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< Back to question What are the pros and cons of capitalism? Show more Show less

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 good Show more Show less

There are many positives of capitalism. Capitalism ensures efficiency because it is self-regulated through competition. It promotes innovation, freedom, and opportunity. Capitalism meets the needs of the people and is beneficial to societies as a whole.
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Capitalism and society both focus on freedom and opportunity

Capitalism promotes individual freedom by providing choices, right to private property, and allowing people to set the price of goods. Capitalism promotes political freedom by limiting the power of the government. Capitalism promotes equal opportunity by rewarding hard work and innovation.
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Proponents


The Argument

Capitalism provides freedom and opportunity. Milton Friedman was one of the twentieth centuries’ most prominent advocates for the benefits of capitalism. He wrote that capitalism promotes personal and political freedom.[1] Capitalism promotes individual freedoms in several ways. First, people set the price of goods through supply and demand. People have freedom of choice. Also, capitalism values the right to private property. Political freedom is promoted by capitalism limiting the power of the government. If the government sets prices or controls the factors of production, it would increase the power of the central government. Capitalism promotes opportunity by rewarding hard work and innovation. It is merit-based; if the people want your product or service then you can succeed and be highly profitable. People have the opportunity to achieve success using their skills, talents, and intelligence.

Counter arguments

Capitalism does not promote opportunity. There is extreme wealth inequality; the wealth of the richest 1% of the population is equal to the wealth of the entire other 99% combined.[2] Additionally, limited access to resources and opportunities (such as education and adequate nutrition and healthcare) from the start limits your ability to move up.

Premises

[P1] Capitalism promotes individual freedoms (people set the price of goods, have freedom of choice, and right to private property). [P2] Capitalism promotes political freedom by limiting the power of the government. [P3] Capitalism promotes opportunity by rewarding hard work and innovation.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P3] Limited access to resources and opportunities (such as education and adequate nutrition and healthcare) from the start means there is not equal opportunity.

References

  1. https://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/friedman-on-capitalism-and-freedom
  2. https://www.bbc.com/news/business-35339475

This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 17:39 UTC

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