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Thursday, 1 February 2018

The pros and cons of capitalism


Capitalism is a flawed system, but I think people knock it more than they should. The ultimate anti-capitalist figure - Che Guevara - is now one of the most sold faces on international merchandise. I think this shows the irony of capitalism, but also why it continues to work.

Are human beings selfish by nature? Evolution has made us need to adapt in order for the fittest to survive and the weakest to be weeded out. It doesn't care about 'fairness' or 'equality.' Sound familiar? Capitalism is all about rising to the top of your field, and working hard. This isn't a bad thing. It rewards people who work hard and allows anyone to make money from whatever business they want. One could argue that capitalism is sustained by human nature - our selfish needs to be better than others. Those that are greedy, ambitious, hard-working or driven will benefit, whilst those that are idle, lazy, or less driven tend to benefit less.

It's not an 'evil' system, necessarily; I don't think it's helpful to start labeling systems as 'evil' or 'good.' I like being as pragmatic as I can (within reason), and pragmatically speaking, this is a system with lots of benefits. HOWEVER. There are different forms of capitalism. I disagree with laisse-faire, trickle-down-economics free market capitalism. One of the reasons is that it doesn't really work. We can see this from the 1929 Wall Street Crash and the 2008 Stock Market Crash. When an economy suddenly booms, there is more available credit, leading to an increase in demand as people are more financially prosperous, and then this results inevitably in a 'bust'.

That's the most over-simplified way of putting it, and I'm no Economist. But if we think about it using logic; if there is too much demand for something, the market can't handle it and eventually crashes. It crashes because people (particularly wealthier people) are better off, usually due to tax cuts and a surplus of income. This all looks great, but the problem is it isn't sustainable. A more 'planned' economy as those darn commies want IS more sustainable, but people don't like it as it doesn't include short-term monetary gratification like tax cuts that wealthier people want. This is one of the reasons wealthier people prefer a capitalist economy. The Conservative government want to boost the economy, but it's only 'boosted' for those in the higher financial bracket, and this boost doesn't last.

Hence why I believe in social capitalism, which has some elements of economic regulation and nationalization, but still allows businesses to make a profit rather than the state owning everything. Social capitalism works by having high taxation (which right wingers don't want), but then those are used to fund public services like education, housing, healthcare, welfare and other state funded things like parks and libraries and transport - stuff everyone uses. Higher taxation helps the economy because those taxes are then used to fund things we all need, and from an ethical/philosophical point of view is 'fairer' as it means the richer you are, the more you put into the economy and help it for everyone else. This system is what the Labour government want, and what Scandinavian countries tend to follow, known as 'The Nordic Model.' Even a lecturer of mine said no one bothers leaving countries like Norway or Sweden because the government invest in the people so the people end up giving back to their country's economy.

I CAN'T FUCKING STAND IT when people claim the Labour party are 'socialist commies' as they're clearly ignorant fools who don't understand basic economics. Communism is not the same as social capitalism because it emphasizes a fully regulated and planned government economy with everything under state control, and no chance for private businesses of any sort. Welcome to North Korea and the old Soviet Union, folks. I don't think there's any country in the world today that follows 'one' specific system of governing. If Britain continues under the Tories we probably will end up with a fully privatized NHS and cuts happening left right and centre to public services. But more to the point, with the way things are happening over here and in the US with Mr Trump, if we're not careful we may head towards another credit crunch market crash.

Links:

http://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/08/why-communism-is-terrible.html

http://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/02/capitalism-vs-socialism.html

http://www.tanocapital.com/news/2008/11/14/tano-capital-reseach-the-crash-of-2008-vs-1929-similarities.html%20

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/sep/15/counter-capitalism-alternative-business-rethinking-prosperity

https://www.thebalance.com/what-caused-2008-global-financial-crisis-3306176

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