Can capitalism eradicate poverty (yes), or is socialism a better alternative to do so (no)?

Asked by: Matt24
  • Capitalism can eradicate poverty in less than 10 years

    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.

  • Capitalism is far superior

    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.

  • Neither can, but capitalism has a better chance

    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.

  • Capitalism is only fair

    Capitalism is not only the most effective means to lift individuals out of poverty by means of raising the economic conditions of the entire society, thereby sustaining the whole "a rising tide raises all boats" analogy. It is also the only economic system in which EVERY transaction is personally negotiated and intrinsically fair based on the value each party places on their part of the transaction. Every other economic system either employs forced theft (ie. Taxation) or fraud to massage the economy. Capitalism (without govt interference) prevents force and fraud and ensures that each and every transaction is win-win in the eyes of those engaged.

    The idea that somehow you can tax someone and redistribute that money to those who haven't earned it and create societal wealth is a fallacy. Those who receive income they haven't earned have little incentive to earn at all and therefore become less productive. Those who have what they have earned taken from them and distributed to those who haven't earned it have little incentive to produce more and therefore tend to become less productive as well. An economy that isn't productive stagnates... This is the society socialists want.

  • Liberty Only Survives Under Capitalism

    First, there is no nirvana. There is no perfection. Not in this life anyway. One topic I never see talked about is the model of government. Keep in mind the governments are basically people. People with needs, wants and desires. People that want their incomes to grow. They have no competition and they have counter incentives. I'm not knocking them, I'd be looking after myself too. The individuals incentive is to grow the government, grow the bureaucracy. That's how they get ahead. We all would. People tend to act on their own behalf so it's best to set up a system that recognizes this.

    So, I like this model of government: "Government is an entity that taxes at the highest rates possible and pays as little as possible back to it's constituents as it can in the way of goods and services." That's why we have crazy government benefits, salaries, marble buildings, $400 hammers, horrible inefficiencies and waste. Giving more power to government, and under true socialism the means of production, will only make things worse. See Greece.

    Then comes the erosion of liberty. You can't have a government taking care of everyone, protecting everyone, redistributing to/from everyone without a loss of liberty and the loss of choice. Look at history. The 'most' socialist countries in the world have few options for consumers. Sparse grocery stores and in many cases abject poverty. Yes, there's more equality because everyone is broke and everyone is a serf. Remember there were no illegal immigrants to the old Soviet Union. They had to lock everyone in.

    I know, what the socialist response is, 'That can't happen in a democratic-socialist system!!' Ah, yes it can. The more socialist we become, the more power the government has, the more likely we will devolve to a single party system or an oligarchy and democracy will become a joke. Read Hayek and Friedman along with Marx, Engles, Sanders and Warren. Then look at history. It's all very clear.

  • Both could do it.

    Socialistic countries have the lowest childhood poverty rates in the world but that does not mean capitalism can't eradicate poverty. Plus it might be more palatable for people in countries like America with such anti-socialistic stance. LBJ's war on poverty drove down the poverty rate by around half within10 years {helped of course by the economy}. So even within a capitalistic society gains can be made.

    If capitalism rewarded people for hard work including the entry level worker it could help eradicate poverty. If there was more competition in some sectors it would drive down costs to the poor and if business saw the investment opportunities in helping to tackle poverty we could eradicate it.

  • Look at the poor in both systems

    While in a capitalist system, there is more monetary inequality among income distribution, the things that can be bought with the income is what matters.

    A poor person in a capitalist country has a higher purchasing power to buy more things to increase his or her standard of living than in a socialist country, where resources are rationed

  • Tried and True

    Capitalism assumes that people are driven by their own interests, Socialism assumes that people are driven for the sake of the common good. History has proven the former to be true.
    In a Capitalist economy, production is controlled entirely by what the people demand. Assuming there are no monopolies in place, the competition for consumers will ultimately lead to higher quality goods at lower prices. Socialism assumes that the government, or the workers, will know exactly which kind, and which amount of a product the people will need. This often leads to shortages and lower quality of goods. Socialism may look fine in theory, but in reality, the economic problems it creates in the long run are unpardonable.

  • Efficiency and Morality

    Capitalism is better at producing the goods that people demand--food, water, clothing, housing. If the government sets quotas for how much food to produce, they are either going to produce too much (waste) or too little (starvation). That in itself will lead to poverty. The free market capitalist system is the only one that will ensure the adequate exchange of resources between all humans.
    Besides being more efficient than socialism, capitalism is more moral than socialism. Capitalism does not say that the poor should starve, or that they must be denied food unless they have the resources to pay for it. Under capitalist systems, people can still provide private charity used to help people in poverty improve their standards of living, or they can provide micro loans to help them improve their business operations (look at Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen bank. These systems are better ways to deal with poverty, because the poor help themselves and the rich are not compelled to do things under threat of violence. That is perhaps the most immoral part of socialism--that the products you produce are going to be taken by the government under threat of force and given to the people they see as most fitting. Forcing people to give up their resources or face prison time is called theft--but when it's done by the government, we call it taxation. Taking people's money because you do not think that they are spending right, or because you think you can spend it better or more fairly, is immoral.
    Socialism does not know the best way to allocate resources among the population--only the free market can do that. Price signals represent both availability of productive resources and consumer demand. Price controls meddle with this, and distort both supply and demand, leading to gross inefficiency. It also expands the government, which can lead to civil rights violations. If the government controls all of your income, what is to stop them from coercing you into holding your tongue when they hurt the very people they claim to be helping?

  • Capitalism is not a perfect economic system, but it is the BEST one available

    Socialism and communism promise the old cliché that the grass will be greener on the other side... However, history has consistently proved otherwise. Poverty is, unfortunately, unavoidable--the only realistic goal of any economic system can be to minimize it.

    Left-wingers seek to demonize capitalism by focusing on the small minorities at the top and bottom of the economic scale (top 1% vs. Bottom 15%), while ignoring the vast majority who comfortably occupy the middle.

    Their fallacious reasoning goes: because of injustices committed by SOME of those in the top 1%, we need to scrap the ENTIRE system!--the equivalent of amputating a limb for the sake of a hang-nail.

    While socialism and communism may succeed in marginally improving the quality of life at the very bottom of the economic ladder, the true impact on the economy is the decimation of the large middle-class while the those at the top of the economic ladder remain largely unaffected: because they hold the political power.

    Case in point, 9 out of the 10 richest counties in the United States are located in Washington D.C., the capital of the federal gov't which is responsible for burgeoning budgets and national debt, climbing taxes, as well as insolvent entitlement programs--a place saturated by "liberal"/left-wing Democrats, by the way (there's irony--or hypocrisy--for you).

    A parting fact: the economies of Russia and China have been gradually improving over the last decade as they adopt more capitalist policies (competition), while the U.S. economy has been lagging as it has adopted more socialist policies (redistribution).

  • No education and a vast variety of other issues.

    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.

  • It's not which is better it's which prevents poverty.

    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.

  • It is not "either/or"; both are required.

    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.

  • Socialism is a beautiful concept.

    Capitalism can be simply explained by a pyramid, there needs to be a bottom to have it stand. So no, with capitalism comes poverty. Its my opinion that socialism would be a much better way of living in the united states and the rest of the world in general. Since our country has much more power then most, imagine if we turned socialist, we could do so much good.

  • Socialism is a better alternative

    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.

  • Widening income gaps in USA & China; and the economic worldwide collapse in 2008 have shown us Free-Market Capitalism is an undesirable model to follow.

    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

  • Capitalism's sole pursuit is profit among capitalist-investors

    Capitalists-investors had no regard for the impoverished ignorant poor people in poverty, and the capitalists-investors are gearing up for humanoid to replace the labor forces among the impoverished ignorant poor people in poverty, which is logically and rationally correct in favor to the capitalists-investors. And economic wise, people in poverty are more in consumptions, and much less in productivity. This is because, the impoverished ignorant poor people in poverty, are much less educated, and much less skilled, or much less qualified.

  • Capitalism is good for short term, however...

    Those who are most successful become the elite, and oppress those who cannot fight back. Socialism allows power and wealth to be distributed to areas where money is needed, and allows the economy to excel as more people can benefit from this wealth distribution. Capitalism in decay, or out of control, is what America could be in at this point.
    Don't believe me? Do some research on the Koch brothers.

  • Poverty is necessary in Capitalism

    To have a winner, you need a loser. Capitalism will NEVER get rid of poverty because it demands a winner; it is inherent to have the poor so that the system will function. Capitalism is a system for putting one person above another. For true equality, we cannot use a system for defining who is above another, therefore again NO!

  • Capitalism creates poverty

    Capitalism by its very nature puts people into two classes, those with capital and those without. Capital owners have an incentive to cut costs which will inevitably lead to many people being laid off.
    In the socialist system workers will have far more autonomy to be able to decide what will happen in a business/cooperative, meaning that they will have an incentive to grant themselves higher wages and thus bring themselves out of poverty rather than the wealth being pushed upwards.
    Socialism also improves education and thinking skills by encouraging cooperation and debate, which leads to a better understanding workforce.

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