Why Capitalism Doesn't Work
This essay was written by an 11th Grader for an American History Class: Grade received was B+. Comments included indicated that there was a poor conclusion but some strong parts esp. where the writer was able to quote sources.
A brief look into the failings of capitalism, socialism, and democracy in the North "American" dream Crime, poverty, Medicare, education, racism and intolerance, drug and alcohol abuse are just a few of the problems that plague American, Canadian, and other such societies today. There are all these problems, yet no answers besides expensive social programs which don't necessarily work anyway. Does capitalism truly work to serve the people? What is capitalism in the first place? Capitalism is a system of
based on a set of natural laws. It supports free enterprise and warns against excessive government intervention. Just like nearly every other governmental and economic systems ever invented, it works well in theory, but not in the real world. Wouldn't it be great if we shared all work equally, according to ability, and all benefits according to need. Thus dictates Marx's principles of communism. It would be wonderful. No one would be poor. Everyone would contribute to their maximum capability, and take only what was necessary. Social barriers such as class distinction would fall, as well as all having available needed services such as health care. Is a communist society the ideal? In theory, perhaps yes; in reality-no. The communist experiment of the 20th century failed miserably. The nations which were involved are now struggling to adopt a democratic capitalistic society. Unbeknownst to them, they are making another horrible mistake. Democracy will not truly take them any further than they went under communism. At first things will be difficult, as people struggle to change. Things will start to look up a few years down the road. Yes, and then the inevitable, they will realize the serious flaws in our government and economy for themselves. Just as we face serious troubles today, so will other nations sooner than we would like to think. In a true capitalistic society, according to the great Scottish economist and philosopher Adam Smith, who is considered the father of capitalism that "Wealth is generated only through the efficient operations of private industrial and commercial entrepreneurs acting with a minimum of regulation and control by governments." As one can clearly see, today's economy is far from Smith's dream. Government intervention is common in business today, as our somewhat socialist capitalistic society cannot truly cater to all people on just one philosophy. Our problem is that it's considered immoral to let capitalism run it's course, which tends to lead to "survival of the fittest" the rich and powerful survive, and the poor die. We have a capitalistic economy running under a socialist government. Our government is expected by the economy not to interfere, yet the countries' citizens insist otherwise. We demand social programs, yet business must be allowed to run unhindered. One can now plainly see the basic difficulty of the situation. If the government is to have funds for social support programs such as welfare, health care, etc., then it will have to interfere with business in order to generate revenue through taxation, tariffs etc. To a certain extent, this is what is being done. However if we are to truly function to our full capability of either of these systems, we have to pick one or the other. Again however, this is all great in theory, yet in practical everyday use this will not function. Not even the all-powerful government can make money out of air. The problem is the government loses money. No institution except for a government can continue to function in a capitalistic society while it is losing money. Sooner or later, this loss is going to catch up to our government and it will fall. I would love to say that I am appalled with Premier Mike Harris' cuts to the Ontario budget. I could say "He is an evil man who is out to get the poor and downtrodden." Yet we the middle class, who are so disgusted by his efforts, refused increased taxation, etc., in order to generate the funds necessary to provide for the services rendered to others. Harris is doing what a capitalist would deem necessary to attempt to reverse the process of losing money. He is attempting to secure some future for government services and the capitalistic economy. However, the amount of services that would have to be cut, and the increase in taxes not only to prevent further losses, but also to equalize the debt would be unacceptable. A business that looses money is doomed to die. A government that has lost money and continues to do so is digging its own grave. Harris is attempting to resuscitate the government. Capitalism is dead. What about democracy? What gives the government the right to stomp on people in its way, whether rich or poor, male or female? Democracy: When you elect a politician, you are responsible for his or her actions. He or she is a representative. If you think you can do a better job, run in the next election. If you are unhappy, attempt to fix it yourself. Again all this is possible in theory, yet not everybody has the means to run for office. The government represents such a huge body of people that they simply cannot listen to one person's complaints. Just because Joshua Golden thinks that the seat of the government of should be moved to Winnipeg doesn't mean it will happen. Even with a reasonable request, a person in Canada is simply a fraction of a percentage of the population, and your vote is meaningless. This leads to my conclusion on democracy. Democracy works effectively for small groups of people, yet the true goal of representation of the people is often swallowed by the large bureaucratic entity known as the government. I have now totally trashed democracy, capitalism, communism, and socialism. Do I have a suggestion? No, I am just observing, pointing out the problems so others more influential might be able to deal with them. Do I have a prediction? Yes, our society, as we know it, is near its end. Is there anything we can do to stop it? At this point, it doesn't seem likely anymore.