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Will coronavirus herald the end of capitalism? Show more Show less
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The US is already experiencing record unemployment, and stock markets are crashing all over the world. The economic impact of coronavirus is already huge. Does this mean the end of capitalism? Or are we reading too much into this economic shock? Previous economic crashes, such as 2008, made no change at all to the global capitalist economy, so why would coronavirus?

Yes, without spending, capitalism will collapse Show more Show less

Capitalism relies on the exchange of goods. When you can't exchange goods, the system collapses.
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Capitalism depends on 'private property'

How can people own property, if there are no goods on sale, and no money coming in?

The Argument

With millions of people unemployed or unable to work, payment-based housing is facing a crisis. Evictions are coming, and with an increasing number of people being forced to leave their houses, a shift in citizens' willingness to believe in America's current form of capitalism is increasingly likely. Further, the pandemic has forced the cracks in modern-day capitalism to become chasms right under our feet, and practically in the blink of an eye. In July, 36% of American renters did not make rent payments on time, according to Apartment List.[1] Evictions are occurring for this unpaid rent as states lift previously instated eviction moratoriums. Madison, WI, has seen roughly 2,700 Black and Latinx households get evicted since June.[2] Instead of seeing housing as a basic human right and need, the state has weaponized housing, sending armed sheriffs and police to evict people from their homes. Landlords can seek protection in the U.S., but there the state is providing little benefits for non-landowners.

Counter arguments

The increased number of evictions does not necessarily mean the decline of capitalism. Writing for Housing Wire, Housing Data Analyst Logan Mohtashami rejects the idea of a housing bubble, and says that sales of homes have actually increased in recent months.[3] There won't be another housing crash for many years, according to Mohtashami, which should preserve American capitalism for now. Even if the housing bubble did burst, the U.S. is so steeped in capitalism that it would take more than a housing crash to get out of it. Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, says that capitalism is the most optimal form of economics.[4] We should be grateful, he says, that we have all of the technology to survive in our own private homes. Colvile writes that capitalism has let innovation flourish during the pandemic, from distilleries making hand sanitizer to AstraZeneca testing a coronavirus vaccine. None of this would have been possible without capitalism.

Proponents


Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.apartmentlist.com/research/july-housing-payments
  2. https://evictionlab.org/eviction-tracking/milwaukee-wi/
  3. https://www.housingwire.com/articles/its-official-the-u-s-wont-see-a-housing-bubble-crash-anytime-soon/
  4. https://www.ft.com/content/10db1944-8b85-11ea-a109-483c62d17528

This page was last edited on Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 19:34 UTC

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