Political Showdown: Is Capitalism Still Beneficial In Today’s Society? Pt. 1

Negative – Socialism May Not Be Such a Bad Idea

With the deepening decline in the middle class, there needs to be a better look into the economic system that is established by our government. According to an article from The Guardian, “Selfish Capitalism is bad for our Mental Health”, “Selfish Capitalism has massively increased the wealth of the wealthy, robbing the average earner to give to the rich. There was no ‘trickle-down effect’ after all.”

Take for example the corporation of Goldman Sachs, whose former executive Greg Smith wrote an editorial piece about his leave from the company that he found money to be the only driving force for the company.

Smith explained, “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over inter e-mail.”

This mindset is one that is commonly found in companies like Goldman Sachs, and the many other corporations now found on Wall Street who are feeding off the continuing buffet that has become capitalism.

However, the alternative is that oh so scary term that is typically used in order to get a gasp of horror out of people: Socialism. In an article posted on Forbes, titled “3 Reasons Why Good Socialism Defeats Bad Capitalism,” discusses the misuse of capitalism and even socialism on both sides of the political realm. 

The article fully discusses the ideals of the late, Jude Wanniski, a former economic advisor to such political forces as Ronald Reagan. Wanniski is quoted explain, “What we should admit to begin with, if we can, is that good socialism is better than bad capitalism. The logic of the statement is really inescapable. It is only when capitalism fails that people and nations resort to alternative forms of political economy.”

Wanniski continued, “A socialist system that is working well is one that is fully deploying the nation’s resources through a central plan that has the approval of the people. It would be superior to a capitalist system that is working so poorly that its adherents must find excuses for mass unemployment, widely diverging income classes, and deepening social pathologies. The price paid for any form of socialism is the loss of some degree of individual freedom, but when the only alternative is bad capitalism of the type described, a people willingly pay that price.

It is time to realize that we are, in fact, in a bad capitalist rut, with the stock market crashing twice within the last 13 years, American households losing five trillion dollars in the 2000 dot-com bust and seven-trillion in the 2007 housing crash, according the New York Times article “State-Wrecked: The Corruption of Capitalism in America.”

The article goes on to discuss, “Real median family income growth has dropped eight percent, and the number of full-middle class jobs, six percent. The real net worth of the “bottom” 90 percent has dropped by one-forth. The number of food stamps and disability aid recipients has more than doubled, to 59 million, about one in five Americans.”

The government’s reaction has been to print more money, in order to attempt to save the “Main Street economy” and the debts that are increasing by the year in Washington. However, according to the New York Times article, the money that is increasingly printed does not go back into the economy where it needs to be, but into the pockets of Wall Street, the very home of the current capitalist beneficiaries.

Thus in order to fully answer the question as to whether capitalism is beneficial to today’s society, the answer is no. It is feeding into the pockets of the elite that are running such corporations as Goldman and Sachs, whose main concern is money and money alone. This leaves the Main Street loyalist and unemployed to sizzle in the grease.