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.

  • 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).

  • Capitalism is needed to reduce poverty in the world. Capitalism creates jobs, jobs create wealth.

    Polarising and dividing the community when attacking the rich serves no useful purpose because if there is one sure thing I know about the rich, it is that the less they do, the more they make. Poor people need rich people. Rich people do not need poor people. Such is the law of the financial jungle and why socialism alway fails.

    Quote I like from The Economist.

  • Freedom to produce keeps competition alive. Keeps prices low.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Well, the alternatives are a misnomer.

    There is no moral superiority to capitalism. The most expensive answers are pushed, not the best ones. These solutions make millions for a few, but act like a parasite to the rest. The Pharmaceutical industry is the most blatant example of this phenomenon. The will not look for the cure for cancer, type two diabetes, etc, they will keep pushing the expensive drugs on the market if they actually do anything or not.
    This is the world of capital. Making billions off the sick dead and dying. All along refusing to even look at research that might kill their cash cow.
    In every corner of the economy this goes on, and for a long time.
    Even in the automotive industry,
    Capital does not look for the best answers, just the ones that can make a few billionaires at the expense of the rest of us. If you are thinking about USSR styled communism as your reason to avoid socialism you are just being mislead. That old pariah called the Soviet Union was a mass of deception from the small minority of criminals that narrated the words without engaging in the concepts. They went straight from a feudal state to one that was supposed to be a communist paradise. Now if you had bothered to really understand Marxist theory, you would know this would never work. If you have not then you do not want to have a real understanding of social evolution. Believe it or not one needs to have more than a glancing view to truly criticize anything.

  • Capitalism is a competitive system and, as such, some will always be better off than others

    Poverty, conceived as limited access to necessary resources, is easily surmounted by increased production of those resources and their widespread distribution. Capitalism can surely accomplish the first; the latter becomes problematic. The problem is an integral part of the system.

    As a competitive structure, it promotes then notion of amassing wealth, which inevitably leads to lopsided distribution. This is not a flaw in the system, nor does it imply that there is no upwards mobility. It merely states that as one moves up the ladder -the ladder being wealth by accumulation of resources - someone else, taking the finite amount of resources as a given, must inevitably go down.

    It thus became a hierarchical structure. Inescapably, someone will always get the short end of the stick.

    A point should be made about the advancement of technology. With the development of new technologies comes more efficient means of production and expectedly, abundance of necessary resources which become renewable. This is for instance the case when observing the food industry.

    Worldhunger.Org states:

    Does the world produce enough food to feed everyone?

    "The world produces enough food to feed everyone. For the world as a whole, per capita food availability has risen from about 2220 kcal/person/day in the early 1960s to 2790 kcal/person/day in 2006-08, while developing countries even recorded a leap from 1850 kcal/person/day to over 2640 kcal/person/day. This growth in food availability in conjunction with improved access to food helped reduce the percentage of chronically undernourished people in developing countries from 34 percent in the mid 1970s to just 15 percent three decades later. (FAO 2012, p. 4) The principal problem is that many people in the world still do not have sufficient income to purchase (or land to grow) enough food."

    The problem is distribution of wealth. Some have access to resources, some don't. As technology continues to improve, the production of enough necessary resources for everyone (Read water, food, shelter, sanitation, health care) will grow increasing the quality of life of everyone (This is a direct consequence of technology, not the effects of capitalism). But if this happens through a capitalist system, the growth will always happen at a slope, where some see most of the access, some see a lot less, and a great deal of vital resources are discarded because people can't afford them.

  • NO. Capitalism can not. Socialism is the best way to eliminate the poverty!

    Capitalism can not eradicate poverty because it's a system based on MONEY AND ONLY MONEY! It's true that big organization under the Capitalism system gain a hell of money, but this money goes to this organization and not equally between people. The best example is the USA. The number of homeless in USA is increasing. The reason behind that lies on the fact that people can not afford to buy goods any more because are becoming more expensive, Including taxes, health care, .. etc.
    NOW, let me tell why Socialism can eliminate poverty in really short period of time.
    The purpose of Socialism is to reduce poverty and increase the average income. I will give you an example based on my experience. I'm Libyan, and the economical system in Libya is Socialism. Everything you wish to buy is affordable! NO school, nor universities fees. Everything is for free. The health care is for free. There's no taxes in Libya. A litre of gas for your car cots you 7 CENTS. It's very cheap. I'll give you another example! China!!!!!
    Until the year 1979, 83% of Chinese were not able to buy food, and actually some of them died because of the poverty. However, in 2007, this percentage (83%) declined and decreased to 13%. 13%!!!!!!!!! More than 500 million Chinese have become rich. I'm not expressing rich as really rich! I'm saying that they are able to eat and sleep in peace, without thinking about how he/she can find food for tomorrow!
    So, from the way I see it, I believe that Socialism is the best way to eliminate, at least to reduce poverty.

  • In capitalism, is the rich and powerful who oppress the poor and writes the laws.

    Capitalism is what creates poverty for the majority, and also high crime. The rich controls 99% of the wealth while the poor starves. Only the rich can afford an education, while the poor can't even afford to get sick. The necessities of life, water, electricity, hospitals, gas, is in the hands of the rich

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