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The Contender
Con (against)
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Capitalism is better than Socialism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,424 times Debate No: 37233
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)




I honestly believe that a society based on the principles of capitalism is susceptible to further success, than those ideals of socialism.
Rules if you chose to accept :

Round 1: Rules and acceptance
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Arguments and rebuttals.
Round 4: Rebuttals and conclusion. Arguments and evidence only to refute something from the previous message.


I'll accept the debate. Thanks for the opportunity to express my views on the subject.

I do not intend to prove the reverse of your argument, that Socialism is better than Capitalism. Rather, I'll argue that Capitalism and Socialism are two economic tools, forces that must be brought into balance. I will argue that all successful modern states recognize this principle and incorporate a blend of Capitalist and Socialist institutions. Further, I will argue that traditional Capitalist solutions are unready for the challenges posed by new technologies. For the near term, at least, a correction that favors increased reliance on Socialist tools will likely prove necessary.

Capitalism is not better than Socialism, nor is it worse. That would be like arguing that gravity is better than electromagnetism. Both are dynamics that must be taken into account and employed to the benefit of a stable, prosperous, and sustainable economy.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Capitalism as:

an economic and political system in which a country"s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

And Socialism as:

a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Debate Round No. 1


"If income and wealth is going to be equalized, why would anyone save or invest? Savings and investment just adds to wealth, and wealth is anti-social under a social justice regime of equal wealth for all. Indeed, the only rational strategy for everyone under such a regime is to consume all income and not save or invest anything." - Peter Ferrara

A Capitalist society, is one where hard - work is rewarded.Where each individual is given the same opportunity to make the best out of their situation and rise above others. Where as a Socialist society entitles the equality of wealth, ( or equal distribution), one that in my opinion does not encourage the motivational drive and determination for one to move up in life; just to remain where they are and not pursue future successes. Capitalists fundings in present day America, are the ones that help create new technologies that revolutionize the world as we know it. For instance the creation of the the Windows software or Apple Computer, both engineered by todays leading teach savvy's ( Bill gates and Steve Jobs ). IF not for the capitalist ideals we would all be stuck at the same old software/ computer that was there the time it was first brought into our markets and homes. Funding where does it come from? Where do the millions of dollars that are used for Cancer Research and Alternative Energy come from? The profits from the capitalist corporations. If not for them we would not have the knowledge of that we have now of cancer or any other sorts of diseases.

Socialist Ideals are necessary for the public, but in moderation. It is agreed that it is because of our socialist ideals; that we are given free* public education, and provides welfare for the unfortunate.But it should not be an excuse to for the need to punish the hard-working entrepreneurs that put their blood and sweat together to watch their company succeed.


The long dialogue of American history is whether prosperity is best achieved in a contest with winners and losers or prosperity is our great work; a monument of culture upon which each generation must labor and expand. The tension between these arguments seems essential to our national propulsion. Although we admire the model of collective achievement, we recognize that competition motivates Americans above any other public incentive and must not be dismissed.

Con argues that Capitalism, once a tool used by democracies to incentivize prosperity, emerged from the Cold War as religious gospel, an article of faith. When the Cold War ended, new wealth was available for cultural expansion: new exploration, science, education, technology. But these works were now defined as big government redistribution and therefore blasphemy. The free market is today seen as the only American engine, with little argument made for a nation bound by purpose or vision.

The methodology of Capitalism were defined during the Age of Discovery, a time when the availability of resources was only limited by the boldness of empires. This was an age of conquest, enslavement, and exploitation. In such an age, Capitalism was undeniable.

Unfortunately, Capitalism by itself places no value on freedom. Capitalism does not know how to compute the value of security, or good health, or quality of life. Capitalism places little value on environmental preservation and sustainability. Capitalism knows nothing about the pursuit of happiness. In the places where quality of life blossoms brightest, Capitalism is tempered with democracy: the fecund, unmarketable fun of freedom. And in a modern economy, that democratic impulse is expressed via the economic tool of Socialism.

Every modern economy from Singapore to Norway is a mix of the free market and the aspirations of the people. Although the proper degree of balance is the subject of constant debate among economists, few argue that Capitalism alone allows democracy to thrive or that Socialism alone permits prosperity. In terms of dollars invested, the United States possesses both the largest free market economy and the largest socialist economy in the world. [1][2]. The notion that Capitalism is better than Socialism supposes that the one can thrive in the absence of the other. History has proved this notion false.

In truth, the limitations of the free market will likely face their gravest challenge in the near-term as technological progress decimates the demand for labor. The Age of Digitalization and Robotization are upon us and the need for workers is dropping dramatically. As Jamie Lanier points out:

"Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people." [3]

Yes, it is an oversimplification to suggest that Instagram neatly replaced Kodak, but there's no question the Kodak jobs are gone and today's new industries simply don't require the large numbers of workers that might absorb those losses.

We are on the threshold of the autonomous car. Google expects driverless cars on the road by 2017, more conservative estimates expect 2025. [4] Either way, the obvious benefits of tireless, accident-free drivers spells doom for a number of labor markets: truck drivers, taxis, delivery services. On the supply side, increased demand for new vehicles is not likely to provide new jobs as factories become increasingly robotic.

Think of all the map makers, and book sellers, letter carriers and translators, paper boys and transcriptionists already put out of business by the digital age.

How then, will Capitalism offer prosperity to the majority when the demand for labor evaporates? The answer is it can't. Capitalism does not mind if unemployment is at 40% or 80%, the value of labor is simply reduced. When the value of labor approaches slave wages or the number of humans is reduced to meet demand, then human effort may again compete with robots. But until that time Capitalism recommends starvation for the masses. It is clear that a new balance is required, in favor of programs like shorter work weeks to increase job sharing. More generous welfare programs are probable, if only to keep the electorate alive.

The value of Capitalism, therefore, is probably on the wane, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, Con remembers that the free market is essentially indestructible. If control of production dials too far over to Socialism, black markets and piracy will re-assert the Capitalist impulse.

Capitalism is not better than Socialism, they are two forces pushing against the center. Where balance is achieved, prosperity through freedom thrives.

Index of Economic Freedom Distribution World Map

Debate Round No. 2


AaronDIJ forfeited this round.



RE: Peter Ferrara's quote

Peter Ferrara is best known as an advocate for dismantling Social Security. He has fewer ideas about how to feed and house people after they become too old or disabled to work. Peter Ferrara should be better known, however, for his participation in the Jack Abramoff scandal during the Bush Administration. As Chief Council for Americans for Tax Reform, Ferrara served as Abramoff's personal hack. Abramoff took millions of dollars to lobby for groups of people like Native Americans, Puerto Ricans, Indonesians, etc. He stood, after all, at the crossroads of Republican politics. Abramoff was buddies with George Bush, Grover Norquist, and Ralph Reed and was an important part of the synthesis between the Religious Right and the Corporate Right. Unfortunately, although he took their money and spoke for those people in public, in private he worked against their interests and treated his clients with contempt. Famously, he continuously referred to his Native Americans as monkeys in emails and laughed at their naivety. During Abramoff's corruption trial, it was revealed that Ferrara was one of the recipients of these e-mails. Although Ferrara pretended to be an journalist and independent thinker, he was in fact taking kickbacks from Abramoff to express whatever political opinion Abramoff had been paid to endorse.

Bluntly, Ferrara has whored out his credentials to the highest bidder and his opinion on any subject must be regarded as potentially corrupt. [1][2]

RE:A Capitalist society, is one where hard - work is rewarded.

Not necessarily. The late 18th and early 19th century is correctly viewed as the high-water mark of Capitalism the United States. It was also the high-water mark for American Slavery. The free market, for all of its advantages, is soulless and does not care if hard work is rewarded. Where slavery is legal, Capitalism is happy to trade in humans as a commodity. The most effective capitalists are those who have no respect for just compensation. So what if a person has worked in a factory for 25 years? The Capitalist impulse is to move that job to China (supply and demand) or declare bankruptcy on the pension funds. Does Capitalism care whether that hard worker ever finds another job or can even even put food on the table? Capitalism has no opinion on the subject. Capitalism values labor when labor is expensive. Once markets can be found where labor is cheap, Capitalism buys labor there. How hard a laborer works is often a secondary consideration.

RE: Where as a Socialist society entitles the equality of wealth, ( or equal distribution)

Pro and Ferrara are working with a different definition of Socialism than standard (such as the definition Con provided above). There is a pretty large chasm between community ownership of production and equal distribution of wealth. Most economists would consider Germany a state with a high degree of wealth invested in Social Welfare, for example, but nobody would claim that income in Germany is distributed equally. Yes, there is some wealth redistribution as higher incomes are taxed at higher rates than lower incomes, and lower incomes share in some of the same benefits for essentially a lower price. However, employers also gain certain disproportional advantages. The German people are better educated and healthier than Americans, so they are easier to train and keep employed. The wealthier are more likely to benefit from govt investments in transportation infrastructure, for example.

RE: For instance the creation of the Windows software or Apple Computer, both engineered by todays leading teach savvy's ( Bill gates and Steve Jobs ).

Pro offers classic examples of the role the community plays in developing wealth. Bill Gates started out as a BASIC programmer, writing in a computer language developed by National Science Foundation grants offered to grad students. In the early 60's, there wasn't a lot of corporate money available to pay young students to invent new programming languages. These innovations were dependent on the foresight of the US Govt. to invest in technologies for which real profits were 10 or 20 years down the line.

When Steve Jobs was starting out, there was no home market for his product. Jobs wisely made a deal with the State of California to provide several hundred early Apples to public schools in exchange for massive tax breaks. The Government's investment paid off on both sides of the deal. As more and more students had their first computer experience on an Apple, demand from the schools increased. The demand from schools kept Apple afloat in the '80's while Microsoft commanded the home market. By 1995, 60% of all school computers were Apples, setting the stage for that product's popular embrace by the younger demographic in the 2000's.

Without a degree of government investment, neither Microsoft or Apple would have developed the way they did. We haven't even considered the US Govt' s development of the Internet or its massive investment in computer education or its role as the primary customer of computing companies for the first 40 years of the computer's history.

RE: Where do the millions of dollars that are used for Cancer Research and Alternative Energy come from? The profits from the capitalist corporations. If not for them we would not have the knowledge of that we have now of cancer or any other sorts of diseases.

False. Most funding for cancer research comes from taxpayers and charities, rather than from profit-making businesses. In the US, less than 30% of all cancer research is funded by commercial researchers such as pharmaceutical companies.[3]

And alternative energy? There's really no comparison between paltry corporate investments and government spending in energy. Who built the massive hydro-electric projects of the 1930s? Who invented atomic energy and harnessed it in power plants, originally for submarines? Who invented the photo-voltaic cell to capture solar energy? You, me, and our United States Government did. Show me a corporation that's demonstrated even one percent of the innovative output of the US Govt in the field of alternative energy.

But it should not be an excuse to for the need to punish the hard-working entrepreneurs that put their blood and sweat together to watch their company succeed.

We should remember that the corporation itself is an invention of government. Corporations were companies who were offered contracts to perform missions for the public benefit, building a bridge or a school, for example. In exchange, those companies were provided special protection from litigation and liability. As the concept progressed, governments discovered that more widespread and general protections allowed corporations to take risks that excelerated economic growth.

Sure, business will always resist tax and prefer profit to any specific public benefit. Nevertheless, all companies exist to a greater or lesser extent for the public benefit and at the public's discretion. People were around long before there were companies and will be around long after the current constructs of business and corporations outlive their usefulness. At the end of the day, the public benefit should and will take priority.



Debate Round No. 3


AaronDIJ forfeited this round.


Another forfeit. Continue arguments from previous rounds.

Thanks in advance for voting CON!

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by anonymouse 5 years ago
most people reading this have never lived under communism, so they cant comment on it
Posted by AaronDIJ 5 years ago
Now that I read your comment I seem to waver my stance in this debate, I do believe that a true capitalist is necessary and vital for the survival of the economy and with the help of a few socialist laws that will be made possible
Posted by king_arthur 5 years ago
Capitalism alone will work assuming every person is a true Patriot. But this is not so ......therefore in order for the majority of people to survive happily it is important to have a balance of capitalistic and socialistic ideas.
This can be seen well in today's Western countries as capitalist move all production away from their counties to Asia more people are unemployed at home
And the government has no power to give jobs but is forced to simply increase tax and provide social security to the jobless

But if capitalism was regulated by "certain" socialist law this can be addressed
Posted by AaronDIJ 5 years ago
Yes, it is a better society, one where capitalist can take risks and rewarded for there diligence & hard work.
But it is also necessary for one to have a socialist ideal ( in moderation), otherwise there will be no *free public education systems or welfare for the needy.
Posted by Hafnium 5 years ago
Aren't you presupposing that "a society ... that is susceptible to further success" is an inherently better society?
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