Today’s topic is Why Capitalism Doesn’t Work. Ready? Here we go.
The idea behind capitalism is fairly straightforward: everyone gets a chance, and success depends on how much hard work and creativity you put into your work. With enough of those two qualities, the theory goes, anyone can successfully market his or her product or service, or successfully move their way up the ladder by helping the corporation market its product or service. Capitalism is all about selling; whoever has the best way of getting more people to purchase the product or service gets the most money.
Sounds good, right? Sure it does. But there is a hidden assumption that is not satisfied in the real world – namely, that hard work and creativity are the only factors that determine whose marketing is better. In fact, this is as far from true as possible. The truth is, marketable resources and assets are distributed very, very unevenly around the world. Some countries have oil, others don’t. Some countries have ores, others don’t. Et cetera, et cetera. Furthermore, capitalism did not arise in an organized fashion. It gradually replaced the feudal system over a period of 150 years or so. Which means that some people got started a lot earlier than others.
So what we have, instead of a world where everyone has an equal chance to succeed based on determination and ingenuity, some people simply start off much better than others. Having a shitload of money on hand makes it a lot easier to put marketing ideas into practice. So those who happen to be rich and hardworking, or rich and creative, or rich and hardworking and creative, automatically have a massive advantage over those who are merely hardworking and creative.
The rich use their money to market their ideas, and they get more money, while those who aren’t as rich (much less the homeless guy whose idea would change all our lives) don’t make as much money because they lack the resources needed to implement a good enough marketing strategy to make enough money. In other words, you need to have money to make money. So while in theory capitalism gives anyone with a good head on his or her shoulders a chance to succeed, all it does in the real world is help those who have money get more of it, while those who don’t have as much money don’t get as much of it, regardless of who is more creative and hardworking.
In searching for past threads on this subject, I noticed that some of them posed the question of whether or not capitalism is doomed to “fail.” I make no claim either way on this situation. I merely claim that capitalism does not achieve the goals it sets out for itself. Discuss.