Is Capitalism really a good idea?
it obviously isn't working how it was meant to, so would another system be a better idea?
Hello nightwork4, I think Capitalism is about as good as any system can get.
I say this because it accepts a major drive is for self improvement by all, and that the measure of that improvement is the creation of wealth.
Personally I don't see the system as failing. Capitalism itself is still working, the problem is that self interest groups are looking to control the system for their own ends.
A fundamental law of Capitalism as proposed by Adam Smith is that bodies or individuals act in a manner to promote self interest, but this means there must be some compromise because I have to allow you some right to satisfy your interests for you to reciprocate.
The current situation is merely a resultof the imbalance in the system causing massive instability.
Because the system throws a few wobbles now and again, it doesn't mean the system is broken, just that maybe the people who through the spanner in the works are non too bright.
There are Two types of Systems, that Govern Social Interaction in any given human Society ...
One is any Society's Naturally Evolved System of Governance ... the other, are the Synthetically devolved "Isms" ... Developed by intellectuals in countering the "Injustices" of a Naturally Evolved System.
The Truth, however, is that Capitalism, like Socialism or any other Ism, remains an "Ism" ... superimposed by a Politically powerful, but corruptible coterie of few individuals, upon the vast majority of the common citizens of a society.
To make a long story short ... every Ism remains valid, good and acceptable till such time its enforcers remain honest and sincere in their efforts towards such noble objectives as Peace, Equality and Freedom etc..
And the other Reality is, that Capitalism is no Exception to this Universal rule ... Read History, and you will find, what I say is indeed the Truth.
Pure capitalism suffers from the same flaw as pure socialism: the greed of those at the top.
Pure capitalism is explained as an economic system where the market decides a fair price for everything.
In theory, it seems to be the most fair solution. If there is a demand for a product or service, then the consumer decides what a fair price to pay would be. The producer/service provider aims for a price that provides enough profit to continue to operate, and meets the consumer somewhere in between.
In practice, however, you get a system where big business begins to stack the deck in their favor. This has always been the case throughout history.
Columbus wasn't originally seeking out new worlds. He was seeking out a quicker trade route to the Orient. The government of Spain subsidized his trips. But the aim was a capitalist one. When the Spaniards returned for the gold of the natives, that was greed driven.
Slavery was a capitalism driven evil, child labor- America then, emerging Asian markets now- are capitalism driven evils.
The problem with capitalism is that the profit motive generally becomes full blown greed. And greed generally results with Big Business' motives being to the detriment of the individual consumer. See cigarettes, alcohol, Microsoft's recent legal troubles and the recent financial system meltdown for further examples.
If it were possible to divorce man's natural tendency to be greedy from the profit motive of capitalism, the concept would be much more sustainable. Unfortunately, that isn't the case.
A better system is one that free market supporters are totally against, but it would be far more sustainable.
A hybrid system that allows for innovation and risk taking, but that established parameters to also encourage making sound long term decisions would be the best way to ensure a stable economy.
It would also be nice if we could remove the Big Business money influence from our governing process. That would go a long way towards ensuring that both the consumer and the producer were playing on a level field.
It might be true that Capitalism has a lot of problems. But as they say, "it's better than the alternative."
Before we attack Capitalism for the current economy, consider that there have been a lot of un-Capitalist things going on in recent years:
- governments creating many social programs
- rising government spending
- governments protecting those 'too big to fail'
- government incentives (for ethanol, oil drilling, cash for clunkers...)
- central banks to create money and set interest rates
- ability to influence elected officials with financial contributions
- ability to influence law enforcement and justice system
It is Capitalism that let's us buy what we want, based on what we can afford, and be responsible for the consequences.
Yes, we're a greedy lot. The fact is Capitalism works (better than the rest) because it can best deal with the very human emotions of fear and greed. When we're too greedy, the free market has a way of knocking sense back in.
No other type of economy makes full use of the resourcefulness of its members (us citizens), to make use of what they have, learn from their mistakes, and grow in a direction of their self will, creativity and determination.
Before we attack Capitalism because it seems to attack those who are down and out, I'd suggest that Capitalism allows us to create support systems to 'help our neighbor.' Each one of us fears a time when we might need help, or at least a lift up; and Capitalism let's us channel this into systematic, perhaps creative ways to help our neighbors.
Yes, we're currently going through a painful Capitalistic process as we digest bad debts and bad decisions made in recent years.
But consider that many of those debts and bad decisions might have worked themselves out long ago if we (and our governments) weren't so un-Capitalistic.
No it is not as we have seen in the US, the country is finished, in ruins because of un controlled greed brought on by people who abused and took full advantage of capitalism. There has to be a balance between capitalism and socialism.
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