-49

Capitalism, as an economic system, is immoral.

27%Agree73%Disagree
MonsieurdeGauches avatar Education
Share
0 33

Define morals. Is it immoral to give losers the same prize as winners so they don't feel bad about themselves?

Anonymous +10Reply

It isn't immoral, it's just that not everyone can be winners. And there are programs to help people get their lives back on track, we don't just turn a cold shoulder on the "losers" of the system

Modern capitalism has become immoral due to it overwhelming favoring towards the rich at the expense of the poor. But capitalism itself teaches the philosophy of working hard and being creative in order to make a better life for yourself. Capitalism would work better if it were more democratic and was less concerned with money. Although by that point it might not even be considered capitalism anymore, just as Chinese communism is no longer true communism.

Yep. It's wrong for a person to be able to succeed or fail based on their own actions...makes me sick

@WinniethePooh Yep. It's wrong for a person to be able to succeed or fail based on their own actions...makes me sick

But it is not the individuals actions alone that allow for them to succeed or fail.
Being poor is not a direct result of not working hard and being rich is not the direct result of working hard.
what about the 900 million people who can't find their next meal, is that a failure of the individual because they didn't work hard enough or didn't act in the correct way?

@Naggs But it is not the individuals actions alone that allow for them to succeed or fail. Being poor is not a direct...

No, that's because most of those people live in areas that don't have any form of economy at all. Notice how one of the only countries that can almost fully support those who can't afford their next meal is a capitalist one?

We've been over this so many times, so you might have heard these examples before. John Rockefeller: grew up so unbelievably poor that as a child he supported his entire family by selling penny candy to neighborhood kids. And we know how he turned out. And that was in the age of a completely de-socialized form of government. No safety net, no subsidies, etc. He didn't have any preexisting wealth that he used to get more. He went from nothing to the very top.

A more personal example is my uncle. He is one of America's premier bronze sculptors http://www.markhopkinssculpture.com. For the first 40 years of his life he was extremely impoverished. Didn't have a penny to his name. Now he's fairly wealthy, lives in a huge house with lots of land and lots of accommodations.

You always point out the people that capitalism has failed but 100% ignore those that succeed against all odds. Not everybody will be a millionaire, and that's fine. Some people don't pick the best profession, don't have any good or original ideas, may fall victim to competition, etc. But all of those things which, to those people are bad, further society as a whole. Notice how capitalist countries are generally ahead economically, militarily, and politically than socialist ones? You talk a lot of theory and extend emotional pleas, but you ignore the simple and obvious facts that are omnipresent in everyday life around the world

@WinniethePooh No, that's because most of those people live in areas that don't have any form of economy at all. Notice how one of...

Do you mean sweden, canada, norway, germany?
Yeah but conviently those countries with the poor and who have no economy are that way because of the leaching that your wonderful capitalistic countries have made.
Look at how slave trade destroyed sub Saharan Africa, which mind you was via capitalism.
Or look at the current state of poverty in pan-Arab thanks to incredibly unequal distribution of wealth
You are looking at very specific examples, what about the 33,000 children who die in Africa daily due to malnutrition.
Statistically speaking if you are born into a socio-economic class chances are you will die in it.
Pure unbridled capitalism leads to wealth inequality and in order for your uncle or mr. Rockefeller to have lots of money that means there are plenty of people out there with not enough.

@Naggs Do you mean sweden, canada, norway, germany? Yeah but conviently those countries with the poor and who have no...

Scandinavian countries are actually interesting cases. They may identify themselves as socialist but if you look at their actual laws, you see a fairly laizzes-faire economy as far as entrepreneurship goes at least.

To be precise, the slave trade gained its roots in mercantilism, not capitalism. Also, you might note that that has nothing to do with the economic prosperity of the region. People being taken has not effect on the remaining peoples' ability to produce, trade, and provide. I would now point out some of the failed socialist countries, but I really don't feel I need to because they're in the news everywhere and if you haven't heard about Greece, France, etc yet you're probably a lost cause anyway.

And that's the other point that people make about capitalism that's just not true in the least. The wealth gap argument hinges on the idea that there is a finite amount of wealth in the universe. There's not. Resources regenerate, people find new ways to serve, new ways to manage, new resources to use, etc. If there was a finite amount of wealth to be gleaned from this world, how come we aren't still stuck in the stone ages? Because we found more wealth. I don't think that somebody having less wealth than somebody else is bad thing on principle alone...people call capitalists greedy because they want to keep what they earn. I've never understood why socialists aren't called greedy for wanting what somebody else has

@WinniethePooh Scandinavian countries are actually interesting cases. They may identify themselves as socialist but if you look at...

Socialism is that idea that everyone is equal and should be given equal opportunity.
Obviously there has to be a limit, there can be an unlimited amount of wealth or else poverty wouldn't exist, and I think you need to brush up on your history of Africa because it was robbed dry and still for the benefit of other countries.
And child labour where they are worked for unreasonable hours and given next to nothing exists because of capitalism.
I'm not saying socialism is perfect but for someone who identifies with faith I'm surprised you're so vehemently against it especially since I know Mormonism encourages that type of thinking.
Capitalism look great of paper the laws of supply and demand, but it fails to note the natural tendency to greed and accumulation of items which sure you say what's the big deal? But often times having too much is at the expense of someone else having too little.
Notice how all of these countries have social security in place to protect people from absolute destitution, and if you were to compare it to countries that don't and you'll see how poor those who live in lower socio-economic classes really are.
You are looking at capitalism as this perfect solution when it isn't because people need protection from other people because ultimately everyone only looks out for themselves

@Naggs Socialism is that idea that everyone is equal and should be given equal opportunity. Obviously there has to be a...

Exactly. People do only look out for themselves. I wish it wasn't that way, as I'm sure you do as well. But changing an economic system won't change peoples' values. People are inherently motivated by self interest which brings us to the classic negation of socialism and the universal law of economics; people will attempt to gain the most through the least amount of effort. It's universal. If you think it's bad with capitalism, just watch it play out in socialism. At least with capitalism, people have an omnipresent incentive to compete and work to better society.

Your negation of unlimited wealth doesn't really hold up. And to be clear, that doesn't mean that it will always go on to infinity, but that it grows and shrinks with the economy. We have more wealth now that during the great depression. We have less that 12 years ago. It's a fluid concept.

Then you bring up the exploitation of children as evidence that capitalism only hurts those who aren't in power. First let me say I'm not here to advocate that a completely unregulated system is the best, but what isn't often recognized about that era is that it contained the greatest period of economic expansion the country, if not the world, has ever seen. Sure, some workplace regulations are nice, but the fact of the matter is the society moved forward as a whole more under capitalism than with a more "equal", government hands-on, Keynesian type economy that we have now. Our economy is stagnant at best and has been for many years. If you look at socialist countries around the world, their economies are in similar if not worse condition. History doesn't lie, and history says capitalism works.

I see that everybody like to hang on to this "wealth-gap", "only the rich get rich", "capitalism is oppressive" argument. Since apparently nobody cares about the failed logic of the argument, I'll give you some specific stats on why you're wrong:

So only those that have a lot of money can be millionaires? Of the 400 richest people on Forbes 400 list in the 80's, only 32 of them remain. That means that over time, the rich tend to lose money while those underneath them rise. That's the American Dream for you.

Now for the wealth gap. Here's an example the is analogous to real life. One man makes $40k while another makes $100k. Both men get a 10% raise and the first starts making $44k while the second starts making $110k. Sure the wealth gap widened, but what does it matter if both men are wealthier than before? It doesn't. Still don't believe me? Here's some raw data for you from the department of the US Treasury:

Income Group Change in income b/t 1996-2005
Poor +109%
Middle Class +26%
Rich +9%
Top 1% -23%
Top.01% -65%

Negate that if you will.

@WinniethePooh Yep. It's wrong for a person to be able to succeed or fail based on their own actions...makes me sick

It is not immoral, it is amoral. It ignores the fact that not everyone has the same capabilities and desires. It rewards non-christian behaviors.

If someone is willing to be a money changer in the temple, capitalism encourages that behavior and treats those people as superior.

Those who prefer to live a simpler more Christ like existence, shunning material possessions and relying on the kindness of strangers, are treated as failures and losers.

That’s OK, the eye of the needle awaits those who seek wealth in this life and those do not give up their worldly possession to follow the Son.

Anonymous -4Reply
@It is not immoral, it is amoral. It ignores the fact that not everyone has the same capabilities and desires. It...

Because if everybody made it by solely on the kindness of strangers, then this world would never progress. That's why such a lifestyle should be discouraged.

@Watchful_questioneer Because if everybody made it by solely on the kindness of strangers, then this world would never progress...

By "progress" you must mean: wars, famine, starvation, abject poverty. I see what you mean. Yes the rich should use their "special talents" to get as rich as possible so they can throw scraps of bread at the starving masses, call that "charity" and look forward to heaven.

People should of course do what they can to work hard and be productive. People should not label those who are differently-talented as "losers" because they don't have the means, or the business smarts, to be entrepreneurs. Those people who use such labels are judging (lest they be judged). Likewise, if someone claims to be a "Christian" and does not (as instructed in both Mark and Matthew) give his possession to the poor, then that person is not following the moral code to which he professes faith.

Someone who is an atheist can get as rich as he wants and not have to worry. But he should still not call those in poverty "losers" or "failures".

Anonymous -1Reply
@By "progress" you must mean: wars, famine, starvation, abject poverty. I see what you mean. Yes the rich should...

I don't think that's the case. War and famine are not solely the result of people working hard, it's the result of people being selfish, and capitalism in no way advocates that. In a world where people have the power to advance and use innovative skills to separate themselves from others through management and intellectual contribution, there are certainly people who will be lagging behind the more successful. However, that doesn't mean they don't have a chance to live a happy life, or that they're looked down upon in any way. The rich are considered to have earned their wealth, and I agree that often that wealth is too vast, but that doesn't morally obligate them to share it equally with those who failed to distinguish themselves intellectually as much. The fact that they don't share their wealth is not a sign of disrespect- it's immoral to keep it all when one has enough to donate to those who truly cannot get by due to various disadvantages in life, but it's not immoral for them to keep enough to enjoy material wealth as well.

Under capitalism, people can earn a sufficient living without exceptional business skills. Honest work and an education are often enough to form a solid career path. However, some truly are so unfairly disadvantaged (because of disease, various financial troubles, etc.) that they need charity, and they are not looked down upon. Those that are lazy and expect charity are justifiably looked down upon.

@Really, so the use of the word "loser" in this thread indicates...what?

Good question, there was probably some mix up there. i thought you meant that the rich thought of the poor as losers in a derogatory form, and looked down upon them.

Did you mean that the poor are thought of as those who tried to become rich and failed, because becoming rich is a competition and they lost, in a way?

@Yes

Oh, my bad. I understand what you mean; that it's assumed that everyone's trying to get rich.

I personally think that people should try to be self-supporting, so they shouldn't rely on others. Sometimes it doesn't work out because of unfair disadvantage, and that's understandable. But when somebody is just lazy, and doesn't work to their full potential intending to abuse charity, then they can be looked down upon. Richer people aren't necessarily better people, and it's wrong to judge people by their economic status. I don't think very many people would disagree. But everyone should try to support themselves. Past that, it's up to preference, and most people want to be richer so that's what many assume of others (and it's so common that it's honestly pretty safe to assume in people, to be honest). It is harder for a really nice person to be a CEO because they force other people to go out of business for their own benefit, but there are many other high income positions that don't require selfishness.

@Watchful_questioneer Oh, my bad. I understand what you mean; that it's assumed that everyone's trying to get rich. I personally think...

I agree with your assessment and I think it is a shame that because of western societies belief in capitalism you are right that most people do think rich is better. Look at Nepal and see a huge difference in what is cherished in that society.

Also having worked with people on welfare in the United States I can assure you that very few if any are lazy. Virtually everyone I have talked to would work if there were opportunity to do so. No one really likes to take hand-outs, but in many cases it that or watch your children starve.

Anonymous +1Reply
@I agree with your assessment and I think it is a shame that because of western societies belief in capitalism you...

I agree. Many people make more money on welfare than they would at minimum wage, which kind of buries them in a rut. It's unfair to expect someone to take a job when they can make more money without it. I personally think that I'd rather be rich than poor, but there are other factors that come as a priority- richer doesn't necessarily mean happier, but typically somebody in the exact same situation would be happier with more money, and that's what confuses people. It's not everything, but typically it can be better if handled well. Others bite off more than they can chew, and end up full of problems, but money, if used responsibly, will make most people happier.

My goal monetarily is to become as rich as I can without it interfering with my spiritual health, social health, physical health, emotional health, and so on. i want money to work for me, not just for me to work for money.

@Watchful_questioneer I don't think that's the case. War and famine are not solely the result of people working hard, it's the result of...

But Capitalism only rewards those who have the resources to achieve financial success, so automatically someone who can afford an education is already better off then someone who can't, and is it fair to punish the person who can't because of circumstances they can't control?
My problem with Capitalism is that it rewards those who don't need a reward and punish those who do not have the same advantages in life.

@Naggs But Capitalism only rewards those who have the resources to achieve financial success, so automatically someone who...

That's why financial aid exists in colleges. of course it's not perfect, but there are programs to help. I don't think it's a fundamental flaw in Capitalism, it's something that can be balanced. The rich should be allowed their money, but the children of the poor and the rich should have equal opportunities. And I think that that can be done, we don't have to get rid of capitalism for it to happen. That is a serious problem, I agree, and that capitalism makes it more prominent. However, if private schools are made to accept students for their intelligence, not money, and if colleges enhance financial aid programs until we eventually strive to make them government funded, then I think it will be righted. I think that college tuition can be funded by taxes, perhaps, and that will encourage higher education and provide equal opportunities.

It stops being capitalism once people no longer have an opportunity to be richer than others, and I think putting education under government control isn't too drastic.

@Watchful_questioneer That's why financial aid exists in colleges. of course it's not perfect, but there are programs to help. I don't...

Yeah but that is socialist thinking, to make education a public good, which isn't really congruent with capitalism.
I personally think education is incredibly important and if it were up to me, it would be free, because education is not something that should be toyed around with.
pure capitalism demands financial inequality and eventually it leads to a huge gap of economic class (which I'm not game for)

@Naggs Yeah but that is socialist thinking, to make education a public good, which isn't really congruent with capitalism...

Hmm, I guess it is kind of socialist. But that's my belief regardless. While everybody should be able to use their abilities to their fullest extent and prosper to a reasonable degree, the following generation should have equal opportunity to prosper (unless rich parents simply give their children money, which isn't really fair to kids but would be even less fair to take away from parents, so it should be allowed).

People should make money off of how hard they work, how useful their work is to society, and how rare their skill is in society, which should generate significant variation in salary.

I think taxes should be on things that need to be equal for everyone- educational opportunities, transportation, government funding, government-payed jobs, etc. But not something that benefits a minority, or even narrow majority. Of course I can't really draw a fine line, but taxes should be something that almost every taxpayer benefits from, and i think the graph of percentage of income taxed should look something like a square root graph (x axis being income, y axis being percentage of income taxed). I don't know if I explained that very well

@Watchful_questioneer Hmm, I guess it is kind of socialist. But that's my belief regardless. While everybody should be able to use their...

so that if say timmy goes to the doctor twice a month, he should be taxed more then sally who goes just twice a year?
I think, education and health are two things that the government should be responsible for and that if those things are covered then we can have a even playing field.
I do believe that hard work equals success to a degree, but I think it is very important to remember that people's environments have a huge impact on their lives

@Naggs so that if say timmy goes to the doctor twice a month, he should be taxed more then sally who goes just twice a...

Absolutely. In terms of health, people shouldn't need to pay more to go to the doctors more frequently if it's truly necessary. But if its just as a precaution, then it should be an additional charge directly to them (not through taxes).

With education, I don't think people should be able to pay for tutors. I think the resources for each student to learn should be online and in school, and if extra teaching is needed because of a learning disability, then I think taxes should cover the expenses of a public service that would help.

@Watchful_questioneer Absolutely. In terms of health, people shouldn't need to pay more to go to the doctors more frequently if it's...

Yes, I agree with that
Like if a lady is pregnant and has to do her like monthly check up she shouldn't pay, but if little timmy's mom takes him in for every bump and scratch, that's a problem
And yeah, I think education should have all the resources needed to make productive members of society, and I also mean education all the way up to post secondary

My grandfather had a third-grade education. He started his career at age 9 as a garbage man during the depression. By the time he died he had build a successful waste management and hauling company. He was not rich but he did OK. People willing to work hard, who have some level of cunning and some small amount of fortuity can succeed in a capitalist world.

My problem with capitalism is that, because of the laws of supply and demand, there must, at all times, be a segment of the population that are so destitute that they will serve as a labor supply. If no one is that poor, then some demands for labor will go unfilled. The immorality comes in when we realize that, when we adopt capitalism, we are condemning a small percent of our fellow humans to a life of poverty. We cannot logically have both capitalism and an end to poverty. Poverty for some is a necessary condition of a free market based on the nature of the bell curve.

@VicZinc My grandfather had a third-grade education. He started his career at age 9 as a garbage man during the...

and not to mention that because it is about the accumulation of wealth that, for someone to have more then someone else has to have less

It is immoral and criminal for a group of people to come together and “democratically” vote that it’s ok to allow the government to take the private property from one person to be given to another person or entity, under threat of force and violence if required, be that entity corporate or otherwise. One either believes in individual liberty or they don’t. And insisting that the taking of the private property from one person to be given to another person is ok under any circumstances is not demonstrative of the support of individual liberty.

If all men should be born free then, are they truly free if their private property is taken from them and given to someone else?

@tyrannyvigilant It is immoral and criminal for a group of people to come together and “democratically” vote that it’s ok to...

agreed. History has also shown that it is foolhardy for a person to ostentatiously display his/her wealth while others languish in poverty. It is a good way to spark a revolution and loose your head in the process. Also one cannot profess to be a Christian and also not support taxation because the Bible clearly states that followers of Christ are expected to (and gladly) pay tax.

That's not capitalism though, that is reformed capitalism...

It feels immoral for a company to go to great lengths to put another company out of business. If it's actually willing to charge less than it makes for a product just to put a competitor out of business, then that feels quite immoral to me. But that's about as far as it goes.

Please   login   or signup   to leave a comment.