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What are the pros and cons of capitalism? Show more Show less
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Capitalism is an economic system in which the four factors of production (entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor) are owned by private entities with the aim of generating a profit. Capitalism requires a free market economy driven by supply and demand. There is a lack of government intervention. Competition helps keep prices moderate and production efficient. This stands in opposition to socialism, a system in which the means of production are owned by the state.

Capitalism is bad Show more Show less

Capitalism ignores peoples' needs, results in wealth inequality, and does not promote equal opportunity. Capitalism also encourages mass consumption, is unsustainable, and provides an incentive for business owners to harm the environment for monetary gain. Capitalism is also ineffective and unstable.
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Capitalism ignores social needs

The success of capitalism is entirely contingent on the premise of every citizen being able to work. Capitalism doesn't provide for people that cannot work (the disabled or elderly). It is a system that values profit over the needs of the people.

The Argument

Capitalism ignores the needs of the society in many ways. First, capitalism doesn’t provide for the disabled. The success of capitalism is contingent on the idea of every person in a given society being able to work. However, disabled people or people with chronic illnesses, for example, might not be capable of working as hard or for as long as an able-bodied person. Capitalism discriminates against people who cannot work, leaving them to instead live in poverty or on limited government benefits. Capitalist societies depend on these socialist programs to provide for the well-being of society’s most vulnerable. In addition, the privatization of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies has made seeking medical help extremely inaccessible, and disabled people have limited options in regard to earning the money needed to afford treatment. Again, socialist programs are needed for these people. A system that doesn’t work for all is a flawed system. Also, if people can’t contribute to supply (the elderly or disabled) then they are no longer viewed as important. They are marginalized. The culture of productivity in capitalist societies is toxic and makes people feel ashamed for not being able to work as hard as their able-bodied peers, which has a detrimental impact on their mental health. Capitalism will also overprice or under-provide goods with positive externalities (health, public transportation, and education).[1] Government provided socialist programs are again needed to provide or make affordable these public goods and services.

Counter arguments

Capitalism needs social programs and regulations to keep the system in check.[2] Checks and balances have been applauded within government but are used as an attack against capitalism; this does not make sense. Capitalism provides opportunity and encourages innovation and for the small population that is not able to work in this system social programs are relied on as a safety net which is not a bad thing.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] Some people are less able to work or have more barriers to economic success. [P2] Capitalism doesn't provide for them. [P3] Capitalism values profit not the needs of the society.

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5002/economics/pros-and-cons-of-capitalism/
  2. https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/11/16/letter-capitalism-needs-to-have-socialism-to-keep-it-honest/

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 8 Oct 2020 at 16:10 UTC

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