The Instigator
Capitalistslave
Pro (for)
The Contender
CynicalRepublican
Con (against)

Capitalism is the enemy ideology of the working class

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Debate Round Forfeited
CynicalRepublican has forfeited round #3.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 694 times Debate No: 98607
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Capitalistslave

Pro

Debate Structure:
This will be con's structure if they choose to use round 1 for debate.
Round 1: Main argument
Round 2: Rebuttal to pro's round 2 main argument
Round 3: Defense against Pro's round 3 rebuttals, no new arguments in this round
Round 4: Waive this round by saying something like "I am waiving this round as agreed upon."

Otherwise this will be the structure for pro and for con if they choose not to use round 1 for debate:
Round 1: Acceptance, agreement on the definition of terms, state your position
Round 2: Main arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Defense against rebuttals, no new arguments in this round

Definition:
Capitalism: "an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit." [1]

If con prefers, I would be willing to change the vote comments to off, and to judge voting in which we each choose 5 judges. If you prefer it that way, say so in the comments.

Source:
[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...;
CynicalRepublican

Con

First I would like to say happy New Year to you.

Second, I accept this debate challenge. I will be using this round to introduce my arguments in support of unfettered, free market Capitalism.

(1) It is no secret that within a Capitalist society, the masses will experience income inequality [there will be rich, and there will be poor]. One major flaw in the general thinking of the Left [moreover, the Socialists/Communists] is that this inequality is a terrible travesty that damns the poor to live in terrible conditions. In addition, it is often believed that wealthier individuals are abusing the poor for their own monetary gain. I would like to rebut this idea with the simple principles of free market Capitalism, and the reason behind income inequality as a whole.

In Capitalism, material exchanges [i.e buying something/selling something] happen voluntarily and with mutual benefit. To use an imaginary example, say I use a widget. Now let us suppose that widgets have a growing demand in the market. As an entrepreneur, I need to lower prices to meet demand and make it easier for my consumers/intended consumer base to get my widgets. Say for a moment that my competitors have high prices, and as a company they pay their employees poorly. The free market would punish them by enabling me as a competitor to put them out of business by exploiting their heartless, careless means of running their business.

(2) It is often argued by the Left that Capitalism makes basic 'rights'/accessibility to necessities to expensive, and that Socialistic policies can abolish the prices of these things. For instance, Senator Bernie Sanders [strongly supported by the Socialist left, and a self-anointed Socialist] guaranteed free healthcare, college, and several other services/necessities. Yet, the math does not quite add up. In order to make these things 'free', more people must be taxed. Otherwise, how would the government make enough revenue?

It is a proven fact that Bernie's plan are expensive, leaving even Liberal news sources to criticize them. The Wall Street journal has a concise and coherent article up on why Bernie's proposals [which are commonly agreed with among the anti-Capitalist Left] were fiscally irresponsible. Them and several other sources reported that Sanders' plan would add an additional $18 trillion to America's already-high national debt over a decade.

In order to support his plans, the average American would be paying 90-92 percent in taxes, and this means that a majority of their income would be going to an overreaching government splurging its revenue on interference in the domestic marketplace alone. What of the other concerns within America, such as military and/or defense spending? In fact, Sanders' healthcare plan would have costed 80 percent more than he said to the American people. These policies are expensive to the average American, and would be likely to pin them beneath the wheel.

(3) Another argument common to the Left is that Capitalism provides inadequate wages [i.e raise the minimum wage, it must be a 'living wage]. Often time, politicians in the Democratic Party will cite this to justify increasing regulation on businesses. Right now, the debate is that the minimum wage ought to be $15 per hour. This is a ludicrous argument to make, because small businesses would be unable to afford to sustain themselves. The result? The rise of corporations in America, as opposed to smaller companies owned by entrepreneurs and their families.

I will leave you with PragerU videos, to prevent exhausting you with more long-winded writing. However, you will see similar talking points [explained in more depth] in these two videos discussing the effects of federal wage hikes in common Americans.

(4) The obvious argument here is that Socialism [and even Communism] has killed millions throughout history. In the Soviet Union, in Cuba, in China, and now even in countries such as Venezuela, France, Germany, and Sweden. In the USSR, the totalitarian reign of Stalin killed millions upon millions of Soviets, imprisoned dissidents who opposed his policies, and brought fear and poverty to the typical civilian's life. In Cuba, gays were imprisoned in camps and slaughtered, not to mention the radical downturn of Cuba's economy that has left it in a never-ending 1950's crime film. Nations like Venezuela may not follow the genocidal trope, but they certainly experience hyperinflation and domestic unrest so intense that civilians fight for every scrap of food they can possibly attain, because food has become a rarity in human portions.

Nations like Sweden have become so entrenched in Socialistic/Communistic policies like open borders, that they are experiencing high crime rates attributed to refugee intake relative to vetting.

Once again, I wish my opponent a happy New Year, and look forward to the rest of this debate.

Sources Cited

(2) http://www.wsj.com...
http://fortune.com...
http://www.npr.org...
https://fee.org...

(3) http://www.forbes.com...
https://www.youtube.com...
https://www.youtube.com...

(4) https://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.ibtimes.com...
http://reason.com...
http://www.usatoday.com...
https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org...
http://www.express.co.uk...
http://www.spectator.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
Capitalistslave

Pro

Happy new year to my opponent as well!

Capitalism takes money away from workers
The main problem with capitalism is it is a hierarchical system which has people at the top which take money away from what could be going to the workers. I believe that a business owner is completely unnecessary, and only is a position of power that takes away profit that could be going to the worker. If I establish that a business owner is unnecessary, then this shows that capitalism is an enemy of the workers, as it keeps them below a certain wage.

I would like to make the point that businesses can only offer a maximum wage to their employees before they no longer make a profit, the fact that the business owner also takes a percent of the profit, means they are taking something which could be going to increase the workers' wages.

I believe the existence of workers' cooperatives show that privately-owned businesses are not necessary and a business owner is therefore not necessary.

Since 3% of full-time and 16% of part-time workers are in poverty in the United States[2], this seems to show that wages are not always going to be enough to keep people living well. The wages, again, can only be so high before they start taking profits away from the business.

Capitalism, therefore, takes money away from the workers, and gives it to an unncessary position: the business owner.

Capitalism doesn't have the level of consent that a democratic economy would
For all intents and purposes, business owners are leaders and are people with a lot of power: after all, they are the ones who decide whether you get to work for a living. However, no one consented to having these people be the ones who decide to have such power. Workers did not get to consent to who hires and fires people in the company, it's as though they don't matter for this respect, even though their co-workers are people they will have to put up with as well. Capitalism is essentially like a monarchy: you have one person at the top of an entity(business) who decides everything about that business. We are supposed to value democracy in the United States and most of the western world, yet basically no western nation has a democratic economy. Cooperatives would also fix this problem, as the workers would get to consent to who is hired in the business, what the business policies are, etc.

Example of Workers' Cooperatives
Businesses can be run by the workers themselves, and in fact, workers' cooperatives, which are run by the workers, are better in several ways in comparison to capitalist businesses:

1) 80% of cooperatives survive the first difficult 5 years of being in business, compared to 41% of the traditional business model.[3]
2) In a comparative study performed by Gabriel Burdin and Andres Dean, where they looked into how cooperatives performed in the Uruguayan economic crisis between 1999-2001, it was found that Workers cooperatives employment index rose, while their capitalist counterparts fell in employment. [4, pg. 520] In addition to this, average wage remained higher in worker cooperatives than in capitalist businesses. [4, pg. 523]
3) Cooperatives, on average, are larger than traditional businesses, where 69.3% of traditional businesses in France have 6 or fewer employees, compared to 52% of cooperatives in France, and in Uruguay, the percentages of them respectively are 64.1% and 8.6%[5, pgs 7-8]
4) It's been found that "in Italy the median capital per employee is higher in worker co-operatives" [5, pg. 17]

Refuting potential argument against workers' cooperatives
"If cooperatives prove that businesses don't need to be capitalist/owned by one person, then we should see cooperatives out-competing traditional businesses, but traditional businesses are still the majority"
While cooperatives are so few and far between, the primary reason is because the system is constructed in such a way that favors capitalist companies. For one, banks rarely loan out to cooperatives[6](despite the fact that the ones that do exist are generally more successful than their capitalist counterparts as established above), the government only ever bails out traditional businesses and never cooperatives, cooperatives are not generally set-up to out-compete other companies either[6, and finally cooperatives are at a disadvantage since the vast majority(89%) of people can't even define what a cooperative is[7], I personally didn't even know what a cooperative was until I was 20, but I could give you a basic idea of what a capitalist business was before I was 10. I think I can safely assume that a vast majority of people have heard of and can define what a traditional/capitalist business is like, so most people shop at those and people looking to create a business probably never thought about making it a cooperative instead of a traditional business since most don't even know what one is.

Source:
[2] http://poverty.ucdavis.edu...;
[3] http://www.uk.coop...;
[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com...;(Note: I used to use a different link for this peer-reviewed article which provided the article for free, but that link no longer works[maybe they got in trouble for offering other people's work for free]. Unfortunately, this one you have to pay for to have access to, maybe you can find this article free elsewhere if you want to look for it) This is the original link, but I'm pretty sure it won't work: http://disjointedthinking.jeffhughes.ca...;)
[5] http://www.uk.coop...;
[6] https://www.youtube.com...;
[7] http://www.geo.coop...;
CynicalRepublican

Con

I thank my opponent for their participation in this debate.

(1) A very simple example of free market Capitalism [that being, an unrestrained marketplace in which goods and services are exchanged for profit] is the internet. Private individuals are constantly investing in providing goods and services to internet users at the best quality for the greatest affordability. We see that competition has created some very luxurious sites, and various social media outlets. In some instances, corporations have monopolized and created artificial rule over certain sectors of internet service. Yet, in spite of this, smaller sites still live on.

The internet was also created as a result of Capitalism. A pair of scientists by the names of Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf worked together to expand on already-existent technology [which was funded by the Department of Defense, before private innovation began to work harder]. Their intent was to create a globally accessible networking service that made communication and the exchange of ideas easier. Naturally, their invention came with a profit to be earned.

It's quite simple economics that profits incentivize individuals to produce things. That is how we are having this discussion as we speak. Without Capitalism, we would be unable to use a computer which was produced and sold in exchange for a profit, and thus benefited us and the producers of the said computer.

(2) Capitalism is the greatest way to lift people out of poverty. By creating a competitive market where any and all citizens have the free access to become employed or start up a business, Capitalism guarantees that money can be made through hard work or by taking economic risks. Hence, things such as the stock market are growing in popularity after the election of President-Elect Donald Trump, who generally favors deregulating the market place. The DOW is up 10 percent, and is nearing historical highs.

Those who are poor are often so due to an inability to manage money, or a series of poor decisions made in early life. To use an anecdote, my family is generally lower middle class. My father dropped out of high school and now woks a factory job, where hours are grueling and demanding, and pay is often just adequate enough. This is not a fault of the greater system, but rather his irresponsible decision to drop out of high school, which gave him less applicable skills.

People are given the tools to succeed, as long as they are willing to use them.

(3) Free enterprise Capitalism is the most fair idea to the common business. If a corporation and a family-owned bakery are heading against one another in a regulated marketplace with high minimum wage rates and litigation, the corporation will dominate because it can afford the rates. Or, it will flee, just like several businesses did in France when the corporate tax was set to 75 percent. Because self-interest makes the world go round, corporations and the wealthy are not particularly interested in being the targets of disproportionate tax rates. So, they take their business elsewhere. By extension, they take a chunk of the employment rate with them. Even Sweden, one of the most renowned current Socialist nations, has a low corporate tax rate to sustain business investment in the domestic market. In a free market, however, the small bakery would dominate. Why? Because their products are higher in quality -- they are fresher -- and customers will tend to be more satisfied by their service.

(4) Greed is often used as an argument against Capitalism. However, greed is actually a positive thing -- at least in an economic sense. The late, great economist Dr. Milton Friedman was featured on Donahue, and debated for a bit on the concept of greed. The link to the video will be provided in the cited sources. Friedman said, "What does reward virtue? You think a Communist Commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? You think -- excuse me, if you'll pardon me -- do you think American presidents reward virtue? Do they really reward virtue or on the basis of their political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest?" There is no country in the world where greed ceases to exist. The pursuit of one's own interests enables them to do terrific things for the greater people, and helps enable them in the struggle for the common good. I would highly recommend looking through some of Milton Friedman's lectures, which can be found on YouTube.

Sources Cited
(1) http://www.history.com...
(2) http://money.cnn.com...
(3) http://taxfoundation.org...
http://www.businessinsider.com...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.business-sweden.se...
(4) https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Capitalistslave

Pro

It looks like my opponent strayed away from the round structure they agreed to when they accepted the debate(they made no disagreement with the structure I set before, so it should have been assumed they agreed). As you can see in round 2, they did not offer any direct rebuttals to my round 2 arguments, which they should have done. This now puts me at a disadvantage since I intend to follow the debate structure. I only get one round to rebut con's arguments and can only rebut their round 1 arguments because that was the structure. Since this clearly puts me at a disadvantage, I suggest that voters give the one point for conduct to me since con broke the agreed upon round structure. I would normally also rebut Con's arguments in round 2, but I cannot do that without breaking my own round structure.

I would encourage my opponent not to make this mistake again and make sure to use their round 3 arguments as defense against my rebuttals(which is here) to their arguments

Now, I'll move onto my rebuttals of con's round 1 arguments. I will put in italicized words, quotes from my opponent. In addition, I will number my rebuttals in accordance with the number argument they are referring to that my opponent made.

(1) The free market would punish them by enabling me as a competitor to put them out of business by exploiting their heartless, careless means of running their business.
Or, alternatively, you could decide to establish the same things your competitor does: high prices and pay your employees poorly in order to increase profits. Why wouldn't you do that since you'd get more money out of it? Who cares about what the workers have to go through as long as you make profit? That's the only incentive in capitalism, after all: profit. That is what seems to have happened in the 1800s too, as wages were very terrible for everyone back then, working conditions were terrible, and workers had to work many hours during the day[8]. Since everyone was doing that, there was no alternative for workers to go, as every employer was paying workers terribly, and that's what happened back then before all of the regulations that came with the progressive era and after it. There's no evidence to suggest what my opponent suggests. In theory what my opponent said would be true, but historical fact is not on their side.

(2) My opponent seems to be attempting to attack a specific type of leftist ideology(one supported by Bernie Sanders), but this is not effective since there are many leftist ideologies. Overall this entire argument here is non sequitur, which is "when the conclusion does not follow from the premises. In more informal reasoning, it can be when what is presented as evidence or reason is irrelevant or adds very little to support to the conclusion." [9]. The reason this is non-sequitur is because this argument has nothing to do with supporting capitalism, it's only an attack on a specific leftist ideology which isn't a good reason to support Capitalism, it's only reason to not support the specific leftist ideology and alternative conclusions could be that we should follow a different leftist ideology, or even a different rightist ideology other than capitalism.


In order to support his plans, the average American would be paying 90-92 percent in taxes,
I don't know where my opponent got this figure from, but it wasn't their own sources. From the very same source that my opponent cited, it says "Every household earning below $250,000 will face a tax hike of nearly 9 percent. Past that, rates explode, up to a top rate of 77 percent on incomes over $10 million." [10] The tax rate for people earning under $250,000 is currently 10-33%[11], having that raise by 9% would just be 19-42%, not nearly the 90-92% that my opponent claims. In addition, it's not a straight up 19-42%. Those rates are only taxed for the each bracket, so it's not 42% of all of your income, but only income above 190,150 is taxed at that rate.

(3) My opponent here cites the democratic party, and the desire for a $15 minimum wage, but again, this doesn't represent all leftists and leftists have various solutions to these problems. I'll point out below what my solution to the problem is later in this argument.

This is a ludicrous argument to make, because small businesses would be unable to afford to sustain themselves
Well, the strange thing is, majority of small businesses support a minimum wage increase[12] [13] if it was really going to hurt them, why would they support it?

However, I would personally want to leave the minimum wage up to local governments. I believe capitalism does provide inadequate wages. As I pointed out in my round 2 main arguments, there are still many people living in poverty, even though they work full-time. In addition, the fact that business owners take a percent of the profits from the company, lowers the maximum wage workers can have in order to ensure the company still has a profit. My opponent didn't make any rebuttals to this, so this point still stands.

So my solution to the low wage problem is not a support for minimum wage increases, but rather transitioning businesses to be worker-owned and democratically controlled.

I will leave you with PragerU videos, to prevent exhausting you with more long-winded writing.
PragerU is a very biased right-wing source. It's really pathetic that what they offer in their videos are not ever really scientifically peer-reviewed. They're supposed to be a university, so they should only be relying on factual information as provided by peer-reviewed articles, but as anyone who has seen their videos know, they offer only opinions and half-baked logic. Feel free to look at the videos my opponent offered from them, you'll see there is no scientific peer-reviewed information in them and everything claimed by the people in these videos are unsubstantiated.

(4) This is all still non-sequitur, as attacking various forms of socialism and communism does not mean capitalism is the ideology of the working class.

Now, I'd also like to point out that Sweden is not even socialist. They have never claimed to be socialist, nor have they ever had a socialist party in the majority. The same is true for Germany. Now, France has had a socialist party as a majority, though they never transitioned into a socialist economy.

In addition, I wouldn't say that socialism or communism was the result of those millions of people killed. I would blame extreme authoritarianism/totalitarianism on it. Totalitarian socialism is an awful ideology, as you're right, it tends to lead to millions killed. However, libertarian socialism, anarcho-syndicalism, and anarcho-communism has not resulted in millions dead. Two countries in history that could be described as one of those three ideologies are: Revolutionary Catalonia, during the Spanish Civil war of 1936-1939, and the Free Territory of Ukraine during the Russian Civil war of 1917-1922. Neither are recorded as having caused massive death(aside from in war in attempting to defend their countries). In fact, it was the Bolsheviks who crushed the Free Territory of Ukraine and Marxists who tried to overthrow Revolutionary Catalonia. Leftists don't get along with each other all the time, and history shows that we even get bloody with one another.

Sources:
[8] http://countrystudies.us...;
[9] https://www.logicallyfallacious.com...;
[10] https://fee.org...;
[11] http://taxfoundation.org...
[12] https://www.dol.gov...;
[13] http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org...;
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 11 months ago
CosmoJarvis
On the contrary, capitalism is fairly good for the working class in certain cases.
Unlike socialism and communism, capitalism gives the working class more opportunities for social mobility.
Posted by CynicalRepublican 1 year ago
CynicalRepublican
Good grief, looks like the round automatically forfeited.
Posted by Capitalistslave 1 year ago
Capitalistslave
For some reason, semi-colons got added to each of my links to my sources(thus ruining the links). I have no idea why. So here are the sources from round 2 again and hopefully no semi-colons get randomly added:
[2] http://poverty.ucdavis.edu...
[3] http://www.uk.coop...
[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com...
[5] http://www.uk.coop...
[6] https://www.youtube.com...
[7] http://www.geo.coop...
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