and globalization of markets, and now the rapid technological advances (capitalism) that share has plummeted to 17 percent. In the shorter timeframe, that global poverty rate was still 53 percent in 1981, meaning the fall to 17 percent now is “the most rapid reduction in poverty in world history,” according to Oxford University’s Martin Roeser, the source of this data.
The Daily Wire has more data points here. Suffice to say, the tweet and article are demonstrably wrong.
It’s just sort of head-smacking that the editorial content providers cannot see the enormity of benefits that have accrued to them because of capitalism. Unfortunately, it appears according to polling that their readers cannot either.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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