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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 383 times Debate No: 100382
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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My position: I will be arguing that capitalism is not moral, not the most productive economic system we can have, and is the antithesis of liberty.
Pro's position: My opponent will be arguing that capitalism is moral, the most productive economic system we can have, and the is condusive of liberty.

Rules of debate:
1) No ad hominem, personal attacks, or insults
2) The total number of rounds minus one should be used for argument since I am not using round 1 for argument. This is to keep the number of argument rounds between us even.
3) The last round that is used for argument should not contain new arguments. It can contain new information/facts but only if it is in rebuttal to your opponent's previous arguments.
Violation of any of these rules is reason for voters to award the point for conduct to the one who did not violate these rules.

Capitalism: an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Characteristics central to capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labor, voluntary exchange, a price sytem and competitive markets. [1]
Private Property: a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity; and from collective (or cooperative) property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities. [2]
I don't feel a need to define any of the other terms used for Capitalism, since those won't make a difference in my argument. If pro wishes to define other terms, they may do so.

Note: If pro objects to any rules or definitions, they should say so in the commments before accepting the debate and we can discuss an alternative.



There is minimal government intervention which supports the fact that America is a free country and popular sovereignty.
It also has increased economic growth. And there is really no better alternatives. Do you have any better alternatives for our country? It also happens to be very efficient and our country is working fine with it.

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Debate Round No. 1


While my opponent offered a very short argument, it appears to nonetheless be an argument. I would like to remind them that the number of rounds used for argument is one less than the total number of rounds, so they should waive the last round or some other round. I would recommend to waive the last round to make the order easier on voters.

Capitalism is not as productive as Cooperative Individualism/economics
The definition I am using for cooperative individualism, for those who do not know it, can be found here[3]. Cooperative individualism, to simplify it, is essentially an economy in which worker cooperatives are the dominant structure for businesses and corporations. A worker cooperative is basically a business which is democratically controlled and jointly-owned by all of the workers of said business/company. As you can look at in the definition of private property I provided, it excludes cooperatively owned property, which cooperatives are inherently cooperatively owned. Since part of the definition of capitalism I provided includes private property, worker co-ops are inherently not capitalistic.

Moving on, let us compare the productivity of traditional/capitalistic companies with that of worker co-ops. It has been found in a study conducted by Ben Craig, of the federal reserve bank of Cleveland, and John Pencavel, of Standford University, that worker cooperatives within the plywood industry are more materially productive than traditional firms[4, pg 124]. The reasons they believe for this are because:

1) "A co-op mitigates the agency cost associated with a corporation's division between ownership and control". Since co-ops are owned by the workers, they are much more likely to be informed about the business decisions than if they weren't owners, thus there is no need to spend extra time from business owners to educate them on this matter.[4, pgs 124-125)

2) Worker co-ops eliminate "the separation of interests between workers and owners."[4 pg 125] As one can imagine, there are many instances in which a conventional firm would be presented with opportunities where they can make a decision that more benefits them and harms the workers. The workers would be opposed to this, and normally what happens in a conventional firm, is that bargaining goes on and this takes up precious time that could be devoted to work. In a co-op, this bargaining would not take place, since worker-owners would likely choose what benefits the majority of the workers, whereas in a traditional business, the owner would choose what only benefits themselves.

3) Workers are able to monitor each other better than in traditional businesses where the monitor is a single manager [4, pgs 125-126]. This makes sense as well, since in co-ops, the workers are the ones who make the decisions of the company, and would be involved in hiring and firing other workers. Co-workers are more often among their co-workers than a manager is, so they would be able to monitor their co-workers more effectively than a manager. This provides incentive for each worker to provide their best work and not laze around.

Capitalism is immoral and the antithesis of freedom
1) Capitalism is theft. Under capitalism, it is inherently a system where some people get to make money off of other people's labor: that is what business owners do. Why is this tolerated? Shouldn't people only be given compensation for their own labor and not other people's labor? Is a person not entitled to the product of their labor? If a person is entitled to the product of their labor, then it is stealing for a business owner to take profits based off of what the workers of that company are doing. They should only be given compensation for their own personal work, and it can be argued that a business owner doesn't even do nearly as much for the company as the workers do.

Additionally, even if you argue it is not stealing, it is still preventing other people from being able to earn more money that could take them out or poverty. The fact that a business owner takes a percentage of the profits, means the workers have a lower wage. I argue the business owner is not necessary just because of the fact that worker co-ops do exist. Here's a non-comprehensive list of some worker co-ops[5]. Thus, since capitalism promotes a system where an unnecessary person gets to take a percentage of profit that could be going to the workers, it is immoral.

2) Capitalism is undemocratic. I believe democracy is a highly-held value in America. Yet, we don't apply it to economics. Why should a business owner be able to dictate to the workers what to do without consent of those workers? Democracy is important because it gives consent to the governed. Well, a business owner is a position of power and authority. Yet, the workers are not represented at all under capitalism. It is unjust rule. Now, while a person could argue a worker chooses where they work, and thus the business owner they work under, do they really have a true choice? Have you ever tried searching for a job before? Well, first of all, it's not easy to even find out about a job, as 80% of jobs aren't even advertized[6], then when you do apply for a job, you have only a 20% chance of even getting an interview[6]. That doesn't take into account the percent of people who get an interview, get the job either. You'd likely have to apply to dozens of jobs before even getting an employer who will accept you. That's not much choice if you ask me. You're denied many choices. After such a long job search, you're forced to settle for a tyrannical or incompetent employer just because you need money in order to survive. So, how is that choice? How is that democratic?

Rebuttals to opponent's arguments:
Quotes from my opponent will be italicized.
There is minimal government intervention which supports the fact that America is a free country and popular sovereignty.
Well, I would argue there is way too much government intervention in today's America. But, I agree that government intervention should be kept to a minimum, and cooperative individualism doesn't need much government invervention.

It also has increased economic growth.
I'll give you that capitalism has resulted in a lot of economic growth, but why settle for good economic growth, when you can have better economic growth? I would contend that cooperative individualism would result in more economic growth. In addition to the above where I showed how worker cooperatives are more productive than traditional businesses, worker cooperatives also provide more jobs than traditional businesses.

As you can see here, the average number of positions or employees a worker co-op has is 10[7] and comparing it to the average for the traditional business, it is greater, where the traditional business has an average of around 5-6[8]. Since worker-cooperatives generally do what is in best interest of the workers, they always try to offer more jobs than traditional businesses would. Traditional businesses would employ the minimum amount of people necessary to get the job done, while worker co-ops, on the otherhand, would have more interest in employing people for the sake of employing them. This, in turn, would increase the amount of jobs if worker co-ops were to be the majority in a society. Thus, unemployment would decrease.

So, cooperative individualism would not only produce more products due to an increase in productivity, but also decrease the unemployment rate. Both of these things would boost the economy moreso than capitalism.

Do you have any better alternatives for our country?
Well, I've basically answered this already, but cooperative individualism would be a better alternative. I'm sure you probably didn't expect this, since most people probably haven't even heard of cooperative individualism. I mean, 89% of people don't even know what a cooperative is[9], I bet an even higher percentage don't even know what the term for an economy of cooperatives is called.

It also happens to be very efficient and our country is working fine with it.
Again, why settle for a B, when you can have an A? Why settle for something good, when you can have something great?

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Trump27 10 months ago
Oh lord this topic again lol. Check out a great, completed debate on this topic between me and con down in the link.
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