Capitalism And Its Effects On A Nation.

1132 words - 5 pages

There are words in the English language which are often mistaken for something they are not. For example, if one is a democrat, he/she often automatically presumed to be a liberal, which is not always the case. If one is a vegetarian, many people will immediately see him/her as an animal rights activist. It may only be that her/his doctor instructed her/him not to eat meat for health reasons. Such confusion of a word is common when discussing capitalism and its meaning. Webster's Dictionary defines capitalism as an economic system in which the means of production, distribution and exchange and privately owned and operated for profit. Capitalism is often viewed as a governmental system rather than an economic one. Whatever it is and however it is viewed, it is important for one to realize that capitalism can be both a bane and a blessing.Freedom, as capitalism, can also be considered a bane and a blessing. The idea of being able to achieve what you desire gives people the drive to do well in life, as well as the motivation to take needed risks."A key element in capitalism is the undertaking of activity in the expectation that it will yield gain in the future. Because the future is unknown, both the risk of loss and the possibility of gain always exist." (Gesell, Silvio. The Natural Economic Order.)However, when one becomes overly motivated, he/she runs the risk of risking too much and losing everything. With no restraints on personal spending from the government of a capitalistic economic system, it could be often difficult to use one's money and capital in a responsible manner. For this reason, capitalism can be considered a 'gamblers economy.' If the citizens in this system are unable or unwilling to accept the fact that they may come out worse than where they started, the system fails.Due to the necessary evil of failure in a capitalistic economic system, the caste systems in America became much more defined during the rise of capitalism in the 19th century. The rich got richer, the poor got poorer. The industrial revolution was a large contributor to this rise of caste systems, particularly factories. As demand for machine and factory made products increased, so did the need for low wage workers. This situation proved to be horrible for the most part."The development of industrial capitalism had serious human costs. The early days of the Industrial Revolution were marred by appalling conditions for large numbers of workers. Abusive child labor, long working hours, and dangerous and unhealthy workplaces were common." (Veblen, T. The Theory of the Leisure Class. )This disadvantage might not have taken place in theory, in alternative systems such as communism because wealth would be distributed evenly by the government.Not that communism is a superior system; there are many good ideas and strategies which are unique to capitalism. The need to make a profit can only be satisfied if consumers want and buy a business owner's product. Once a product...

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