Pure Capitalism With Basic Needs vs Marxist/Social Socialism Dbt 3
Debate Rounds (4)
To begin, I will repost my opening statement: "I will argue for the advocation of pure capitalism with the only socialism being in the providing of very minimal needs to those who need it (i.e. Education, Food, Water, Shelter, Healthcare, etc)."
As for Round 2, I will probably post my argument from the other two in hopes of finding a counter-argument.
Let's start with the first line, "Pure capitalism is fundamentally an amoral economic system."
The way in which you phrase it gives it a negative denotation, so I am just a little confused. Are you saying that in the fact of allowing people to act in self-interest that we are actually doing harm? If so, I can cite many countries that have this free market system, a lot books, and one of the greatest all time economists, Adam Smith. But I suppose that in no way did you mean this to be a bad thing, you were just fueling your argument. The idea behind capitalism, and the reason it works I suppose, is because it is amoral as you put it.
Next you bring up an extremely wonderful point, one that I had not given too much thought into, but in the back of my mind I sort of knew that this was not an issue. But you forced me to think about it.
Let us talk about it in the form of an example. In our example we have an oil company, and, for some reason, it did not only monopolize oil in the country, but also in the whole world, so it is a global scale monopoly on oil. They then have two choices in terms of price. Well, three I suppose. They can either have cheap oil, expensive oil, or in-the-middle oil. The middle priced oil has the characteristics of both and thus is not entirely needed to be brought in depth, but I want to start with the expensive oil. They are a monopoly, so they have the choice of having very highly priced oil. If we don't mind paying this, or we need it, we could buy a small quantity of it, but allow me to make an educated guess based on economic theory once this happens. The company would not make much profit. Now let us suppose that the company is rich, so rich that they can afford to take such a loss. The amount of oil used in our country would go way down, leading to innovation that would have needed to happen (since oil is going to run out in about 200 years). A lot of supposes here, realize this is never really going to happen, but if it did, and of course according to statisticians there is probability, no big deal, and every "suppose" I take out the better the outcome.
Let us talk now about having very cheap prices. Having very cheap prices is going to increase the amount that people buy. People will use it up a lot quicker, yes, but in the mean-time economic progress is at its peak. A short term burst if you will, and as we come closer to the end of our resource, we will find need to innovate.
In the most extreme of cases even, this is not an issue. If we have a problem, our capitalist innovation will come to solve it. A planetary resource we need to plan for we would have simply run out of later, thus innovation would have been needed.
In terms of innovation, capitalism provides it the best (I hope this is given). Thus, socialism is actually the system that is responsible for inefficient use of resources. Also, realize that by having the socialistic plan, you either lack leadership and have the population decide, or have leadership and occur the same thing that happened with businesses: a small group of people controlling the price and wage of their resource company.
This first part does seem minor though, simply because you would likely say that it would be the community and not a group of people to decide, and that they would not be acting in self-interest so it is not greedy. Though, this does seem irrelevant, for no matter how greedy a person in control of a resource is, the resource is not distributed in an ill manner, but in a better manner than a large group of people. Do you take better care of public water, or your own?
As a recap, capitalism's self-interest concept defines capitalism, it innovates solutions for inefficiency and the running out of resources best, and it also manages them better than a community.
Is it not a problem that tobacco companies, driven by capitalistic greed, specifically engineered marketing efforts to target young children as future consumers? Is it not a problem that tobacco companies funded research with phony results in an attempt to conceal, for as long as possible, the adverse health risks of smoking? Is it not a problem that pharmaceutical companies have attempted to gain influence over the FDA in order to ensure their new and potentially profitable drugs get quickly to market without full and objective testing as to the safety of same? Is it not a problem that prison unions, who see that their profits have a direct relation to the number of dues-paying prison guards which, in turn, have a direct relation to the number of prisoners that need to be watched, have become the most powerful lobbying force for more and longer prison sentences out of pure financial self-interest rather than any philosophical belief that harsher punishments are morally required or better for society as a whole? Is it not a problem that we have politicians advocating for war simply to improve the economic bottom line of their relatives or patrons in the military-industrial complex? Is it not a problem that corporations that sell baby formula for profit have gone into third world countries and bribed obstetricians to tell mothers who give birth that formula is healthier than breast milk when, in fact, we know that breast milk is much healthier? Is it not a problem that oil companies, who see their profits linked to the noxious and polluting consumption of gas, have taken many measures to try to block the development of alternative energy sources, to the great detriment of all humanity and despite the fact this imperils the very planet on which we live? How many real-world, historical examples of capitalism leading to what can only be described as treasons against humanity, are needed in order to establish that the amorality of the capitalistic system is a fatal flaw in capitalism?
It appears that those who advocate for pure capitalism, or anything approaching it, are looking at mathematical models which include assumptions that the world is a level playing field, that businesses do not learn that they can enhance profits by manipulating political and legal systems to their own advantage, and generally that everyone in a capitalistic economy will play "fair." But this is never going to be the case because capitalism establishes a fear-based system. Everyone within the system has the perception that a wrong move, a wrong career choice, a wrong economic choice, could lead to financial ruin, poverty, embarrassment, ruin, homelessness, loneliness, sadness, or death. With that kind of generalized fear operating in the background, people who are relatively well-off, and not facing imminent threat of death or homelessness, nevertheless make choices as to how to behave in their professional lives as if they were on a sinking ship and fighting over the last life preserver. How else do you explain executives for a power plant to knowingly try to cover up evidence they are polluting local water supplies which is causing children to sicken and die, mothers to give birth to deformed children, and other horrors? Or chemical plant operators who save a few bucks by burying toxic waste next to a playground rather than properly disposing of it? This is the wonderful world of capitalism that you advocate, with its beneficent amorality?
Obviously, the amorality of capitalism is a flaw, and a fatal one at that.
For many people when they make a wrong career choice, they do not get fired. If a programmer accidentally gives his boss the wrong code, or a salesman doesn't close the sale, or an economist forgot to include China's GDP, or a computer IT installs Mac, they will not be fired. They have a lot of room for error, otherwise the business would lose money. To some businesses in very high demand such as a rich NYC law firm, they can afford to fire paralegals if they make a few mistakes, but they are not going to fire a lawyer if he makes them. Room for error allows growth, too much error, although, curtails it.
Wrong economic choice; well let's see, one would have to be extremely unintelligent for this to happen. If one invests all his money into a penny stock, then honestly, I think he should lose it all, and learn his lesson. If he is smart, he will use his money wisely, and a wrong choice or choices will not cost him much. Dave Ramsey is a great example.
He became a millionaire selling houses, but lost it all because he was buying on borrowed money. He got smart, capitalism allowed him to learn from his mistakes (another reason why having a system like capitalism that gives consequences for unintelligent choices is a good thing) and he proceeded to make over 50 million dollars. He is only one of the 80% of millionaires that are self-made.
So no, wrong economic choices do not cause ruin, but allow growth.
Now let us take the scenario that one does not speak English, or Spanish, or any language except Portuguese in a native town. There is one company, and they happen to be very greedy, telling him that if he makes a single mistake he will be fired. He doesn't have much money so he is unable to leave the state, or country, and thus he must take the job, but is fired after he spills coffee.
He still has the same rights to the community--he is not lonely. He is given benefits so he is not homeless. He has healthcare so he does not die. Embarrassment in this case is temporal and not very large--in cases of high popularity it may be larger, but that would be due to a mistake that he/she made. He has many benefits, and has it better than most countries in his upper scale poverty. And lastly, sadness, depending solely on what makes him/her happy--people and religion make me happy, so I would be perfectly content in his situation.
The other part of your argument was companies and people will kill to maintain a profit/popularity.
People still perform terrible acts in socialism, the only difference is that in capitalism people have more incentive. You may argue that the government could intervene and save lives. The Ford Pinto exploded on rear impact and Ford did not recall them, and people pay to hide detrimental effects as in your baby milk example.
But in the first example people would find out about it and not buy it, hence capitalism, or take the risk, hence freedom; and in the second, if the people don't know, how will the government.
The last thing I want to point out is freedom makes things work properly. When we intervene and try to be smarter than our human nature, things worsen. A great example is zebra mussels. We added fish to kill them after they were hurting other fish, but in-turn set up a chain reaction of events which moreso lead to the eventual deaths of the fish we tried to save, and others.
In capitalism problems will work their way out. Profit does not kill people, people do, and a way to counter this nature according to you is to take away people's freedom, everyone's freedom, and stunt the country's growth. But remember, socialism is not the remedy to the freedom that you didn't like. It will still happen!
ken2esq forfeited this round.
ken2esq forfeited this round.
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