The Instigator
Jellon
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
MaesterAemon
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Capitalism an Inherently Exploitative System

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/24/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 913 times Debate No: 62234
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
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Jellon

Con

Capitalism- An economic and political system in which a country"s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit
Exploitative - describing the treatment of someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.

Round 1: acceptance/introduction
Round 2: opening arguments, no rebuttal
Round 3: rebuttals
Round 4: responses to rebuttals and closing statements

Judging: minimum 2500 elo with select winner.

MaesterAemon, I saw your previous debate and copied your round 1 definitions into this verbatim. You had a debate with an unfortunate FF. If you would take this debate, I believe I can be a suitable opponent for you on this topic. If you would like to take this debate at a later time, please leave a comment listing when I should attempt to reopen it. Thank you and good luck.
MaesterAemon

Pro

Sure I am down. I'd like to thank you for reading my username and not calling me Master :P
Debate Round No. 1
Jellon

Con

Informal Introduction


@MaesterAemon
I'm sorry to read that people have trouble getting your username right. I try to be thorough, but no one's perfect. If I can be informal here for a little longer... Although I may be wrong, my impression from reading your previous debate [1] and your profile [2] is that your consider yourself a socialist. I have a conjecture that your attack on capitalism is more about this preference that you have. After all, it is very common for theists to attack and insult atheists and vice versa. I tend to be open minded towards views I don't hold and understanding of why someone would believe in them. One my my goals is to promote peace and understanding among those who disagree with each other, and that was partly my motive for initiating this debate. I hold that whether or not socialism is better than capitalism is debatable and has everything to do with morality of those in government. That is a good lead into the actual debate.

Opening Arguments


Pro maintains that capitalism is inherently exploitative. If this is the case, then it is impossible to have capitalism without exploitation. For the purposes of this debate, then, all that must be proven to show Pro wrong is that it is theoretically possible to have a capitalist economic system without exploitation. To that effect, I argue that exploitation is a moral choice, and that moral choices are dictated by individuals regardless of economic systems.

I'm fairly certain that Pro would agree that exploitation can happen in any economic system, including socialism. If Pro takes argument to that, I will address it in future rounds by means of examples. I say this to support my claim that exploitation has more to do with morality than economic systems, not to directly support the claim that capitalism is not inherently exploitative.

Before we go any further, I should say more about what exploitation is and is not. Some may argue that everyone should receive the same wage, regardless of occupation. However, some occupations are harder than others, even if they are both just as necessary to society. It can be considered unfair for someone who has a desirable job to be paid more than someone who has an undesirable job requiring a comparable skill level.

There are many factors that play into capitalism. One of the leading factors is self profit. It is generally agreed that profit is driven by supply and demand. In capitalist systems that prevent monopolies, supply and demand is used to determine prices for products sold to consumers, but it is also used to determine wages paid to employees. As a side-effect, companies compete with each other for employees by means of wages and benefits. In places that have a minimum wage, companies that pay above minimum wage tend to retain their workers better than those who don't. Retaining workers decreases the costs associated with replacing workers and increases productivity because the level of experience held by the workers increases. These benefits alone had lead some companies to pay above the minimum wage [3].

As an example of what capitalism can be, in America, the democrats are pushing to end wage inequality while the republicans are pushing to end opportunity inequality [4]. Either one of these solutions could put an end to employers exploiting workers, because workers will either be paid a fair wage for their work, or have the opportunity to do so if they are willing to work for it. It is worth noting that if the republicans have their way in that fight, retaining workers could become a larger issue, giving companies a larger incentive to treat their employees better.

Summary of Argument


I am not so naive as to believe that the only source of exploitation is employers, however, the definition of exploitation I copied from Con's debate [1] only included it. Thus, I focused my arguments specifically on that issue. Exploitation has more to do with the moral choices made by individuals with power than with economic systems. Capitalism can provide employers with incentive to treat workers fairly instead of exploiting them, because exploited workers have worse performance and are more likely to look for a better opportunity.

Disclaimer


I know that source 4 is a bias republican website, but it does a good job of supporting my claim about what republicans and democrats are arguing about in American politics. To that effect, it is a good source. I am not explicitly supporting either republicans or democrats in my use of it. Politically speaking, I am personally an independent with libertarian leanings.

Sources


1) http://www.debate.org...
2) http://www.debate.org...
3) http://www.forbes.com...
4) http://www.newrepublic.com...
MaesterAemon

Pro

MaesterAemon forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Jellon

Con

Pro, I waited as long as I could to pass this back to you. Good luck.
MaesterAemon

Pro

I am a socialist because i find capitalism morally reprehensible The free market and globalization, promised as the route to worldwide prosperity, have been exposed as a nothing more than a con. Corporations have no loyalty to America or the American worker. They are vampires. also the new republic is a liberal website

Opening arguments
The wage system itself is exploitative, it buts the laborer works under external control, in the words of Wilhelm von Humboldt,"we may admire what he does, but we despise what he is."[1] . Until "industrial feudalism" is replaced by "industrial democracy," politics will be "the shadow cast on society by big business"[2] the employment contract is a legal fiction in that it treats human beings juridically as mere tools or inputs by abdicating responsibility and self-determination.

1 http://archive.mises.org...
2 https://www.princeton.edu...

(sorry this is so short I am beeen really busy )
Debate Round No. 3
Jellon

Con

If wages are exploitative, then every trade is. A worker trades their services for money. People who are able to accomplish more (more skills) are, often, able to trade their time for more money. If the markets are good, people tend to get paid according to their ability to provide services other people want to pay for. If we had a society without money using a barter system, it would be equivalent to having a consumable physical asset that everyone else has. If everyone is given equal opportunity, then it is only fair that those who put in the effort to succeed go further than those who don't. Giving everyone the same resources regardless of how hard they have worked is unfair to those who work harder.

As my opponent has given an informal and off topic round, so I will reply in kind.

I work for a small business with a very generous CEO. When I was hired as an intern, the CEO took time to come introduce himself and meet me at a work function when I'd only been there one week. In my five years at the company, I fell ill with an unknown illness. Even without a diagnosis, my company repeatedly encouraged me to take medical leave to figure it out. It took me two years, and four medical leaves to get on track, and they bent over backwards to bring me back every time. Without me working, my company suffered in terms of getting things done and billing our customer for my labor. We recently converted to being an employee-owned company [1][2] which is a way that businesses share profits with employees.
Another way is through Christmas bonuses which are usually in proportion to profits made that year and value to the company. These are both purely capitalist ideas to make employees happy. Making employees happy isn't inherent to capitalism, but it is certainly part of it. What is unfair isn't unequal wages. What's unfair is unequal opportunity.

Yes, I know the first source is someone's opinion. It is used to provide definition to the term, not as a supporting argument.
1) http://www.usnews.com...
2) http://www.nceo.org...
MaesterAemon

Pro

Markets schmarkets, the idea that markets are some magic mechanism that we must be governed by is an unrealistic ideologically twist and is not how economies have functioned ever. A really existing market is not whats taught, a market isn't supply demand a market supplies what people can afford those are very different things we can easily come up with demands of things we want they wont be produced what is produced is were the money is. Markets are inefficient and do not take care of social needs and create crises because Private tyrannies (corporations) only interested in profits and the externalities are ignored.

Wage work has been considered a negative relationship at least since Cicero noted " ...vulgar are the means of livelihood of all hired workmen whom we pay for mere manual labour, not for artistic skill; for in their case the very wage they receive is a pledge of their slavery. " [1] Wage labor not only bolsters inequality it is incredibly wasteful, wasting of workers' efforts and resources on producing useless luxuries;the waste of goods so that their price may remain high; and the waste of all those who sit between the producer and consumer, taking their own shares at each stage without actually contributing to the production of goods (the middle man). High salaried work (editor,manger,etc)perpetuates the hegemony of the employer class through manufacturing consent and eliciting false consciousness. A professional " is an obedient thinker, an intellectual property whom employers can trust to experiment, theorize, innovate and create safely within the confines of an assigned ideology."[2] Marginally, both chattel and wage slaves may become bosses espoused by "rags to riches" or "slave to master" stories that occasionally occur/occurred marginal cases of "success" are not justification for a system that squanders human potential so that some may live like kings while others starve.

1 http://penelope.uchicago.edu...*.html
2 Disciplined Minds - Jeff Schmidt P.16
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
No problem. Should we postpone, or do you think 6 days will be enough? I can wait the 3 days and post something at the last second, giving you 6 days total.
Posted by MaesterAemon 2 years ago
MaesterAemon
Really sorry I am working on a big project
Posted by Jellon 2 years ago
Jellon
What's up MaesterAemon? Do you still want to have this debate?
No votes have been placed for this debate.