Twenty-First Century Capitalism
Twenty-First Century Capitalism
In the modern world the countries with the good economic system, are the ones recognized as rich as the USA, whose economy has been stable. Capitalism is characterized by two realms that are the political and the economic real. The paper is addressing modern capitalism as explained by Heilbroner. He talks about its positive aspects and negative as well. But his ideology is to study the current status of capitalism in the world and help predict the future. He talks about 5 level of the revolution that have led into people assuming a sedentary lifestyle to people having the total luxury. From all the levels, there is an improvement of products and services people receive from the competitive market. In a capitalistic nation, each person has an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and express their ideas without fear, as they get support from the government. Ultimately a capitalistic nation has to be based on democracy to succeed.
The world is dominated by systems of economies called capitalism. These systems are formed as a result of political and social activities. In capitalism, two entities are involved, and this include the political system and her economic system. The economic system includes an element like the production of goods and services, distribution of finished goods and the free market where the finished goods are presented. Heilbroner in his writings is not interested in the prediction of the global economies In future, but rather he is interested in understanding the foundation on which the current economies are built. Currently according to from his perspective most parts of the world nations are capitalistic. He says the modern capitalism took the time over centuries to evolve to the current state and would further evolve
in future leaving things entirely different. He says with capitalism things have been gradually become better than they were. For instance, the good being consumed both in quality and quantity have improved. He also reminds us that capitalism has failed in specific areas like an inability to create employment for all job seekers. Capitalism is beneficial to the society and has evolved and improved nations over centuries.
Capitalism as beneficial
Heilbroner finds capitalism to contain many advantages in the society. Capitalism has been welcomed over decades with several changes that have transformed the economies and societies that are built on such economies (Heilbroner 30). The societies have become more productive, and this have been accompanied by a lot of dynamism of the social composition. For instance, in the 18th century, there was an experience of the industrial revolution that was marked with the invention of a cotton Miller. Later the Miller was operated on a steam engine, the steam engine Miller, was surrounded by people living in this region that were a source of manpower and also a source of market for the finished cotton goods (Heilbroner 47). These persons accumulated in numbers and formed towns, the towns expanded and established cities, and the cities grew into big cities. The need for workers in the Millers resulted into child labor.
The second form of revolution resulted in the construction of railway line, steam ships, and steel was produced in large quantities, which brought in place a new kind of economic challenges. The third level of the revolution was marked by the discovery and application of electricity, which was used both domestically and commercially (Heilbroner 210). It is evident that by the use of electricity, societies had started to lead a semi-luxurious lifestyle. By use of clean fuel, they are capable of marinating their home and workplace free from smoke and other noises from machines. The fourth revolution was the discovery and use of automobiles. This was the ultimate discovery that changed the society completely from forms of expressing intimacy to placing central places for individuals. (Heilbroner 210). The fifth revolution that covers the current time is the introduction of various electronics that we use for essential and mostly luxury purposes. Strikingly enough, the society over time has learned to embrace the different levels of revolution as a form of appreciating capitalism in the society. As seen capitalism is an economic system that embrace change especially the means along the lines of production that will enable the achievement of the desired goal. The changes cannot be easily predicted, and so the only ways of studying the current and future capitalistic system are to see what has been going on and what is in progress to be able to predict the outcomes in the future (Heilbroner 221). This shows the future is full of uncertainties to be discovered as stated by Heilbroner since he states that he is not interested in predicting the future of capitalism but rather to study the current capitalistic systems. He suggests that capitalism is like a means of transport to the future that we cannot see before reaching. Those anticipating to be in that future need to be patient and wait for capitalism to drag them there (Heilbroner 241). Nations struggle to shine their economies, without knowing they are steering the wheel of capitalism. They come up with firms that produce high-quality goods that take capitalism the next level.
Capitalism is the ultimate social mechanism that have guaranteed a steady improvement of economies across the world as the example of Japan, Malaysia, and Europe being given (Heilbroner 418). Capitalism economies are self- sustained since it owns the means of production and create the market for its finished product. The goods are produced competitively making them of high quality.
Capitalism as dysfunctional
With the development that led to improved welfare of persons as they gained more material benefits, capitalism was accredited for this achievement. Similarly, there existed a new form of impoverishment out of capitalism. As capitalism developed, it generated wealth and a unique form of the misery, other persons benefited out of investing, and other never gained anything but lost and became the ones suffering (Heilbroner 418). The situation can be compared with a business transaction where one makes the profit, and the other one makes the loss. Those who owned factories made a lot of products to sell and paid peanuts those who worked for them. With increased luxury, even the prices of products rose and the poor having a low purchasing power could not access adequate goods and services. For instance, in England land “enclosure” system was introduced, which meant that land that was accessible by poor peasant farmers to practice subsistence agriculture was taken by the landowner to practice large scale farming due to the introduction of new agricultural facilities (Heilbroner 427). The peasant who was living on this lands were pushed out of the lands and became automatic poorest persons out of the capitalistic action. A new society of peasant workers who labored on the farms and worked in the companies for very low wages was introduced. This is how capitalism was a dysfunctional system within the society.
Manchester is a city in London and was bearing a symbol of poverty out of the process of capitalism. The young children and women workers at the Millers, accumulated around the millers and a slum was formed. The formation of a slum is a symbol of extreme poverty. Before the discovery of millers, there were no slums but with changes initiated by capitalism, slums erupted (Heilbroner 437). The slum dwellers had been evicted and paid very little money to pave the way for wealthy landlords to practice large-scale mechanized farming. At the Millers, wages were low to afford any form of decent living. The owners of the Millers were among the richest persons and paid its workers poorly, to accumulate more profits. The workers had to work with their children in such harsh conditions to at least make a double earning to buy basics like food since they could not afford a home.
Heilbroner explains that Carl Max had studied the trends of capitalism and had seen a future where it will take an adverse turn. The introduction of machines would totally replace human beings at the workplace, and people will become unemployed. The machines will produce a lot of goods within a short duration, and the market will experience an imbalance. With overproduction of goods more than demanded in the market, there will be crisis and those poorly managed companies will close down due to an accumulation of losses since their products will lose value. At the same time, those who were replaced by the machines will become even poorer, and this is a dysfunctions case of a capitalistic economy (Heilbroner 459). Carl Max explains this situation as cycles of prosperity and depression where companies experience a period of success but with time they collapsed out of the poor management of it market. That worker who had jobs and have been replaced by the machines have also been transformed into destitute persons than they were. The idea of fluctuating status of being successful and in another season being poor could be explained both politically and technologically (Heilbroner 470). When new technological breakthrough are introduced into the market, there is a boom in the amount and quality of good produced. More market is reached, and the companies make huge profits out of quick sell of products in bulk and selling at exorbitant prices. The cultural, political, and other ideological issue contributes to the formulation of policies that are later applied to the society and this policy contribute to the trend that capitalism in the region will follow. The various forms of capitalism that may result include mercantile-based capitalistic systems, and then there is an industrial system, a postindustrial system could be involved, and finally we have a multinational form of capitalism (Heilbroner 470). Where one firm has branches in the world or many countries other than the one it was founded. Therefore, capitalism is inseparable from the negative impacts that it causes to the society, including the instability it causes to both manufacturers and the market. As the effect of capitalism accumulates were are urged to be sure that both negative and positive effects would be present. But the author says that we have the power to choose which impacts both negative and positive capitalism would yield for us. When we focus on the political as linked with capitalistic, it seems exploitation of the poor is a legal venture. It is stated that any person has the right to pursue their capitalistic desire as long as they don’t violate the just of other people. They are allowed to come with their capital and compete with anyone as they wish as long as it’s within the realms of the law (Heilbroner 521). This is clear that those conducting business in a capitalistic world can choose to device means of exploiting its workers and manipulate the justice to suit their means to their desired end. But to keep this in check, the government perform three different duties, since it’s aware that business persons are so capitalistic, and their core interest is profit making, they are aware that good citizens are at a risk of exploitation. The exploitation does not only starts at the working place where they are paid low wages but also in the market where they are overcharged when offered particular services. The first duty is to protect the society from any form of invasion or violence, the second one is protection of all members of the community from oppression, and the last one is to establish certain kind of public amenities that private companies may not be interested in developing but are very vital to a society (Heilbroner 533). Heilbroner states that Smith one of the expert economist said that some governments in Europe had not allowed the private sector to flourish by not enabling them to establish business and run them. They want the government to control all aspect of capitalism, and this is considered not an open economy that give people equal opportunity to conduct business. With this hindrance, the capitalistic economy could be termed as dysfunctional
With the industrial revolution, the aspect of externalities was well understood. These are the adverse outcome of the process of production of a given good or service that affects another person especially in the surrounding while that cost is not reflected in the price of products. For instance, persons living in the Pittsburg, are experiencing high cost for access medical services due to pollution from steel mills on the environs (Heilbroner 886). People who are not involved in the production of the still are paying indirectly by footing their medical bills for health problems from the mills. This is a negative impacts are as a result of capitalism. Most of these companies pollute the environment is because they are trying to minimize the cost of production as they want to place themselves competitive in the market (Heilbroner 895). They are supposed to control the pollution by certain measures, but they choose to avoid and save the fund for their production.
In your view has capitalism’s contribution to society been more positive or negative?
Centuries ago, people and governments never had enough of primary commodities and would share the little they had. Capitalism came as a force that motivated individuals and governments to develop the need to be independent and produce their goods and services for a profit. Capitalism is a positive system since it call for economic independence. The 18th century and later was the period when discoveries started; that necessitated the idea of capitalism. Health-wise, there is an available tool for exercising in the gym and health diets in low fat that promotes physical fitness and a healthy body, accompanied by government activities to raise awareness of the importance of keeping fit. Capitalism has led to general social good since people are working to meet their needs without looking at the person to help them unlike in the social world where one works to benefit the other who are either not having a job or are deliberately not working. A capitalistic state grows economically faster as compared to a socialistic one. In a capitalistic environment as long as you do not violate the justice of other people you can follow your dreams in their chosen model, without restriction. Each person is given equal opportunity to follow their dreams. There are beliefs that human nature has elements of greed. For one to be competitive, they have to have a selfish goal they desperately want to achieve. In a capitalistic environment, one focuses on accumulating funds and resources for themselves, and this has shown immense success across the globe for capitalistic nations like the USA. Capitalism gives one freedom to choose the life they need to lead; it’s based on democratic ideologies. One chooses where and what to study and later chooses where to work. With such freedom, one is capable of self-fulfillment and realization of their full potential. Citizen of a capitalistic nation work to benefit them, and this automatically benefit the state. Taxes in capitalistic nations are relatively high which contribute to national development. Ultimately all current leading global economies are capitalistic, and this is adequate evidence that capitalism is the best economic system.
In conclusion, Capitalism is beneficial to the society and has evolved and improved nation’s economies over centuries. The private and government realms of capitalism are linked since the government protects individuals during an emergency, and the private sector protects the government between economic emergencies. One cannot do without the other. Capitalism is the best economic system as seen although it may be bad when some powerful individual exploits other members of the society.