Capitalism is not only the only moral system, as it respects the dignity of the individual, it's also the only system that gives the individual incentive to make progress for himself, and it is because of personal gain that individuals create wealth, and it is only to make more wealth, that people choose to sell that good or service, therefore making it possible that society can enjoy it. In a free society, there would only be need for charity for a few years. After that, there would be no more poor people.
To be clear, this is using the definitions of "capitalism" and "socialism" that define them as economic systems.
Let's look at it this way: Suppose that you are in school. A test is coming up and you study very hard. You learn the material and ace the test. You go home feeling very good about your test. The next day, you walk in and get your test back. It's a 90%! You did pretty well for yourself. Only...... You don't have any wrong answers. Why don't you have a 100%? The teacher tells the class that he decided to take points from the higher scores and give them to the people with lower scores, even that one kid who never even attended class.
Tell me: would you continue to work really hard just so the dropouts could benefit from your hard work? Because if you answer yes, you are one special person. Most people would scale back their work to the lowest common denominator and only do the bare minimum of work. It is a self-repeating cycle. As it continues, the standard of work drops, so the work quality drops as well.
Furthermore, history provides us with numerous examples of socialist states that not only had terrible economies, but crashed spectacularly in the end, dooming EVERYONE to extreme poverty.
As a society, we first need to expel the myth that poverty can be eradicated. We can prevent people from starving, which can be done in a Capitalist society, like the US, but there is a paradox that prevents poverty ending. If everyone has a good amount of money, prices go up, and those with the least amount of money are impoverished. The only to that solution is Communism, which is a disaster in its own right.
What makes Capitalism so beautiful is that to get really rich, you have to enrich others. It is almost impossible in a Capitalist society to achieve success without contributing to society. Yes, of course Capitalism is about greed and selfishness, but the system is incredible because it feeds off the negative things to make a huge percentage of the population wealthy.
Look at history. What are the greatest nations that have ever existed? Greece, Rome, England, France, the United States, ancient China and Egypt...The list goes on. They not only are the most powerful influentially and militarily, but they also have the wealthiest population without exception. Is there anything they have in common? Capitalism. It works, and socialism and communism don't. Its that simple.
As Winston Churchill would say, Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the other ones.
When there is a popular product, with a lot of actual or potential customers, another will be tempted to better it to make more profit from it. The freedom to set up one's own production facility(or offer a service) is essential to keeping the competition alive. When there are even two competing products, the producers will want to attract more customers by providing better product or by a similar product but which costs less. Things become affordable. Even cheaper variants will be available for a more expensive base product. This applies to every field including food, real estate, medicine, insurance, etc. Socialism redistributes wealth by looting from the more productive people, it means that the producer has less money to invest in producing more in quantity or efficiency. Eventually slowing down the evolution of the product. Capitalism will allow the evolution of industry. And we know that "outdated" products are cheaper. Every essential commodity will be affordable as the technological advancement in mass production happen. It will be affordable to live, not initially of course, it takes a little time.
Both socialism and capitalism have shown to reduce poverty in certain situations. If you are asking in America which is better to reduce poverty, than the answer is capitalism (at lease in my humble opinion). Capitalism promotes competition and economic market based strategies to maximize profit and minimize costs. In a country like America where plenty of us have college degrees and are trying to bust our ass off to make a few dollars a day, capitalism promotes the rewarding of continual hard work with continual compensation. In a less industrialized country with a weaker market however, socialism may be a better option.
PS my stance on capitalism is based upon the poster of America, yes there are many of us jobless, but we still have opportunities unmatched by less developed/ wealthy countries
No economic system can eliminate poverty and socioeconomic inequality. Humans are naturally varied and different from each other. No matter which economic or political system they live under, some humans will always be better at functioning in that system than others are. There will always be people of different and varying strengths in any society. Some people are born with more intellectual ability, some are born with more artistic ability, some are born with more athletic ability........ The list goes on and on.
Even in socialist systems, you will find haves and have-nots. While different systems may work better for different human strengths, there still remains the facts that there will always be those who excel and those who struggle.
Look, with socialism we help the poor, we give them food (in many cases the food stamps go to people with jobs but don't have enough money for food), we give them education (we need to spend more money on this) we give them a small amount of money to help people stay in the potential workforce (welfare). Socialism is superior in this aspect, although we should do more with education.
Although the capitalist system has made huge advances in poverty-reduction, it looks like there's no possibility of creating egalitarian societies.
Some months ago, The Economist published an article which states that 1 billion people have been taken out of extreme poverty in the last 20 years.* But it also acknowledges that, since the figures of extreme poverty have fallen so sharply, the rate of this decrease will inevitably slow down. This means it'll be much less likely for another billion people to be taken out of poverty in 20 years.
And let us not forget that 21% of the world's population is STILL living below the extreme poverty line. What is more, extreme poverty just comprises people living on less $1.25 a day. This obviously does not mean they aren't poor anymore.
So what do you think? What's the solution to the problem?
Utopic communist systems have "failed", yes, yet a mixed economy with an active State & social enterprises coexisting with private businesses doesn't sound like a bad idea, right? Of course, democracy and civil rights would still be part of the system.
* Link to the article: http://www.Economist.Com/news/briefing/21578643-world-has-astonishing-chance-take-billion-people-out-extreme-poverty-2030-not
Perhaps Socialism is a better way to eradicate poverty because it tends to focus on what the people want as whole as opposed to the capitalists. If poverty were to end there would have to be a balance in the economy or some sort of middle ground between the lower and higher class.
It's almost instantly obvious that a society in which more taxes are paid to recieve more social benefits would have less poverty. It would also have less rich people but that's nota bad thing.
Contrary to what the person to my left says, marks on a test are not a very good analogy for this topic, because the money that you pay as taxes will benefit you and everyone else. It's called generosity. You will not be poor but sadly you may have less money to spend on useless consumer products from China.
Capitalism is the engine of growth, how we attempt to get "enough" of whatever it is we need to survive. However, capitalism does not address whether or not "everyone" gets "enough" - capitalism is not only completely irrelevant to any notion of egalitarianism or equality, its central tenets actually advocate the opposite.
Enter socialism. Socialism utilizes the gains derived from capitalism to ensure that "need" is eradicated. Without socialism, there will be "need" and thus there will be poverty.