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Future of global capitalism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/6/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 669 times Debate No: 61335
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




My theory is the contemporary billionaires and rich corporate shareholders still need large masses of people to contribute to their wealth by purchasing goods and services. But since the economic trend of capitalism create a tiny group of extremely wealthy individuals, the ratio of 'least fortunate' expands. Is there a future for capitalism of this kind? The governments rule in favor of the richest. What will happen with people that can't anymore contribute to economy, feed the rich by their demand and purchasing power? Do you fear a major decline in western values and human rights will occur when the group of people that will be considered a burden or drain of economic system expands? Will the richest influence the state governments to not to provide them sufficient support to get rid of them? My point is the global economy with ongoing trends will not work indefinitely. Sooner or later it's going to turn agaist humanity in yet unseen extent. Do you agree? Or do you see a brighter outcome in the future?


I think I am going to have to reply to this in order of questions from last to first, and might have a question or two at the end for clarification.

With regards to some dire straits economically, I feel that living in the society that we do, a brighter outlook for the trend of capitalism would be that government (and possibly even those same corporations) would step in to prevent a catastrophic failure. It doesn't serve their needs for them to let that happen, after all. The global trend specifically as it is cannot continue, but there has yet to be a hard 'turning point' in which things cannot get better. There is still the option for a redress of grievances with our government. Just to ensure purity of a candidate, there is the capability in a growing number of states in the US where candidates can be put on a ballot, and granted equal funding their opponent receives, provided certain donation and party affiliation rules are met.

Thus far, history in civilized countries (that being where a bona fide system of finances exist) has demonstrated an appreciation for workers rights, as well as corporation's rights, and have agreed that certain rules and programs must be implemented to ensure collusion doesn't take place, nor a monopoly take control of a market. The devaluing of human rights (or basic rule of law) so far has been a product of workers either being lazy, or being desperate in terms of crime, that being the criminal would prefer the one big score (at law's expense) or driven to such ends to commit a crime because no other option would readily solve the immediate problem of ends. With regards to the government, I have seen the SCotUS give MANY rights to corporations as a whole, but I have seen very few human rights be taken from the populace.

This leads me to still have a faith in governance that might counteract a long term failure before it occurs; I believe the marketing and tech bubbles (and subsequent crashes) are adequate demonstration of that.

What have you seen, rights violation wise, that you see a continuing trend that gives a corporation, or the individual rich an advantage? Why do you feel that all the various regime and market changes in history are not similar to those we might see in the future?

The purpose of capitalism is to attempt to enrich everyone in it on their own terms, with this goal in mind, the ultra rich and incorporated have the same goal as me: I want to sell my services and products to the highest bidder, therefore I need the masses to contribute. I do not feel the advantage of the success of the rich will result in a turn against humanity, much less one that has not been seen.

Thank you for a thought provoking topic, and I look forward to your replies.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you very much for your elaborated response. You made many very valid points.

Let me start with your last paragraph as well. You described it very well. Having a working society with jobs and purchasing power is essential for any major business, or business/economy in general. But as people have a limited life span, they often tend to focus on the short-term gain and worry less about the course of the society, environment etc. The laws and state regulatory authorities should enforce policies that prevent such business or corporate behavior that puts the prospects of economy and society in risk. But they're failing, because 1) the policies are managed by people who also have a limited life span and can't resist corporate lobbying and also short-term gain (political power, monetary gain, etc).

I think if state government wants to play a valid role and in fact have any say in substantial governing in terms of making independent decisions in order to establish sustainability of economy, fair rules (applicable to everyone) and to minimize the negative effects on society, huge effort to change the game should follow. I live in European Union, and I dare to say our politics on the EU level is much harder to influence with the corporate interests than anywhere else in the world. One of the main reasons is that we have established a very complicated, robust bureaucracy and very detailed and particular legal and political rules. But of course, EU can't change the global trends. I wonder, do you think that global authorities with actual power should be established? Maybe one day it will be viable, but so far, no country would willingly give up a notable share of their sovereignty to a multi-national body. Especially not the big and powerful countries.

What have I seen, rights violation wise, that you see a continuing trend that gives a corporation, or the individual rich an advantage? Well, let's take a look at the justice system. Globally, there are many places in the world, where you can literally buy freedom (out of jail card) or even an unwritten license to violate the law. Whether you pay with money, with favors or just exercise your influence or power. The United States are a leading superpower when it comes to law enforcement, but the justice system does not handle every individual the same. If I'd like to be dramatic, I would say it sort of executes the socio-economic segregation by harsh application of the utmost severity of law to some, and slap-on-the-wrist to some others often for the very same thing. I by no means speak against U.S., I just evaluate my observations. Certainly, each country has their own problems and needs to figure it out from within over time.

The other problem with the trends of global capitalism I see is outsourcing (often even subsided by domestic tax payers) , tax evasions abroad and lowering demand for human workforce. All these are problems should to be addressed before they cause critical or even irreversible damage.

You said it well - I also believe there's a good chance the catastrophic consequences may be prevented. People can be greedy, cruel, selfish and ignorant in their nature, but history shows they are also capable of working together and achieve incredible goals. For instance like ending the WWII and preventing recurrence of war of such kind, space programs, technology advancement, global computer network, scientific breakthroughs, international help and many others.


Governmental influence in favor of a corporation (and again, this applies to civilized and developing portions of the world) though, hasn't been over powering. The US's Citizens United decision gave influence to the concept of a corporation, but it didn't actually give it more than what already had: the ability to spend money. In the US, there are hosts of regulatory agencies and organizations with the specific goal of fining those vary same corporations (and their billionaire owners) for breaking the law, harming the environment, or lending in a unfair manner. With those checks and balances in place, each bubble pop from the latest-and-greatest-make-money-scheme hasn't taken taken the market down with it like that of the Great Depression. I am sure in the EU, there are hosts of banking and environmental rules to force compliance on behalf of the consumer, and even in nations like China, a large business is really never a few signatures away from being nationalized.

Money definitely buys power, but when that power is found to be abusive and judiciously found in violation, the most important aspect that money had was that the violators aren't greatly punished. Rich people don't go to jail, and if they do, obviously its not hard time, but the example you bring up is not taking away human rights. Unfair? Of course! Money does that. Its an obvious disconnect that occurs, but in the way of human rights being removed, its just not there. Yes, its an unequal application of the law, however making the case that those breaking the law are not equally punished is a far cry from a violation of human rights. That type of injustice happens every where for a variety of reasons ranging from familial to judicial activism, and doesn't need to find its roots in venture capitalism.

A company outsourcing its product to evade taxes runs the risk of consumer backlash, requiring protection, and still requiring a labor pool in the country you wish to sell your product in. This could be particularly damaging if a government wanted to institute tariffs on the newly imported product, the advantage of outsourcing could soon be negated by paying more to the government in order to sell your product in the market you ducked for taxes.

Capitalism can indeed continue, corruption included, without violating human rights. I would caution my opponent, though, in some points, it sounds as though you are are debating that we are a plutocracy already, which is a few steps away from capitalism. If we continue down the course we are on, as has been demonstrated, we are not at risk for a global financial catastrophe.
Debate Round No. 2


Illegal conduct of corporations is not where the flaw is. It's not about keeping in line those who break the law. United States are very effective in enforcing the rules and laws in the financial area, IRS is known to be extremely effective. Those entities that actually break the law aren't those who change the nature of capitalism. That change is executed through legislation changes. Why break the law if you can change the law to suit your needs ...

An example of decision that is inconclusive with democracy is for example the legislative change, that virtually any amount of money can be donated to political campaign, which is basically a garage sale of the core principles of democracy. Sure, the corporations could sponsor politicians with crazy money even before, but it was illegal then. And if someone found out and published it in the media, the politician could be forced to resign. So it's a huge game-changer. The noble ideal "for the people, by the people' is definitely gone in practical reality. Now politicians, the law-makers and secondly the government can be legally hired by anyone who can afford it - the wealthiest. Regular Joe doesn't have such an option, and he'll be most probably brainwashed into voting for the corporate horse(s). Who is now going to regulate these corporations? Well, nobody will. And when they'll cause a financial disaster, regular Joes and Janes will get the bill...

Well, EU has plenty of power to regulate and enforce the rules, but only within. They can't protect the value of currency or advert a financial crisis, improve export markets or preserve jobs in case of global crisis. And it the global financial world, they do tend to have the global impact.

I understand that rising custom duty on outsourced production would backlash. You put it into wider perspective and described it well. Outsourced production is a difficult topic. On one hand we get to buy cheap stuff (work less time to earn for the item from outsourcing production copared to domestic) but also, we feed another country GDP and deprive our people of jobs. I truly despise nationalist supremacy of any kind, but protecting own market and economy shouldn't be considered nationalism. So I can't get my head around the fact, that somewhere in China people do our jobs for the "hand of rice" while our (western) folks collect gov't assistance and live somewhere around the edge of poverty. So the "added value - saving on people's work" may look valuable at first glance, but costs the taxpayers money for domestic unemployment checks and create moral harm, because even the chinese workers do not make (by far) fair wage for their work. The saving are in favor of corporations, and managers in China who usually treat the workers with utmost brutality. Financially, or rather value-distribution wise, it comes down to more money for the corporation, who often don't pay their share of taxes (cause politicians may spare them as so called "job creators" - essential for domestic economy) on expense of tax payers, who have to pay the government with increasing unemployment. In other words a corporate ripoff.

So yeah, instituting tariffs for outsourcing production and services may be harmful, but so is current situation and I believe something should be done about it.

I think my opponent well understands the risk of capitalism in today's shape, but I find out dispute about particular impacts rich and interesting. Unfortunately, I don't share as much of his hopes towards sustainability (and preservation of comfortable life and fairness throughout the entire stratification of societies in the free western world), because the system fails in ability to be properly governed, and no improvements in establishing an authority or a system that could manage the system's vicious circles and loopholes can be seen.


That is a very bleak picture! Fortunately, I don't think its a prophecy.

As technology got faster, and the ability to move money was made possible by a few strokes at the keys, we realized there were dangers. Money and information whipping around the globe is a dizzying prospect, but the global community evolved along with technology to safeguard the masses AND the exceedingly wealthy, and has the capability of benefiting both to varying degrees.

It is because of that technology that laws were written to protect consumers, and it was because of that ability to filter and hide money that public cries for a transparent government came about. At the end of the chain the consumer (and voter) can see roughly where the money goes, politically, and in some instance, can even see the taxes due from both their elected officials and even chosen suppliers of goods and services. The consumer is then given the chance to vote with their dollars, and change suppliers if they do not feel a certain corporate responsibility is met.

As was previously stated, capitalism is indeed sustainable. As long as there is an accountable regulatory agency, and a need for varying products and a lower price, there will always be a need for a product to be sold, forcing the financial landscape to shift into a more consumer friendly model. A corporation has no reason to sacrifice their consumers and yield no return, its their source of capital, after all, and even if the goals are short sighted, in matters of the consumer it would serve them no purpose to cannibalize their only source of income.

The core of capitalism hinges around the ability for anyone to build 'a better mouse trap', and history has demonstrated there has been no shortage of inspired folks to put a product to market, and in many cases, a better product as evidence by consumer choice. The fall of capitalism is thwarted by its own inner workings. Entrepreneurial individuals always have the chance to bring new products to market, and an eager customer base will ensure that the 'better mouse trap' keeps established corporations in check.

It is for these reasons that capitalism will continue. As has been implemented, a healthy combination of governmental regulation, entrepreneurial spirit, and an informed customer (and voter!) with the use of technology enables capitalism to continue without allowing gross political and market over-reach. It is for these reasons that I encourage a vote of Pro. Capitalism is sustainable.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by grotto77 2 years ago
Vajrasattva-LeRoy - we don't dispute whether capitalism goes up or down. Capitalism has beaten communism and there's no relevant competition anymore. But the very nature of capitalism has changed.

I wonder what you meant by implying that masses need "the wealthiest & powerful & productive & intelligent people". Let's assume by power you mean wealth and influence. But why do you think that wealth means productivity or intelligence. Usually, it doesn't involve either. Most of wealth is acquired through inheritance and intelligence the business needs can be hired. In fact the whole functional business can be purchased.

You need to realize it's not late 19 century or beginning of 20th. It's not 1940's, 1970's and neither 1990's. The current system doesn't leave that much room for an individual to work through the ladder. It depends a lot on to which family you're born. If you're already rich, it's highly probable you stay rich, and there will be plenty of people to assist you in generating more profit. On the other hand, if you are born poor, you most likely will NOT achieve wealth by the time you die. In European monarchies, there were royals that ruled and taxed. Then republics were invented but you could still make a fortune by what you did with your hands or created in your mind. Now even if you had the brightest idea, you would be square without rich guy's capital, so you could afford patents, production, testing, registration and marketing. And of course a solid legal department. The wealthy basically run all that and they would just purchase your idea or talent. For a fraction of it's actual value.

FaustianJustice named it right. There's a "labor pool to exploit". The success is no longer associated with greatness of ideas, products and services, but entirely depend on who can make it to the market. It's a system that serves the privileged. It's not capitalism and democracy anymore, but a corporativist oligarchy and oligocracy.
Posted by FaustianJustice 2 years ago
Considering the philosophical nature of the discussion, it seems appropriate to give a full explanation.

RE a labor pool: Were HP's, McDonald's, GM's, etc etc board of directors just up and disappear, how long do you think it would be for that had an honest to goodness impact on the day to day operations?

Success and power and productive are all byproducts of some one hatching an idea they can sell. That idea cannot get off the ground to be a success and powerful and productive thing unless there is a labor pool to exploit.

If you can find me an inventor of a widget whom invented, produced, and went door to door to sell without stroking a check to another whom supported (read: worked for) him, I would be most impressed.
Posted by Vajrasattva-LeRoy 2 years ago
You guys sure like to write LONG statements, don't you?

You're both wrong.

Capitalism isn't going down- it's going up.

The idea that the wealthiest & most successful & powerful & productive & intelligent people need huge numbers of others to support them obviously doesn't make sense.
It's the other way around.

Try studying the works of Austrian Economics Professor Ludwig von Mises, such as his 1949 book "Economics: A Treatise on Economics" .

"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand was awfully long, & stupid, but it's point was interesting.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: IMO pro had strong, irrefuted contentions and good points especially about how capitalism was fair to everyone