Benefits Of Capitalism Beyond Materialism


#1

I’m trying to write a text about the benefits that capitalism provides that are beyond materialism and wealth. Does anyone have some ideas?

I wrote something a year ago (in another thread, see below), could anybody help me finding and elaborating other points?

My fist point:
Ad1) self-efficacy vs. helplessness, meaningless
There is a construct called “learned helplessness” (created by Martin Seligman, a pioneer of positive psychology) that regards to the phenomenon that being unable to or feeling to be unable to change your life or the circumstances in which you are is correlated with depression.
What’s true for the inner (mental) conditions of a human is true for its environment too – in both cases it makes one happy, it makes you feel well, if you are able to control things around you. And it tears you down, if you find yourself in situations that inhibit your possibility to take influence (even if your material/financial basis is acceptable). That’s why an ideal society cannot exist without market economy.

In Europe one gets welfare, nearly 1000 USD (800EUR) a month, if he is workless. You will earn a bit more than 1000 USD if you are employed in the non-academic field. This circumstance:

  • It makes no difference if you work or work not,
  • whatever you do, it doesn’t influence your situation
    makes people sick.

I think we have to overcome the socialistic-egalitarian ideology that claims:
We all are equal, we all should have the same -> that makes the scociety happy…
…and should emphasize instead:
We all are individuals. We all are different. We all should have the same chances but within a system that allows to reap the full reward of a persons own decisions and actions -> this will make people lucky and the society great.

Further Cues: Capitalism provides/enables

  1. self-actualization

  2. career experiences, to make a career, getting promoted, are great experiences

  3. diversity of products and companies, individuality: trademarks are expressions of people’s identity

  4. capitalism motivates people,… give your best, engagement

If you have some thoughts on these or other points - please post it.


#2

Free market create opportunities. In a free market – with few barriers to entry into markets and few barriers to participation in the labor force – people are free to find meaningful employment that allows them to take care of themselves. Services and goods become more affordable (instead of unaffordable public market monstrosities like the education and healthcare industries, for example). Free markets are the antidote to poverty. While poverty will never be eliminated entirely, capitalism offers the strongest possibility of reducing the amount of it to the lowest levels possible. Even crippled versions of capitalism like ours can reduce poverty and improve quality of life.

> Capitalism Promotes Freedom
> The most basic freedom is the freedom to make choices. Capitalism promotes choice. It promotes the ability of people to decide what they want to buy, how much they want to buy, where they want to live, where they want to work, and so on. With statism, choices are limited. The government decides, for example, what kind of light bulb is available, how much water a toilet can use, the minimum factory efficiency of an air conditioning system, and more.
>
> The removal of simple choices reduces freedom. The removal of all choices is slavery. The direction of statism is towards slavery. The direction of capitalism is towards freedom. Capitalism is morally superior.

> Capitalism is built on the notion of incentives. Everyone has an incentive to build, create, and serve others. Statists suppress incentives. They shill about income inequality and redistribute money earned by the most productive to give to those not producing at all.

Ten Reasons Why Capitalism Is Morally Superior

> Thirty years ago half (50 percent) the people in the poorer nations of the world lived in extreme poverty. In 2012, 21 percent of people in the poorer nations of the world live in extreme poverty. Development of global markets has greatly lessened poverty around the world. This is a very important fact. Movement from being in the lowest global income bracket, to lower middle income to middle income means moving from average life expectancy in the low forties to life expectancy of fifty or sixty, respectively. Cardinal Maradiaga is wrong: this economy does not kill; it has extended the lives of the poorest people in the world.

> The credit for good wages doesn’t go to labor unions or politicians’ passing a minimum wage, though they sure hog the credit. The credit goes to market competition and a growing economy. After all, 95 percent of workers earn more than minimum wage, and most jobs aren’t unionized.
> Politicians can’t see the wonders that the market provides, but they somehow see everything government does as a blessing — taxes that cut into people’s pay and regulations that make it more expensive to produce. They don’t see that their well-intended “pro-consumer” rules raise prices and reduce choice.

Politicians Ignorance of Capitalist Free Market Economics | Capitalism Magazine


#3

Hmmm, interesting.

Being a HARD LINE capitalist since starting my first company back in the 60’s and my last company about 6 years ago which is alive and VERY healthy today, in fact sales are up 31% so far this year.

The question you are asking is what drives me?

Money? At this stage of life no, not really. In fact the money is either poured back into my company (which is DEBT FREE) or I allocate it to stuff, like buying my wife a car and putting in a pool, maybe (if I can talk her in to it) another ranch. But that is just a what do I do with it question, no more, no less, that is not what drives me.

What drives me? Mostly what you posted just below your opening sentence. I like to work, I feel good at the end of the day. I am tired, I worked hard and feel good about myself. A feeling of accomplishment that I need as a human being. I tried retirement and did not like it.

Facebook now has 2 BILLION users. Mark Zuckerberg is worth even more Billions, is he a capitalist? NOT in my view. I started my company borrowing on credit cards and getting a 2nd mortgage. Like Bill Gates nothing was ever on the line, failure only mean nothing. Gates mom and dad both big time Crop lawyers, but money, silver spoon, right schools, just kids playing and having connections (Gates) and good ideas (Zuckerberg).

My early influence came from Oil wildcatters and ranchers that physically and mentality worked HARD and loss was met with catastrophic results, many failed and never recovered for the losses. These folks are real capitalists vs the pretty boys, the 20 something wunderkinds that walk in the door of far to many corps and rarely do they make a change for the better, usually when they leave with their golden parachute full of $$$ they leave devastation behind. I saw that in my career as a Fortune 500 IT consultant. Massive egos and not enough experience in life to know chit from shinola. They aren’t capitalists…


#4

Your first sentence should be “materialism has nothing to do with Capitalism and Capitalism has nothing to do with materialism”, that worn fallacy concedes a very important foundational truth.

The second sentence should be “Capitalism is not a system, Capitalism is what naturally occurs in the absence of a system”.

The argument is whether using force to restrain the natural flow of Capitalism benefits the society or harms the society economically.

That will lay an unassailable premise for the facts that follow, namely the far better economic realities for ALL income levels, ethnic groups, age groups and genders when the results of Capitalism are compared to the results of any of the “systems” that governments force upon their citizenry under the guise of “wanting to help”.

Start off swinging for the fence.


#5

Your attitude reminds me of the old story of the guy happening upon a construction site. He asked one guy what he was doing and the reply was, “I’m digging a hole, you stupid #$&$! What does it look like I’m doing?” He asked several others the same question and got essentially the same answer. Finally he came to a little old Italian immigrant and asked him what HE was doing. His reply was, “I’ma buildin’ a cathedral!” It’s all in your outlook–how you perceive what you’re doing that determines whether or not you’re content with your lot in life.


#6

> Your first sentence should be “materialism has nothing to do with Capitalism and Capitalism has nothing to do with materialism”, that worn fallacy concedes a very important foundational truth.

> The second sentence should be “Capitalism is not a system, Capitalism is what naturally occurs in the absence of a system”.
QFT. I need to remember the first and say that frequently to my critics. I’ve been saying the second since my introduction to economics.

I’d put those in my sig, but it’s big enough, and your other comment is funnier!


#7

I have always said thats its the only economic approach that is organic to all people, everything else is contrived by man and or govt to make things better for all and has never been a success for anyone except the money handlers and the govt, the rest pay the price.


#8

Hi – Thank’s for your support!
I try to sort your contributions and match your points to my original list:

  1. Self-efficacy vs. helplessness, meaningless

We have to add that it makes a difference if you work hard for yourself or just for a collective. The former should be more valuable (to argue for capitalism).
I want to avoid arguments like: “You can work hard in socialism, so you don’t need Capitalism”…

  1. Self-actualization

That’s interesting. I always thought making business is not just about making money – maybe for some people, but not for everyone. The major profit isn’t profit. The major profit is to built something, to create something to establish something. This is a form of self actualization and something that makes people happy and feel fulfilled.

  1. Career experiences, to make a career, getting promoted, are great experiences

I don’t know much about Zuckerberg, but I think he have had his challenges too.
At least we can say: Capitalism enables a huge range of different experiences no socialistic system can offer.

  1. Diversity of products and companies, individuality: trademarks are expressions of people’s identity
  1. Capitalism motivates people,… give your best, engagement
  1. Character development
    a) Reinforcing self-responsibility

b) human’s moral development can only proceed proceed when choices are given (David Hoy)


I will work on benefits concerning wealth seperatly.

Yes, socialism is a system (of constrictions), capitalism is more the absence of this system.

With “materialism” I didn’t refer to the greed for money. I meant material things.
I think wealth and the appreciation of material goods are valuable benefits of capitalism too.


#9

You can also not work hard in socialism, which makes it discouraging and ultimately fruitless for those who do…


#10

The downfall of socialism is that it is solely based upon the collective, where ALL are EQUAL (I am sure you have heard that). Its a great idea, just does not work. As everyone gets paid, they all get the same amount of money for picking cotton. At the end of the day they turn in their cotton sack and no matter how full or not the payday is the same.

Joe takes lots of long breaks while out in the cotton field, goes to the bathroom often and takes a long long lunch and an afternoon nap, but it ok.

Sam does not take a break at all, grabs a sandwich and keeps on working. At the end of the day he has picked the most cotton of anyone. After a while of this he went to the straw boss and said I want more money so I can have more things for my family. Boss no, can’t do that, we are a collective and its all equal. If I pay you more the rest will complain and it would not be fair to the others.

Sam and Joe are now buddies and hang together on the breaks and naps and the others have joined in too. They are now Unionized and just voted in a set of new rules governing the cotton patch. Everyone get a 30 min break every hour, 1 ½ hrs for lunch and 2 hrs in the afternoon for a nap and all go home at 4 instead of 5, come in at 9 instead of 8.

Now you know why Socialism does not work, its because after a few years no one has any clothes to wear…


#11

That’s because I wrote:
“it makes a difference if you work hard for yourself or just for a collective”


#12

No one works hard in a collective because no one is judged at the end of the day on results. Everyone gets the same prize. Of course you then run into the problem that Tercel has a wife and 6 kids, so he gets 6x what Sam gets who does not have a wife and kids.

Everywhere you see banners and kids are taught: “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”

Tercel kids are getting older and ready to enter the work force and they ask Tercel what they should do. He tells his kids they should apply for jobs as Featherbed Testers. But his daughter Hyundai says, Daddy I wan to be an electrical engineer. Tercel say, why do that its very hard work and study to get that degree and you will make the same $ as your brother Corolla who now works as a Featherbed Tester apprentice.

Socialism completely collapses on itself. Our current move to pay men and women the same amount of money is the first hole in the dam. When the feds mandate that all men and women make the same money the easy solution will be to just simply pay them the same and implement rigid rules of work like what we see in the govt today. This lays the foundation for Unionism. If its NOT in your job description then you cannot do it and if you do it, then you have expanded your job description and you are owed more money. The result is the same output of work now requires more people and becomes less and less efficient till which time its taken over by the govt as it can no longer make a profit, but picking cotton is an essential need in America.

Time goes by and capitalism gets wiped out and the govt now runs all the business. The govt loves this because now EVERYONE has a job, imagine the headlines on CNN, 100% employment…what it does not say is that the 100% produce less and to compound the problem, produce it at the worst of quality level.

What if everyone got a trophy for winning, yet the team lost the game and that trophy makes you feel like a winner?

Yet the liberals, well educated, Obama they all think Socialism is the answer.


#13

They are HARDLY “well-educated.” If they were, they’d KNOW that Socialism is ultimately destructive–as EVERY society that’s tried it has eventually discovered.


#14

Yes I know. That’s what I meant.

I asked: what’s a benefit of capitalism. You just said “I like to work, I feel good at the end of the day.”
If you want to use this as an argument for capitalism, when you are arguing against liberals, you – HAVE TO – add that it makes a difference if you work for yourself or just for the collective. Precisely because you wouldn’t be motivated to work hard of you do it for the latter. That’s the benefit of capitalism. I hope the point is clear now.


#15

Ok, then try this on:

The ONLY economic activity/system that is ORGANIC to humans is capitalism, every other approach, system or theory is contrived by man/govt. NO ONE tried harder to make Karl Marx dreams come true than the USSR, yet at it peak of socialism, the black market thrived and where you have a black market you have a controlled and restrained free market, as always the free (black) market will always exist unless you have a free market society/govt.


#16

NOBODY “works for the collective.” They work for the salary and benefits that their work earns. Some also even work for the satisfaction of doing a good job, producing a useful service or product for others. In a socialist system, they don’t work as diligently or as productively because the satisfaction of doing a good job is immaterial and the REWARDS for doing so don’t exist.