Hey there, Shawn :-)
You`re right, that this is a hot button for a lot of people. My main
intent is bring out the difference between the concept of profits,
without which no business can exist, and the term "profiteering."
Many people think capitalism means "making profits," and often add
"...on the backs of the customers." That`s not true. Capitalism is an
economic philosophy based on the principle of private ownership.
Socialism is where the state or overall society owns the efforts of the
citizen (and the citizen`s thinking).
Socialism began (long ago) with a wish to make life better for everyone
in a society. Since then it`s meaning has been almost completely lost.
Capitalism has indeed made everyone`s life better, under the principle
that the rising tide raises ALL boats. America`s poorest still live far
better than third-world country poor people.
Even so, today`s socialists continue to believe that left to their own
devices, ALL business owners are greedy profiteers, wanting only more
money, regardless of the consequences to anyone else. Okay, then if
it`s *all* business owners, that means all the Startup Nation
entrepreneurs, and everyone else who wants to start a business. Right?
With a faulty definition of capitalism, too many people believe that
all people and all businesses have a moral, social, and even legal
obligation to "give back to the community." Then they wrap that with
the idea of "unreasonable" profits.
We`ve had at least one political discussion that got fairly heated, on
another topic. But this one cuts directly to the heart of owning a
business. I too, hold that an ethical business person will have a
different definition of "reasonable profit."
The problem is how to determine that reasonableness. From my
perspective, I think the variance in "reasonable profit" makes the
difference between a capitalist business person, and a profiteer. The
dictionary seems to agree. But what is "reasonable?" Nobody knows.