This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Future Of Capitalism Essay

2232 words - 9 pages


Third World History Book Report

.
     This book report reflects upon the writings of Lester C. Thurow in his 1996 book - "The Future of Capitalism". Thurow is a professor of economics at M.I.T. School of Management and has been a contributing editor to the Newsweek journal. "The Future of Capitalism" is an analytical look at the state of world economics in the late Twentieth Century. Thurow predicts the future of capitalism based upon recent trends in empirical data combined with his own political/economic analysis.
     Central to this book is a powerful analogy that Thurow uses to communicate his ideas and thoughts to the reader. The distribution of wealth in the world is likened to the surface of the earth - parts of the earth are characterized by high mountainous regions (areas of wealth) while others are of lesser altitude (areas of poverty). In Geology, it is understood that the earth's surface is constantly in a state of flux, impacted by gradual movements in the tectonic plates that float upon the earth's molten inner core. The five tectonic plates affecting the earth's surface (distribution of wealth) are analogous to the driving forces behind changes in world economics; the molten inner core represents the flowing currents of technology and ideology. Thurow contends that movements in the "plates" caused by ideological and/or technological changes can be gradual, having an imperceptible impact on the world's population or they can be sudden with far greater social consequences. When tectonic plates move suddenly, they cause earthquakes on the earth's surface; the distribution of wealth is changed over a very short period of time. In this analogy, periods of rapid change caused by sudden movements in the plates are equated to times of "punctuated equilibrium". Thurow describes "punctuated equilibrium" as fundamental changes in the state of world economics that redefine what it takes to be successful and thus increase one's wealth. By their very nature, periods of "punctuated equilibrium" threaten the status quo, the Midas touch is weakened, what was successful in the past might not be so in the future. "The Future of Capitalism" asserts that we are living in a time of "punctuated equilibrium" and that successful nations will be those economies that change with the times.
     The first plate in Thurow's analysis is the end of communism. As old communist economies make the transition from planned to free economies their portion of world wealth will increase or decrease in the short term (depending on the level of communist entrenchment) but will surely increase in the long run as inefficiencies are eliminated. Thurow considers the cases of both China and the U.S.S.R.; China will have a smoother transition because its economy had fewer large communist production units than its...

Find Another Essay On the future of capitalism

The contradictions of Capitalism Essay

1536 words - 7 pages Capitalism controls or enslaves the laborer by making his existence dependent on the process of production instead of the production of the labor for himself. The laborer is historically different in a capitalist society because he is separated from production. He no longer produces for himself but instead for the general wealth, or the wealth of the capitalist. Capitalism controls even the capitalist himself by turning him into a mechanism

The Essential Nature of Capitalism Essay

665 words - 3 pages The Essential Nature of Capitalism The essential nature of capitalism is social harmony through the pursuit of self-interest. Under capitalism, the individual's pursuit of his own economic self-interest simultaneously benefits the economic self-interests of all others. In allowing each individual to act unhampered by government regulations, capitalism causes wealth to be created in the most efficient manner possible which ultimately raises

The Definition of Capitalism: Greed

1022 words - 4 pages modern future; at some point in time, Capitalism lost its artlessness. What we are faced with , instead , is conglomerate dictatorship that uses material possession as the metaphorical dangling carrot in the face of the "working class" citizen . Our homogeneous sentiment in regards to work ethic is required to obtain a job and / or career in modern society. We call this " work ethic " , the industrialist call this " human capital " . Our

THE EFFECTS OF INDUSTRIAL CAPITALISM

940 words - 4 pages . The bourgeoisie, also known as the middle class, gained money and power as the industrial capitalism got stronger. They consisted of merchants, tradesmen, and professionals. In the middle class, the men worked outside the home to support their families, while the women stayed at home to take care of the house and children. Unfortunately, the lower class was unable to do the same. All the members of the family had to work to support each

Exploitation: The Foundation of Capitalism

1509 words - 6 pages Exploitation: The Foundation of Capitalism When people complain that they are being 'exploited' at work, they usually mean that they are being treated unfairly or being ripped off. For instance, Burger King used to make workers clock off when it wasn't busy, though they had to stay at work. One young worker made less than the price of a burger in an 8 hour shift. Pizza Hut offered a young Spanish woman a job - but the first 2 weeks would

Analysis Of The Different Phases Of Capitalism

1686 words - 7 pages Are We There Yet?An Exploration Into the Stages of CapitalismSociety can be categorized by certain stages in history. Karl Marx?s theory of historical materialism mapped out the evolution of society through five distinct epochs: 1. Hunter-gatherer 2. Tribal 3. Feudal 4. Capitalism and 5. Communism. But are these epochs true to societal evolution? What of the transition between epochs? The questioning of Marx?s theory of historical materialism is

The Trend of Democracy, Capitalism, and Globalization

617 words - 2 pages . One after another, the countries that make up the world's financial system are making the shift to a market-based economy. The fairly revolutionary trend of democracy, capitalism, and globalization, has been gaining momentum and storming the earth continent at a time; it will continue to do so in the foreseeable forecast. People of all tongues are coming to the realization that prosperity is a mutually dependent element, to reach it, we must

"The Great Gatsby" - A Critique of Capitalism

1159 words - 5 pages F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, can be read as a critique of capitalism. Fitzgerald created a world where class and money are the essence of everyone’s desire. The plot and the settings of unfolding events in The Great Gatsby are perfect examples of structures of capitalism, along class lines, which allows for a Marxist capitalist critique. Even though Fitzgerald wasn’t a socialist or Marxist himself, he shows in his book

The Greed and Capitalism of Milo Minderbinder

2342 words - 9 pages Joseph Heller's early sixties novel Catch-22 is a satirical representation of war and America's bureaucratic system. It is a comical and witty book which gradually seems to become more somber in its depiction of war and human suffering. In my paper I will mainly focus on Milo Minderbinder, one of the two main characters of the book, who as the personification of modern capitalism and human greed in general just like the mood of the book

The Formation of Capitalism in European History

1355 words - 5 pages The Formation of Capitalism in European History "Pure capitalism is characterized by private ownership of resources and by reliance on markets, in which buyers and sellers come together and determine what quantities of goods and resources are sold and at what price. Here no central authority oversees production and consumption. Rather, economic decisions are coordinated by the actions of large numbers of consumers and producers, each

Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism

1255 words - 6 pages In Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism, Robbins identifies defining traits of the work force including segmentation and resistance. Nickel and Dimed acts as a supplement to aide in the explanation of these traits through the experiences of Ehrenreich who lives for a short while as a minimum wage worker. When describing the segmentation of the labor force, Ehrenreich notes the utter dehumanization that occurs on a daily basis to

Similar Essays

The Future And Nature Of Capitalism Viewed In A More Communist Light

2811 words - 11 pages growth of several economies among them, the United States, Britain, and other developed countries. In this essay, we shall examine the future and nature of capitalism in the light of a more communist future. Background Keynesian school of thought has been in wide use in the modern day and era. The markets have frequently veered off the rail and necessitated governments to interfere (Fazzari, and Variato, 1994). John Maynard Keynes is one of the most

The Inevitability Of Capitalism Essay

1297 words - 5 pages The exact origin of capitalism is unknown and to precisely trace its inception is, as Joyce Appleby says, a conundrum in itself. However, speculation negating the inevitability of capitalism is an even greater feat and rather fruitless. Appleby’s research and evidence thus far, support a great part of her assumptions retracing the colorful history of capitalism, though her case against its inevitability falls short. The question at hand is

The Paradox Of Capitalism Essay

2533 words - 11 pages modern society was class based, but unbeknownst to him the growth of the middle class was born. Marx’s laws of motion theorized that in the future the proletarians would overcome capitalism by revolting against the bourgeoisie. Moreover, Marx disapproved of the (M-C-M) general formula of capital because he believed that everyone should be treated as equal. He perceived capitalism as a selfish system that separated the individual from civilization

The History Of Capitalism Essay

1434 words - 6 pages The History of Capitalism Capitalism is based on the same principles as mercantilism. The accumulation of means, materials, land and other things, this accumulation is called capital and “the property-owners of these means of production are called capitalists” (Hooker 2). Productive labor, human work that is necessary to make goods and distribute them, takes the form of wage labor. “The means of production and labor is manipulated by the