The Instigator
Nietzsche
Pro (for)
Winning
29 Points
The Contender
spencetheguy
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points

Capitalism is hurting America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,341 times Debate No: 1595
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (15)

 

Nietzsche

Pro

Capitalism, in certain settings, is a great (maybe ideal) economic system. It's cornerstones are generally agreed upon to be good things; competition to create better products, social mobility, consumers holding power. At first glance, capitalism is great.

But I'd say America has outgrown this economic system. It was a great idea back in the eighteenth century, but ever since the industrial revolution it has gone downhill.

With the rise of mass media and the mechanization of every kind of production, it is now too costly for competitors to enter almost any market. Starting any kind of endeavor requires too great of an initial investment, and thus the "powers that be" will forever be in control of many fields. Can you see a day when Nietzsche's Sody Pop can contend with Pepsi and Coca Cola? No. Why not? Because it is impossible for an individual to acquire the means with which to create products in any meaningful quantity. People in the service field may have a somewhat easier time, but without great amounts of cash to invest in advertising, they will never be able to draw as much business as more well known institutions.

Capitalism worked when products were produced by hand or with simple machines because the initial investment was minimal. It worked before the media was so huge because advertising was primarily done by word of mouth. In modern America, competition only exists between existing massive corporations. The average Joe can only hope to make it big by becoming a part of this system, not by starting his own business. The industrial revolution and the rise of mass media killed any true competition.

This leads to more problems. Capitalism without competition leads to substandard products. It leads to prices being controlled in a large part by corporations. And most infuriatingly, it leads to a culture of consumerism.

Americans are bombarded with advertising day and night. Corporate logos become so embedded into people's minds that seeing them causes a kneejerk reaction. We are trained to associate like Pavlov's dogs. See McDonald's logo = be hungry for McDonald's. People spend tons of money on things they don't need because those things are advertised heavily. The ideal consumer is unquestioning and materialistic, and this is the way most of our society has become.

In short, America has outgrown capitalism. We now live in the shadow of a few giants. A vast majority of Americans will never be able to pursue any entrepreneurial endeavor, and those that do will only see local success (if they're lucky). All the while we are conditioned into childish cravings for the useless by these corporate monoliths.
spencetheguy

Con

spencetheguy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 1
Nietzsche

Pro

Nietzsche forfeited this round.
spencetheguy

Con

sorry for that last round.
my opponent argues that modern capitalism does not allow for the american dream to flourish.
what about the internet?
now anyone with a computer can be a customer, new entrepreneurs in this field have made billions of dollars.
youtube, google, yahoo have earned billions of dollars for their owners who in many cases are under 30 years old. the american dream is not farther but closer because of the ability of the internet to connect people closer than ever before. anyone can start a website that offers a service or product that others can buy.
Debate Round No. 2
Nietzsche

Pro

The internet is more the exception than the rule. There is still some opportunity there, and that field of opportunity could quickly become exclusive to large, already-existing websites in the near future. With greater regulation, the internet could very well become as difficult to enter as the rest of the business world.

And there are already attempts to restrict John Q. Public from using the internet to it's fullest potnetial. From Yahoo News:

"NEW YORK (Reuters) - Time Warner Cable Inc said on Wednesday it is planning a trial to bill high-speed Internet subscribers based on their amount of usage rather than a flat fee, the standard industry practice.

The second largest U.S. cable operator said it will test consumption-based billing with subscribers in Beaumont, Texas later this year as a part of a strategy to help reduce congestion of its network by a minority of consumers who pay the same monthly fee as light users.

The company believes the billing system will impact only heavy users, who account for around 5 percent of all customers but typically use more than half of the total network bandwidth, according to a company spokesman."

Try starting up your own eBay when you're paying for internet services, bandwith hosting, and paying a fee for even being on the internet.
spencetheguy

Con

spencetheguy forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by spencetheguy 9 years ago
spencetheguy
sorry again
went out of town
Posted by Daxitarian 9 years ago
Daxitarian
A. If you think capitalism is bad, then I don't know why you are supporting Ron Paul, unless you are a one issue voter.

B. "With the rise of mass media and the mechanization of every kind of production, it is now too costly for competitors to enter almost any market."

Facebook? Google? Wal-Mart started out as a dollar store in Arkansas a few years ago. Over half of businesses are small businesses, new markets emerge, old giants get broken up. You hear about mergers that make headlines, but when a company downsizes or splits into several different companies, it doesn't make as dramatic news.

Plus, the costlyness of starting a new business has nothing to do with capitalism, but rather with government regulations that businesses use to prevent market entry and to set prices.
Posted by EricW1001 9 years ago
EricW1001
ha...

youtube from nothing to worth 1.6 billion in less than a decade...

done!
Posted by spencetheguy 9 years ago
spencetheguy
sorry lost track of time.
i hope this will not affect the outcome.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
That wouldn't be capitalism, zed.

We need free market capitalism.
Posted by ZedLoch 9 years ago
ZedLoch
Its not capitalism per se, but the American brand of it that has gone terribly wrong. We need another round of progressive reforms, and to rethink the way we do things...I'm not talkin socialism necessarily, but just a change in the establishment.
Posted by thelemite 9 years ago
thelemite
Now here's a man who has no faith in himself.
Posted by DucoNihilum 9 years ago
DucoNihilum
You are absolutely and totally wrong.
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Vote Placed by Shestakov 7 years ago
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