The Instigator
Renegade184
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Overhead
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Capitalism (Pro) vs. Socialism (Con)

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Overhead
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/15/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 554 times Debate No: 104454
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Renegade184

Pro

This is an acceptance round:

By joining this debate you are defending Socialism as a better economy than a Capitalistic one.
Overhead

Con

I accept. Looking forward to a good debate and best regards to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Renegade184

Pro

Let's start by defining Capitalism and Socialism:

Capitalism:

an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.
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Socialism:

a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
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Rather than the government having control over all the production, distribution, and exange, capitalism allows for competitive companies that strive to succed further than their competitors, which naturally creates growth.

As far as jobs go, some pro-socialists make the argument that a socialist economy will provide equal job opritunities, and that you can't leave it up to private enterprises to provide good wages and employee benifits.

Addressing that argument, say you have 2 companies, company A and company B. Company A needs 100 workers to manufacter their newest smartphone, Company B needs 100 workers to manufacter their newest smartphone, their are a limited amount of workers looking for jobs.

Think of this scenario from the point of veiw as a worker, company A is offering $20/hour, while company B is offering $10/hour. The majority of the workers naturally go to company A because they offer a higher wage than company B, that leaves company A with 80 workers while company B has 20 workers, now company B has 80 less workers than they initinally wanted, so now B is offering $25/hour, this drives workers to company B which creates a good wage without government involvement.

Another con of socialism is incentive, if the government is the owner of production, distrobution, and exchange, then the workers wouldn't have the incentive to work harder for bonuses and better benifits.

Well you might ask, why wouldn't the government give employee bonuses, well the managers of those companies don't have an incentive to make the company perform better because the managers don't get to keep any profits.

Socialism also restricts the amount of consumer choices, which creates a deficency of money circulating smoothly.

Socialism always fails.
Overhead

Con

REBUTTAL

Definitions
I think the definition of Capitalism is a little extreme as essentially every Capitalist country on Earth is a mixed-market type of Capitalism which assumes control of trade and industry is split between government and state and Pro has gone for Capitalism as being defined as purely private owened, but if anything I believe that helps me so I accept these definitions.

I will then point out that Pro seems to ignore their own definition for socialism. The given definition for socialism contains no reference point for government control and indeed most forms of socialism nowadays focus more on grassroots democratic control. For instance in my country we have the Co-operative party [1]. A Co-operative is a socialist business type where the business is mutually owned by the employees, not the state. There are examples of large co-operative businesses which exist in a market environment, meaning the employees are motivated by profit - even more-so then in a Capitalist environment as the employeess directly benefit from their labour rather than there having the weak relationship seen in Capitalism where only the investors directly benefit from increaed profits.

Despite this, PRO focuses specifically government in his criticism of socialism - something which is not included in the definition of Socialism and which due to the past experience with totalitarian governments most modern day socials are very wary of - focusing on various forms of democratic socialism. [3]


Thought Experiment
Pro's first argument is based on a thougth experiment.

Lets say that there are 400 relevant people rather than 100. The situation reverses with wages of workers lowering due to the glut of talent in comparison to the relative shortage available job vacancies. With people needing to eat and no gaurenteed work, The businesses can pick up workers just as skilled as in pro's example for a fraction of the cost. perhaps $15 an hour, perhaps $10 an hour.

Now in the real world there can be a surplus of labour or a shortage. The main takeaway is that this thought experiment is far too simplistic to work as a basis for interpreting the real world. Just one variable completely throws it for a loop. Start adding in others like the limits of supply/demand meaning there is only so high a wage can go before the costs can't be passed on to the consumer, the benefits and limits of training schemes, chronic underemployment, etc and it is total chaos.

However, that does bring up another point in my favour. In both our examples the workers are doing exactly the same work. In one they get $25 an hour and in another they get $10 an hour. The factors is a condition beyond the control of the workers, a factor of the markets rather than individual choice, and if you happen to have the bad luck to be in a situation where people with your job skills are saturating the market then you're out of luck. Fluctuations of markts, including job markets, can happen for a lot of reasons that no-one can expect and due to this many workers will find themselves losing out due to reasons totally beyond their control. Although please not this doesn't apply to co-operatives. As the workers are the owners, the incentive to underpay the workers to accrue more profit for the owners is contradictory.

Incentives

Pro is still incorrect on several points.

Firstly, he again focuses on governments when most socialists will be focusing on solutions which include the market such as co-operatives where people work for profit far more directly than they do under Capitalism.

Secondly, even governments have incentives for employees to work hard and get paid. Government employees can be fired. They can be promoted. They can get a raise. All of the above are regular occurences for government workers in basically every government on earth.

Thirdly, the claim of "the managers of those companies don't have an incentive to make the company perform better because the managers don't get to keep any profits" is completely wrong on two levels. Firstly managers will get reunmeration as part of their salary and agian they can be fired for doing their job poorly, promoted or given raises for doing it well, etc. For the secondld part of why it's wrong, the same criticism, if it were true, would apply to much of Capitalism. Of all the managers in a large Capitalist business (not small run family businesses), how many of them are getting a share of the profits? it will be almost done, only the top level members of the board will recieve a small share of the profits in terms of stock options.

Lastly, assuming that pay is the only incentive is very common but also very reductionist and completely wrong.

As Cambridge Professor Ha-Joon Chang has explained, money is only one of many motivators for why we work.

"The assumption of self-seeking individualism, which is at the heart of free-market economics, has a lot of resonance with our personal experience. We have all been cheated by unscrupulous traders, be it the fruit seller who put some rotten plums at the bottom of the paper bag of the yogurt company that vastly exaggerated the health benefits of its products. We know too many corrupt politicians and lazy bureaucrats to believe that all public servants are solely serving the public.

...

This is true. However, we also have a lot of evidence - not just anecdotes but true systematic evidence - showing that self-interest is not the only human motivation that matters in our economic life. Self-interest, to be sure, is one of the most important, but we have many other motives - honesty, self-respect, altruism, love, sympathy, faith, sense of duty, solidarity, loyalty, public-spiritedness, patriotism, and so on - that are sometimes even more important than self-seeking as the driver of our behaviours." - 23 Things They Don't Tell you About Capitalism - Ha-Joon Chang

Other Claim

Pro states "Socialism also restricts the amount of consumer choices, which creates a deficency of money circulating smoothly." I have no idea what to make of this. Pro hasn't explained himself or (in criticism which applies to the rest of his argument) offered any evidence. It seems to be buzzwords.

My Argument

CAPITALISM IS INHERENTLY MURDEROUS

The cost that often isn't counted in Capitalism is the inherent death, with millions of people needlessly dying each year.

Unicef, for instance, gives the figure of six mill ion children who die from causes which are not only preventable but preventable at low cost[4]. The World Food Programme cites 3 million children dying each year from malnutrition[5] even though the world currently produces enough food to keep everyone fed[6].

The issue is that the goods available are not allocated in an optimised way. It's no conspiracy, it's just a result of Capitalist inventives driving people towards anti-societal goals. Why should a medical research company spend money developing drugs for poor people who can only buy a pittance when they can spend the time and effort developing baldness cures for rich people? Why do food companies spend time and money selling a 38th different variety of chocolate cookie in the USA when there are people starving in Ethiopia? It's not hatred or malice or racism. Their job and their duty to their investors demands that they go with the most profitable option. The Capitalist system sets up a series of inventives and drives which direct companies to produce and allocate good in a fashion, the cumulative effect of which is to cause millions upon millions of children (not even counting adults) to needlessly die each year.

While any nation under any ideology can fall prey to a strongman dictator, it is in Capitalism where this is an inherent part of the system. Capitalism has never managed to go a single hour of a single day without the inherent nature of the system killing people en masse. It is immoral and causes massive needless suffering due to its defining feature of pursuing the profit motive. it is therefore not the best economic system.

Objective comparison


Hypotheticals are hard to study objectively.

To do this, we must make a comparison between nations. Such a thing is hard to do as to accurately make a comparison, countries should ideally be identical in every way except for their economic ideology - with similar populations, GDPs, levels of educations, levels of technology, endowments of natural resources, etc. Hence many examples, like comparing the USA to the USSR, don't work because of the many advantages the USA had beyond technology (the USSR started out as a backwards agrarian nation.)

Thankfully in his work Hunger and Public Action[7], Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner Professor Amartya Sen made the point that India and China make excellent tools for comparison - so similar were they at the point where they each took a divergent ideological path. As he points out, even compared to the autocratic path China took India is far worse in terms of the indicators looked at such as excess mortality. Indeed when we look at the UN's human development index[8] (Which measures quality of life, we can see that despite their original equal starting point China has overtaken India and has become a country with high human development while India has only reached medium human development.

In one of the only actual solid examples we have available to measure different ideologies, even one of the worse examples of Socialism comes out ahead of Capitalism. Therefore Capitalism is not the best economic system.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] hhttp://goo.gl...
[5] http://goo.gl...
[6] http://goo.gl...
[7] http://goo.gl...
[8] http://goo.gl...
Debate Round No. 2
Renegade184

Pro

"but if anything I believe that helps me so I accept these definitions." Man you must get scammed all the time. You just said that you belive anything that will benifit you.

"essentially every Capitalist country on Earth is a mixed-market type of Capitalism which assumes control of trade and industry is split between government and state" Well then they aren't pure capitalist countries.

"The given definition for socialism contains no reference point for government control" is it not in the definition of capitalism "rather than by the state."

"owned or regulated by the community as a whole."
Let me educate; definition of community: "a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality,
share government, and often have a common cultural and historicalheritage."

"Thought Experiment"

A scenario like this is a result of companies not needing more jobs, which is a result of less growth, which competition creates.

"Incentives"

"Firstly, he again focuses on governments when most socialists will be focusing on solutions which include the market such as co-operatives" Then they are not completely socialist then.

Also people don't have the ability to start their own business if they want to be succesful.

"Pro states "Socialism also restricts the amount of consumer choices, which creates a deficency of money circulating smoothly." I have no idea what to make of this. Pro hasn't explained himself or (in criticism which applies to the rest of his argument) offered any evidence. It seems to be buzzwords." More consumer options allows for money to be circulated all aurond the market. If i want to buy shoes, and the government only offers Company A shoes, then 100% of the shoe market is going to A. But if there are more choices, then I can buy from places other than Company A, which circulates the money.

"CAPITALISM IS INHERENTLY MURDEROUS"

"The issue is that the goods available are not allocated in an optimised way. It's no conspiracy, it's just a result of Capitalist inventives driving people towards anti-societal goals." You're using your own argument against you, "Thirdly, the claim of "the managers of those companies don't have an incentive to make the company perform better because the managers don't get to keep any profits" is completely wrong on two levels. Firstly managers will get reunmeration as part of their salary and agian they can be fired for doing their job poorly, promoted or given raises for doing it well, etc. For the secondld part of why it's wrong, the same criticism, if it were true, would apply to much of Capitalism. Of all the managers in a large Capitalist business (not small run family businesses), how many of them are getting a share of the profits? it will be almost done, only the top level members of the board will recieve a small share of the profits in terms of stock options." those are Capitalistic incentives.
Overhead

Con

REBUTTAL

Definitions
Pro says "Man you must get scammed all the time.You just said that you belive anything that will benifit you."

This is false and I never stated that. I said I would accept Pro's particular definition of Capitalism despite it being a little extreme. The claims that I said I would believe anything that would benefit me are clearly false.

He offers no adequate rebuttal against my points.

Thought Experiment

Pro states "A scenario like this is a result of companies not needing more jobs, which is a result of less growth, which competition creates."

I'm struggling to parse this as a response as Pro is quite unclear about the overall point he is trying to make and, of course, offers absolutely no evidence. I think the most likely interpretation is he is conceding that the results are bad, but trying to claim the situation is unlikely because competition creates jobs.

Pro seems unaware that unemployment is a worldwide and constant phenomenon. Right now there are over 200,000,000 people unemployed [1] and that there being countless millions of people constantly unemployed is a constant effect under Capitalism [2]. If Pro thinks competition magically makes lack of jobs not an issue, he is very much mistaken. As the evidence shows my described situation of there being too many people searching for too few jobs is far more likely because that's the case at the moment and it was the case last year and the year before that and the year before that and so on.

Money circulation
Pro states "More consumer options allows for money to be circulated all around the market. If I want to buy shoes, and the government only offers Company A shoes, then 100% of the shoe market is going to A. But if there are more choices, then I can buy from places other than Company A, which circulates the money."

Pros claim does not hold. Circulation refers to the activity of money. [3] If £100 is spent at company A, the same amount of money has been circulated as if £50 had been spent at Company A and Company B.

Capitalism is inherently murderous

Pro makes no cogent argument and instead just states "You're using your own argument against you" with no rationale, logic or evidence.

Lack of evidence
A general point. Throughout his entire argument Pro has failed to provide any evidence or support beyond his unsupported opinion.

Summary

Based on this I feel Pro has failed to engage with my arguments, not offering rebuttals to many points I made just as my point that drew on the work of a Nobel prize winner in economics to show better outcomes under socialism. What answers Pro did give being vague and unsupported by evidence. Based on this I think that voters should clearly vote for Con.

Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Political.Questioneer 3 months ago
Political.Questioneer
I am afraid I cannot vote in this debate without letting my own bias get involve. Great debate you two!
Posted by KostasT.1526 3 months ago
KostasT.1526
This seems to be interesting.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Nd2400 3 months ago
Nd2400
Renegade184Overhead
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: For one thing, PRO didn't have any sources, just his opinions. Con did provide Sources. Con also had better arguments, that Pro didn't seem to make much of a comeback.