The Instigator
BenjiSG
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Parksterthejenkins
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points

Capitalism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Parksterthejenkins
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/11/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 493 times Debate No: 43783
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

BenjiSG

Con

We use Capitalism because it functions. That, however, does not mean that it is adequate. We constantly see the rich taking advantage of the poor and every time the market isn't controlled our economy spirals up and down.

These spirals result in occurrences such as the Great Depression and the 2008 Economic Crisis. Poverty in Capitalist countries is always high, and classes form. These classes have limited mobility as it is often very difficult for a lower class citizen to work their way up the career ladder.

Freedom can also exist without Capitalism. Freedoms of press, speech, religion, you name it can exist without Capitalism. A society without these freedoms is called a Fascism. A society without Capitalism is not necessarily a Fascism, and democracy can exist without Capitalism., so save your stances on democracy for another debate.

Although one of the most prominent solutions, Communism does not necessarily have to be THE solution. A successful Communism would far surpass a successful Capitalism, but at the moment the idea's implementation is unrealistic.
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

I accept, and I hope we have a friendly and lively debate. To make this easy to read and know what I'm doing I'll be putting down things you say into my argument into quotes and posting my response under it. Good luck!

"We use Capitalism because it functions. That, however, does not mean that it is adequate. We constantly see the rich taking advantage of the poor and every time the market isn't controlled our economy spirals up and down."

Capitalism is more than just holding onto all of the capital you own and having the freedom to invest and such. Capitalism also supports the idea that actions and transactions between multiple parties do not need the use of coercion and/or violence. To control these interactions violence and coercion is inevitable. I personally believe in voluntarism and full blown capitalism which in my opinion is anarchism, but to keep this from sprouting into another debate over government, I will use my arguments based off of minarchism ideals and just small, limited government. First we must ask ourselves, how does the rich get so much money over all of us? Well, for several reasons:

1. The government grants special treatment to the rich through tax breaks, corporate welfare, subsidies, and so on.
This shows that the government can inevitable favor the rich and that you cannot have control on the rich, and favor to it at the same time. The government we have now supports the ruling class and will always favor the ruling class.

2. They get into political power and become a part of our government.
Another way the government favors the rich.

3. They are born into it.
If they are born into it, why should I be mad at them? They didn't choose to be born into wealth. Nobody has the right to impose regulations onto them.

4. They create businesses and organizations.
This is beneficial to society. It creates jobs, it creates wealth, it pulls people out of poverty, it raises our standard of living, it helps improve our economy, and so much more.

As you can see, all of these points show favor towards capitalism. I think you may have a misguided view on what capitalism really is. You may have mistaken it with corporatism.

"These spirals [In economic trends] result in occurrences such as the Great Depression and the 2008 Economic Crisis."

I'm glad you mention the Great Depression and the 2008 crisis. Capitalism did not create these at all. Who was the evil that created this you may ask? The Federal Reserve and government control on the monetary system. The Federal Reserve creates boom and bust cycles that destabilize the economy. The Federal Reserve created an unsustainable boom in the 1920s by lowering interest rates. Economists estimated that the money supply had increased by 61.8 percent between 1921 and 1929. The inevitable stock market crash was a symptom of the inflationary boom. This is currently happening today and is what is going to crash our economy because the value of the dollar will collapse. Also, Herbert Hoover was not a capitalist president. He was a big spender on the economy. He doubled federal spending in real terms in just four years. One of Hoover"s first acts as president was to prohibit business leaders from cutting wages. He also launched huge public works projects such as the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Los Angeles Aqueduct, and Hoover Dam. Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley tariff into law in June 1930 which raised taxes on over 20,000 imported goods to record levels. He raised the top income tax rate from 25 percent to 63 percent and the lowest income tax rate from 1.1 percent to 4 percent in 1932.

"Poverty in Capitalist countries is always high, and classes form. These classes have limited mobility as it is often very difficult for a lower class citizen to work their way up the career ladder."

Poverty is a complex issue, many countries measure poverty differently so it is hard to argue the amount of poverty in capitalist countries compared to non-capitalist countries. It is easy though, to see the success of countries. Take a look at Switzerland. Lowest tax rate in the world, low business regulation, no central bank, and it is a very capitalist-type society (although it is not the perfect model). Switzerland is one of the most successful countries in the world. The same goes for New Zealand. New Zealand has extremely low business regulation and is known to have the lowest rate of corruption in the world. Onto the class issue, I do not see what is wrong with classes. Capitalism is not about creating classes and class warfare. Capitalism offers the opportunity for everyone to move into whatever class they work their way into. If you look on this source you can see that many Americans have been moving up into higher incomes:
http://www.aei-ideas.org...

"Freedom can also exist without Capitalism. Freedoms of press, speech, religion, you name it can exist without Capitalism. A society without these freedoms is called a Fascism"
When there is little economic freedom there is little political freedom as well. As we can see now, controlled economies have proven to be disastrous. Freedom to do those things I support to the fullest. Capitalism can coincide with those.

"Although one of the most prominent solutions, Communism does not necessarily have to be THE solution. A successful Communism would far surpass a successful Capitalism, but at the moment the idea's implementation is unrealistic."
This is where we may have slight agreement, I"m not sure. First I need to know what kind of anarchism you support. There is anarchist communist (as proposed by intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky) and Marxism. Anarchist communism in my opinion is in fact a good idea with great intentions, for a world filled with saints. Marxism on the other hand is atrocious as it sees the state to be the controller over the economy and that it must impose equality on all. Nearly every example of this ideology has proven itself to be a failure. Anarchist capitalism (which you may or may not see as an oxymoron lol) is the only way to achieve a free society. All interactions can be voluntary without coercion, but it is not utopian because it does not design society like governments try to do. As we can see with controlled economies, it leaves the government richer and the people poorer.

That is my beginning argument, and again I"m looking forward to a fun and friendly debate!
Debate Round No. 1
BenjiSG

Con

Thank you for being so polite in your argument. I will try to do the same. Now, let's get down to it.

"Capitalism also supports the idea that actions and transactions between multiple parties do not need the use of coercion and/or violence."

Exchanges should exist, but only with superfluous comforts. Basic things such as food, water, clothes, and living spaces should be provided by the government. Otherwise, in the event of a monopoly, the suppliers can drive the consumers bankrupt simply by charging essentials as high as they possibly can in order to make a greater profit margin. You proposal of anarchism could also potentially increase violence, as a lack of regulation would create a large grey area in business practices.

"The government grants special treatment to the rich through tax breaks, corporate welfare, subsidies, and so on.
This shows that the government can inevitable favor the rich and that you cannot have control on the rich, and favor to it at the same time. The government we have now supports the ruling class and will always favor the ruling class."

The government will always grant special treatment to the rich in Capitalism because the rich are the ones who supply the money for the campaigns. The average voters are influenced by advertising and advertising requires the money which the rich have in abundance. Naturally, due to the inherent greed of humanity (different argument) which allowed these people to rise to the top of the economic system in the first place, the rich will wish to become wealthier. To do this they will pay campaigning money towards candidates in exchange for promoting policies which favor the wealthy. Consequently, the wealthy become wealthier and gain even more influence over government.

"They are born into it. If they are born into it, why should I be mad at them? They didn't choose to be born into wealth. Nobody has the right to impose regulations onto them."

This may be so, but it impinges upon equal opportunity. A rich man does not choose to be born rich nor does a poor man choose to be poor, but the result is that the rich man lives a life of success and comfort regardless of how much or how little he contributes to labor whereas the poor man can contribute as much as he possibly can yet still remain at the bottom due to trickle-down economics, which frankly, do not and were never intended to work. Putting money in the hands of the rich allows them to use to manipulate the poor further through increased lobbying efforts, which can in turn allow them to decrease minimum wage all to increase profit, with none of that extra money ever finding its way into poor hands.

"They create businesses and organizations. This is beneficial to society. It creates jobs, it creates wealth, it pulls people out of poverty, it raises our standard of living, it helps improve our economy, and so much more."

While you are correct that SMALL businesses are beneficial, big ones simply drive the small ones out. The large corporations are then able to unite with each other through different means and increase their influence even further. Take the Bohemian Grove as an example. A two-week getaway for the rich and powerful. Basically like summer camp for the upper class. The only difference is that the relationships formed at THIS summer camp can lead to relationships back in the corporate world. Once again, when this happens and the upper class is able to control the conditions of their workers, it only leads to increased poverty.

"The Federal Reserve created an unsustainable boom in the 1920s by lowering interest rates. Economists estimated that the money supply had increased by 61.8 percent between 1921 and 1929. The inevitable stock market crash was a symptom of the inflationary boom. This is currently happening today and is what is going to crash our economy because the value of the dollar will collapse."

These interest rates and level of economy control would not be necessary if Capitalism were to simply be discarded. If people were to simply be offered jobs of equal work for necessities and some comforts interest and the stock market would not exist and our economy would not be so flimsily tipped over.

"Onto the class issue, I do not see what is wrong with classes. Capitalism is not about creating classes and class warfare. Capitalism offers the opportunity for everyone to move into whatever class they work their way into."

While it would be nice for it to simply be so easy as to say "I'm going to the upper class today!" and move into that zone, reality is not so ideal. The link you shared was one of income distribution, and not wealth distribution. Due to inheritance and net worth, income becomes rather insignificant in comparison: http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu...

As the link shows, the wealthiest of Americans control an overwhelming 85% of the nation's wealth despite only accounting for 20% of the overall population. With the elimination of Capitalism, those numbers would balance out.

"When there is little economic freedom there is little political freedom as well."

I would beg to differ. The class divisions which economic freedom results in causes government corruption by the rich which you yourself said was present and I previously pointed out to be almost inevitable in an uncontrolled Capitalist society. The lack of classes would increase freedom by giving the people the ability to make what they wish of their lives without them having to pick their occupations based on how much money it would bring in.

"There is anarchist communist (as proposed by intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky) and Marxism. Anarchist communism in my opinion is in fact a good idea with great intentions, for a world filled with saints. Marxism on the other hand is atrocious as it sees the state to be the controller over the economy and that it must impose equality on all. Nearly every example of this ideology has proven itself to be a failure."

Interesting that you mention Noam Chomsky. My father, Warren S. Goldstein, is also a Marxist writer (although he focuses on sociology and in particular religion). And although my father would be sure to know loads on anarchistic communism as opposed to Marxism, I unfortunately do not. Nor do I need to. I am setting out to prove that Capitalism is negative, not that Marxism is positive. That would be a different debate. I agree with you in your statement that almost every example of this ideology has proved to be a failure as I specifically mentioned earlier that I do not feel that direct Communism can be implemented properly as a system in the modern world, yet I still feel the Marxist perspective is an important and very valid one especially for the modern world.

I await your counterargument. I would say best of luck, but I don't think luck has too much to do with this, so I'll say "may the one with the best argument win."
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

"Basic things such as food, water, clothes, and living spaces should be provided by the government."

Typically when the government provides things, they are very inefficient. Take as an example the dmv, national defense, law enforcement, welfare (both corporate and private), and more. Whereas the private sector and the free market have been proven to thrive in areas like these. Because when one works for profit, they need the consumer. When the consumer is not satisfied, the business owner begins to fail and will try to improve his product. The government doesn't work this way. If you wish to change the way things are within the government. You'd either have to vote for it, or become a politician. Both ways are both very complex and often difficult processes.

"in the event of a monopoly, the suppliers can drive the consumers bankrupt simply by charging essentials as high as they possibly can in order to make a greater profit margin."

With capitalism, monopolies are nearly impossible to create. That's why political parties that support capitalism such as the American Libertarian Party don't have big corporate followers, because they know that under a capitalist system they have more competitors. Again, not to insult, you may have capitalism mixed with corporatism or crony capitalism. This is when the government is in bed with corporations through lobbying and special treatment. With capitalism, the government is not allowed to grant special favors to anybody. Not corporations, not the people, no one. Most (if not all) monopolies that were created throughout history were making bargains with the government. A prominent example today is Walmart. In defense of monopolies (my only defense for that matter), is that they have proven to provide great prices. Take the 19th century "robber barons" as an example. It's an often told myth as to how they were created, which really involved government help. The government is the largest monopoly that has ever lived.

"You proposal of anarchism could also potentially increase violence"

This is a fallacious argument often brought up by critics of anarchist capitalism. Of course, no one can truly predict how society would handle this issue, but anarchist philosophers, economists, ect. Have offered blueprints. Like I said, I don't want to branch this out into an argument over anarchism so I will offer links for you to read if you so choose. If you still think anarchism can't handle violence, that's your choice. But what I can offer in a short argument over this is that the government has created more violence than any other organization has all throughout history.

"The government will always grant special treatment to the rich in Capitalism because the rich are the ones who supply the money for the campaigns."

As stated in previous arguments, this isn't capitalism.

"Naturally, due to the inherent greed of humanity"

Not in this debate, but maybe through private messaging we should discuss human nature. It's a topic I love discussing.

"it impinges upon equal opportunity."

I prefer freedom over equality. This is a morality debate. Which you can continue to debate it as you please so I'm leaving it to you if you wanna debate morality more lol. (Maybe through private message or another debate?)

"trickle-down economics, which frankly, do not and were never intended to work."

This is where my anarchist argument comes into play. Trickle down economics I feel like is a bad term for capitalism as it implies that the rich must give to the poor without the governments help. This isn't precisely what capitalism is in my opinion. The government often rids the incentive to give and really pushes this notion of trickle down economics.

"While you are correct that SMALL businesses are beneficial, big ones simply drive the small ones out."

Under capitalism, true capitalism that is, it'd be very hard for a business to buy off other companies. Imagine there are five malls. One is preferably bigger than the other four. For this bigger mall to even buy one smaller mall, it'd be a great financial burden. The owner would eventually have to pass this burden onto his consumers or his workers or his shareholders and it'd be very hard to do so. For a continuing example, let's say the owner buys it anyway and pulls it off. The other three businesses are then going to become more expensive to buy off since there are less malls now in circulation. The cycle of facing financial burdens left and right would soon come to an end once consumers start evading this business since it is making harmful decisions.

"These interest rates and level of economy control would not be necessary if Capitalism were to simply be discarded."

Well, it depends on if it were anarchist capitalism and limited government capitalism. Anarchist capitalism would be the easier solution, but in the went of limited government, there is still no central bank that would be able to commit such disasters to the economy like our central bank does now.

"If people were to simply be offered jobs of equal work for necessities and some comforts interest and the stock market would not exist and our economy would not be so flimsily tipped over."

The government still spends under what you're proposing. Which includes interest rates. Marxism proposes a national bank. I believe it's the seventh plank in the communist manifesto (correct me if I'm wrong). National banks destroy economies by controlling interest rates. In the short run, lower interest rates are better. But they prolong spending and do more harm than good in the long run.

"While it would be nice for it to simply be so easy as to say "I'm going to the upper class today!" and move into that zone, reality is not so ideal."

I apologize if my argument on that issue maybe made it seem like I thought moving into different classes is easy, I didn't mean it that way lol. The key word was opportunity. It is very much possible and doable to gain income under a capitalist society, whereas a controlled economy keeps everything equal and offers little to no opportunity, unless you work within the government then you can have lots of money.

"As the link shows, the wealthiest of Americans control an overwhelming 85% of the nation's wealth despite only accounting for 20% of the overall population. With the elimination of Capitalism, those numbers would balance out."

This is another either or argument with anarchism and limited government. Anarchism provides the better solution to this because there is no actual "national wealth" set up by governments and such.

I will elaborate on my political freedom argument by using a quote made by economist Milton Friedman, "The preservation of freedom is the protective reason for limiting and decentralizing governmental power. But there is also a constructive reason. The great advances of civilization, whether in architecture, or painting, in science or literature, in industry or agriculture, have never come from centralized government... Newton and Leibniz; Einstein and Bohr, Shakespeare, Milton and Pasternak; Whitney, McCormich, Edison and Ford; Jane Addams, Florence Nightingale and Albert Schwietzer; no one of these opened new frontiers of human knowledge and understanding, in literature, in technical possibilities, or in the relief of human misery, in response to governmental directives. Their achievements were the product of individual genius, of strongly held minority views, of a social climate permitting variety and diversity."
This is what my main point is when saying that capitalism and freedom are two sides of the same coin.

To end, I'd just like to thank you for also being civil in the debate. As you read in my argument I'd like to discuss human nature through private messaging or something. Bringing it in the debate would make things unclear..
Debate Round No. 2
BenjiSG

Con

BenjiSG forfeited this round.
Parksterthejenkins

Pro

As we can see, my opponent has forfeited. Either out of lack of argument or forgetfulness. I wish him the best in his future endeavors and I hope he learns more about what Capitalism truly is.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by BenjiSG 2 years ago
BenjiSG
I would like to apologize for not being able to finish the debate. It was not out of lack of argument or forgetfulness, but out of busyness.

That being said though, while my opponents debate was strong I couldn't help but feel that many of their claims argued against Marxism, which was not the subject of the debate. The arguments should have argued for Capitalism, the subject, rather than against Marxism, which is an entirely different discussion. Also, many of my opponents arguments also argued in favor of anarchism (anachro-Capitalism to be exact) rather than in favor of standard Capitalism, which I again feel deviates slightly from the argument, but then again I am guilty of responding to these points.

In total, I enjoyed the debate and would like to thank my opponent for handling him/herself respectfully and creating an interesting discussion.
Posted by Parksterthejenkins 2 years ago
Parksterthejenkins
Sources that may answer questions regarding law and order in an anarchist society.

https://mises.org...

http://m.youtube.com...

http://m.youtube.com...

http://m.youtube.com...

For a source in full book form, there is Chaos Theory by Robert Murphy.

Again, you don't have to view these, they are just blueprints that answer the questions of how law is handled with anarchy. Made to possibly answer any questions you have.
Posted by Parksterthejenkins 2 years ago
Parksterthejenkins
I would also like to note that with economies, it really should not matter how much the higher classes are making, but rather what you yourself is making. As an example, imagine Country A lives under a capitalist society. Country B does not. The upper class in Country A make an average of 500 thousand dollars. The lower class makes an average of 100 thousand. Country B upper classes make an average of 100 thousand dollars, and the poor make an average of 25 thousand dollars. This is an exaggeration lol, but as you can see, the income gap in country A is MUCH larger than the gap in country B, but everybody is making higher wages, which is all that matters. It does not matter that someone is making significantly more than you. What matters is that you are making a lot of money regardless of what the upper class is making...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Buckethead31594 2 years ago
Buckethead31594
BenjiSGParksterthejenkinsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: F/F