It was wet. It was cold. It was miserable.
It was New Year’s Day and we just got home from church and lunch out with friends. Birmingham was a rainy, chilly mess, and it was not the kind of day where people want to spend a lot of time outdoors. As I changed out of my soaking wet clothes and into dry ones, I reflected on how annoyed I was at circumstances that would’ve been a day-to-day occurrence for our ancestors.
That I was dry and comfortable testifies to what Joseph Schumpeter called “the capitalist achievement.” Even most of the poor in Birmingham could be dry and comfortable: this was an even greater testimony to the capitalist achievement. They may not have been as dry and comfortable as I was, just as I was not as dry and comfortable as someone living in a brand-new, very expensive house, but we all share this in common: we have roofs over our heads and we had dry, clean clothes into which we can change.
Free markets are a great leveler. That was particularly evident when I was coming inside on a cold, rainy day.