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News & Politics News & Politics

Is Capitalism Moral? A Debate

Posted by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM
  • 23 Replies

Is Capitalism Moral? A Debate

Monday, October 22, 2012 - 6:00pm

Location:
The Commonwealth Club of California: San Francisco
595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105

David Callahan, co-founder of Demos, author, professor of politics, and editor of PolicyShop.net will be debating Yaron Brook on the proper size and scope of government at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 22. Doors open at 5:30pm, debate begins at 6:00pm.

This lively debate will focus on the role of government, one of the most contested issues in American politics and a focus of the 2012 election. Two staunch advocates debate government, values and the economy – the fundamental social, economic and moral ideas that underlie politics in the U.S. today. Bring your questions. Callahan will defend the position that government should have a more prominent role in society and work to craft policies that solve societal problems and promote a greater degree of equity. The event will be moderated by Dr. Ruth Shapiro, The Commonwealth Club's Social Entrepreneur in Residence.

Yaron Brook is President of the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, noted financial columnist, author, professor of finance, and internationally sought after speaker on a wide range of political issues. Brook will be arguing the position that our government's primary focus should be on protecting individual rights, private property, and free markets.
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:09 PM
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Replies (1-10):
_Kissy_
by on Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:14 PM

How is Capitalism Immoral?

Capitalism is immoral for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact investment income is stolen from those who actually produce the wealth (via work, productivity, creativity). All wealth is produced. Investment income is merely purchased, producing zero wealth. The wealthier people are, in the U.S. for example, the larger the percentage of their income is derived from investment and not productivity. Thus it is stolen from those who worked to produce it.

Advocates of capitalism attempt to hide this by claiming wealth creation is not a zero-sum game, as if investment somehow magically produced wealth.

Another red herring is the idea workers enter the transaction voluntarily, but most people--in a purely capitalist arrangement--obviously would have no choice but to work to survive.

Another major reason is the fact that capitalism prioritizes production for the benefit of the wealthiest first, and the neediest last (again contributing to its ultimate unsustainability). Anyone initiating production (starting a business, etc.) will generate a product or service for those with the most wealth available (a market). It would be irrational under captitalism, to, for example, start a business feeding starving people who have no money.
-Eilish-
by Johnson 2012 on Oct. 12, 2012 at 6:24 PM
3 moms liked this

Capitalism is incapable of having morality, and therefore can be neither moral or immoral. The question should be whether capitalism is ethical. The answer is yes, it's ethical. (And what we have currently in America is not capitalism. It is corporatism, which is very close to fascism. Corporatism is unethical.)


NancSBRN
by Bronze Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:25 PM

I think Capitalism Can be Moral or maybe Ethical would be a better term, but Unfortunately I do not always think it is Moral or Ethical.  There are many philanthropist that are good people and do many good things.

I do not think many Corporations are Moral or Ethical I think when their money making goals for instance in the case of big drug companies becomes the only thing, at cost of Thousands of dollars for Medicine that can either save people lives or help them live without being in pain or agony that is not Moral or Ethical.  To my thinking If a Medicine cost more them a person monthly income there is an HUGE Problem with that.

I believe that this country is at the Mercy of to many coporations who have ever growing influence over our Government. I believe we have been selling out our country little by little since the 60s and 70s probably.

Making money is a good and great things doing it in the name of greed isn't.

-Eilish-
by Johnson 2012 on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:36 PM
1 mom liked this

What is the alternative to capitalism?

lylalane7275
by Silver Member on Oct. 12, 2012 at 7:57 PM
2 moms liked this

I would really like to know this as well.  Serious question.

Quoting -Eilish-:

What is the alternative to capitalism?


Clairwil
by Gold Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:31 PM

Capitalism, in itself, is not immoral.   Indeed, it is an extrordinarily efficient method of distributing a society's resource to those able to make the best financial use of them.

It does have a few flaws, though, that it is in society's best interests to moderate via external forces.


1) The financial return someone can provide in return for resources is not the only consideration.

2) With wealth comes power, and if some individuals or groups gain too high a concentration of wealth, they can parlay that into power that can be used to alter the rules of the game, locking in their advantage, rather than keeping the competition keen.

3) Monopolies and cartels can artificially distort a market

corrinacs
by on Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I think that in general, Capitolism is great.  It's a great way to naturally phase in and phase out products, services and other industrial items.  For example, red shirts are in this season so stores stock more, etc.  When red shirts are no longer in style, they know to tone down on the reds (bad analogy, I know).

But capitolism should NEVER be coupled with necessities like food and healthcare.  Capitolism breeds inflation (not always a bad thing) but it makes necessities harder and harder to obtain by those who need it.  Pretty soon, you are going to have to be a millionaire to get antibiotics to treat a UTI.

kailu1835
by Silver Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 3:46 PM
3 moms liked this

This should be interesting to watch.

The one thing I do know is that all socialism and communism fails, miserably, and I don't want it here.  Government should not control everything.

mommygiggles317
by Silver Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 4:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Is capitalism immoral?... well first people need to understand how capitalism came about. If people understood that, then they would understand a lot of the problems that we see today. If it were not for European colonization, we would not have capitalism today. When we take a look at the wealthiest countries throughout the world: America, England, France, etc... what is the one thing that they all had in common at one point in time - slave labor!!! capitalism requires that there is an underclass. Why do people think that these corporations ship jobs over seas? to get as close to that slave labor as possible. Really think about it... take a look at our educational system here in America. Why do people think that there are politicians who are advocating against higher education for everyone? Why do people think that there is tracking going on in our schools? As much as people like to think that capitalism is moral, it is not. It cannot be. What we have today is capitalism. We have to remember one very important thing- when capitalism was introduced to the world, the ones who controlled the means of production were wealthy landowners. Those who control the means of production today are who... the corporations. Same shit, just dress differently and today in America, unless you are in the prison system, there really is no way to get people to work without pay. Why do people think that the income for middle class Americans has been stagnant since the 1970's... that's capitalism for you!!! 

mommygiggles317
by Silver Member on Oct. 13, 2012 at 4:28 PM


Quoting NancSBRN:

I think Capitalism Can be Moral or maybe Ethical would be a better term, but Unfortunately I do not always think it is Moral or Ethical.  There are many philanthropist that are good people and do many good things.

I do not think many Corporations are Moral or Ethical I think when their money making goals for instance in the case of big drug companies becomes the only thing, at cost of Thousands of dollars for Medicine that can either save people lives or help them live without being in pain or agony that is not Moral or Ethical.  To my thinking If a Medicine cost more them a person monthly income there is an HUGE Problem with that.

I believe that this country is at the Mercy of to many coporations who have ever growing influence over our Government. I believe we have been selling out our country little by little since the 60s and 70s probably.

Making money is a good and great things doing it in the name of greed isn't.

People forget that corporations are mandated by law to do one thing and one thing only: make money for its shareholders. Corporations only act in their own self interest and that's it. it would be nice if the corporations of today could really be socially responsible. It would be nice if these corporations could bemoral and ethical, but they can't  if it doesn't help their bottomlines... So always be weary of corporations that are quick to talk about how responsible they are, how they care about the coomunity and the environment and what not, because while they may be doing those things here, elsewhere they are destroying communities, destroying ways of life, destroying out environment. They are all about getting that CAPITAL - nothing more and nothing less.

A really good book to read is "The Corporation: the Pathological Pursuit of Power and Profit" by Joel Bakan and another one is "How to Take an Exam... and Remake the World" by Bertell Ollman.

love you signExercising Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding...

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