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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 results in wealth-inequality

Capitalism results in wealth-inequality. The richest in society have more money than they could ever need while other people in the same society are homeless, hungry, and/or living in poverty. This is morally wrong. We should redistribute this wealth to help others.
Capitalism

The Argument

Capitalism results in drastic wealth-inequality. It allows for CEOs such as Jeff Bezos to earn over four million dollars an hour, while his lowest-paid employees are earning eight to twelve dollars an hour.[1] The wealth of the richest 1% of the population is equal to the wealth of the entire other 99% combined. [2] This is morally wrong and the wealth should be redistributed. One billion dollars is more money than a single person could ever spend within their lifetime, and there is no justification for why one person should be allowed to hoard so much wealth while others are living in poverty. Capitalism limits the ability of the federal government to intervene and redistribute this wealth among the population to remedy widespread poverty and homelessness. Although billionaires do make generous contributions to charities each year, they often donate a minuscule percentage of their total wealth. For example, in 2018, Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, donated 0.1% of his wealth, while Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, donated 0.4% of his total wealth.[3] A billionaire could sacrifice the majority of their wealth and still have enough to live comfortably for the remainder of their life, which is why government intervention and redistribution should be allowed. Without this assistance, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Counter arguments

People should be allowed to retain their wealth because they earned that money. The prospect of achieving wealth encourages hard work and innovation. Private property and private wealth (that is off-limits to the government) is vital to a free society.[4] Drastic wealth inequality (especially inherited wealth) is a problem, but it is not exclusive to capitalism nor is it an unavoidable consequence. This problem can be addressed within a capitalist economy.

Proponents

Premises

[P1] The richest in society have more money than they could ever need. [P2] Other people in the same society are homeless, hungry, and/or living in poverty. [P3] This wealth-inequality is wrong, and we should redistribute this wealth to help others.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Everyone has the opportunity to achieve success. People should be entitled to keep to the money they earned.

References

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-makes-every-day-hour-minute-2018-10
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-35339475
  3. https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/how-much-do-billionaires-donate-to-charity
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-future-of-capitalism-is-a-crucial-issue-in-2020-the-debate-isnt-simple/2019/11/16/8e241b38-0572-11ea-b17d-8b867891d39d_story.html
This page was last edited on Monday, 2 Nov 2020 at 23:33 UTC

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