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A Good Example To Look At Communism And Capitalism Differences

1027 words - 5 pages

In 1787 the British government hired sea captains to ship convicted felons to Australia. Conditions on board the ships were terrible and felons were starving and dying, because government just paid the captains per felon placed on board, so the captains didn’t care of them since they were already paid. When an economist suggested that the government paid for every felon arrived in Australia the captains had incentives to take care of the felons (Cowen and Tabarrok). This parable plots the idea that people work and do things better when they have a better reason to do it or an incentive. In a society, who creates the incentives are governments, institutions, and organizations, being the ones that have the “rules of the game” (Cowen and Tabarrok). They can decide in what way a society and an economy will be organized.
One of the incentives a government can give to their citizens is property rights. The University of California professor of economics Armen A. Alchian says that “a property right is the exclusive authority to determine how a resource is used, whether that resource is owned by government or by individuals” (Alchian). When something is owned by the state, that means that it belongs to all the citizens of that state; the government that is the ruler of the state takes the properties and try to reallocate them to the citizens in a better way. But that not always happens. Governments can be fallible and take an amount of those properties or redistribute them in an erroneous way. Also, there is a problem when the state owns properties: people have less incentive to work and innovate as happened in China with the Little Leap Forward campaign.
In 1978, in the Little Leap Forward in China, communist revolutionaries imposed a communal property system, when 100 -300 families would have collectives lands (Cowen and Tabarrok). They would have to work in these lands and all the output produced had to be distributed between each family (Cowen and Tabarrok). In a commune with 100 families each family would get 1% of the total output (Cowen and Tabarrok). What if a family that day got sick and didn’t work hard?, however everyone would get the same amount, causing that people didn’t feel rewarded for their hard work, and free ride (Cowen and Tabarrok). That meant that people stopped working hard, because they hadn’t enough incentives to do it, and started depending on other’s work, but neither the others weren’t working as well (Cowen and Tabarrok). That Little Leap Forward was intensified in the Great Leap Forward making the communes even bigger with amounts of 5,000 families, thus causing a great decrease in agricultural production and starvation (Cowen and Tabarrok). Farmers decided to have a clandestine meeting and divide the communes to individual plots of land, the results were immediately visible: investment, work effort and productivity increased (Cowen and Tabarrok). The image of property rights is clearly seen in this case. A family...

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