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Capitalism: Let's All Be Part of the Solution

Updated on March 17, 2020
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin

The Thinker, a late nineteenth century bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)
The Thinker, a late nineteenth century bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.) | Source

Money: The Root of All Evil

Everybody needs a certain amount of money to survive in the world today, but the quest for more and more money, more and more things -- to keep up with the Joneses is the fatal flaw in the capitalist system.
Everybody needs a certain amount of money to survive in the world today, but the quest for more and more money, more and more things -- to keep up with the Joneses is the fatal flaw in the capitalist system.

The capitalist system -- or at least what's left of it -- has something exceptionally good going for it. It relies on the initiative and ingenuity of people living under it to devise their own way of beating the odds.

Despite the system's many faults, anyone who really is dead set on it can succeed; if not by being more clever than the next guy, then by working hard and long at jobs most people don't want: hard labor, factory sweat shops and the like. If one job isn't enough, two or three will do the trick.

Success Remains Achievable

Even in today's technological revolution, it remains possible -- if measurably more difficult -- for individuals to achieve economic success.

Most people, it seems, do not mind breaking their backs or racking their brains if it means raising their personal standard of living; more money in the bank, a better car, a better home, a better education for themselves and their families.

That's all well and good, but the system often crashes when it comes to solving societal problems; the more removed the problem is from the individual and the family, the less effort -- physically and mentally -- we care to expend on finding a fair and just solution.

Elusive Solutions

Sure, we'd like to see society's problems solved -- problems such as the homeless and housing, crime and the justice system, mass transportation, corporate greed, union excesses, health insurance, whistleblowers -- but we really don't have the time to contribute to the solutions.

While there's a great deal of truth to the fact that few of us have the time to sit down and come up with solutions to the world's problems, it also is true that when it comes to hard thinking few of us care to indulge. It's a lot easier to leave that chore to the other guy. Unfortunately, the other guy is saying the same thing!

We Just Don't Like to Think

Let's face it, we just don't like to think -- or at least not unless it's going to pay us direct dividends.

So solutions to problems are left to the system; politicians on every level from towns and villages, cities and states to national and international come up with proposals and either put them to a vote or impose them with little or no feedback from us. Boards of directors and corporate officers create policies that affect all of us; occasionally we're consulted, but often decisions are made in an ivory tower.

Think -- And Think Again

If we're to find the best answers to the myriad questions we face -- and will face over the next decade -- it will take the best we have to offer -- all of us! Our ideas and our opinions must be put in the mill so that politicians and other decision makers can do their jobs better, so the solutions they find for our problems are the best solutions -- the ones we'd like them to make:

* * * Think of a better and cheaper way to transport people around our cities and towns across the country.

* * * Think of how we can find jobs for our workers and improve our economy!

* * * Think of a better way to operate our justice system!

* * * Think of ways to help the homeless!

* * * Think of ways to help the poor and those trapped in the welfare system.

* * * Think of ways to prevent crime!

* * * Think! And be part of the solution!,

This is a column I wrote for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk Conn., on April 9, 1994.

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    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      There's no question, someonewhoknows, plays a large role in our inability to solve the many problems we face as a society. I continue to hold out hope, however, that people eventually will come to understand that it's in their own best interest to take a more flexible view of society.

    • someonewhoknows profile image


      10 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

      As long as "WE THE PEOPLE" continue to be blinded by our own greed or selfishness we will never really see that our individual prosperity depends on the prosperity of everyone else.Even billionaires would agree that it is the love of money that keeps people enjoying the fruits of their labors.A bilionaire certainly doesn't need a billion dollars to live comfortably.At least not yet. Inflation will eventually catch up to even a billionaire given enough time.

    • jormins profile image


      13 years ago from Chicago, IL

      Its strangely ironic how 13+ years ago still applies today. People assume we're making some progress on some of these issues but not really.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      13 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks, compu-smart. Sometimes I'm accused of being "negative" because I often point out problems that others don't like to think about. It's my background as a newspaper reporter, I think. I believe you can't solve problems until you can define them accurately. It's difficult for one person to do anything concrete about a problem, but I believe it helps to remind people that problems exist and answers are needed. Basically, that's what all my columns are all about.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony Sky 

      13 years ago from London UK

      Great Hub, I think about all the above things you mention and I wished i was in a position to do something about some of them.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      13 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks for the kind comments, Earth Angel and Zsuzsy. It's nice to be at HubPages where so many do such good work for others.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      13 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      William! Great HUB! And I agree with Earth Angel's comments. We all need to work together and look out for each other. I don't have a lot but I and mine don't go hungry as nobody should...

      A little by many adds up

      regards Zsuzsy

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      13 years ago

      GREAT Hub William!! (Bob, I don't understand your comment above??) Again, you were way ahead of your time!! I agree!! One of the most critical issues facing the U.S. and the world today is the lack of independent thinking!! If we can spend so much time and energy supporting our personal standard of living, we can do the same for our many social ills!! None of us live in a bubble!! We can become self made millionaires and still lose everything because an early-release parolee gets drunk, goes for a joy ride and kills our loved ones!! "To those who much is given, much is expected!!" Again, GREAT Hub William!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Bill........Capitalism is what built this Country the best in the world. You see what communism did to Russia. Socialism has moved France back into the dark ages. They are finally trying to change their system.When a person works hard to get ahead and succeeds, he sure vdoesn't want to turn it all over to the Government to hand out to those that just come around with their hand out .


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