Capitalism

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Pyramid of the Capitalist System

Capitalism is great. We've all bought a lot of cool stuff thanks to capitalism. Only naïve, ahistorical ideologues want to get rid of capitalism completely.

But due to perverse incentives and short-sighted economic benchmarks like GDP, capitalism does not always march in the direction of more happiness and well-being for society.

The Ideal Economy is Mixed

The ideal economic system combines a free market economy for industry and commerce with socialist institutions where the free market incentives break down. Established industries should have significant worker ownership, while startups leverage private capital and entrepreneurship. Strong unions and social safety nets should protect workers and ensure they get a fair share of profits. While this represents significantly more socialism than currently exists in most countries, it still provides plenty of space for the free market to innovate and thrive where it is most effective.

Defining Capitalism and Socialism

In order to bridge the gap between the academic definition of Capitalism and the common understanding and usage of the term, this wiki will considers any system that offers private property ownership and the ability for individuals to buy and sell shares in public companies to be Capitalism. Only when 100% of all capital is controlled by workers or the state should we say that we no longer have Capitalism, only Socialism. Any system that isn't 100% private or 100% public is a mixed or hybrid economy.

Don't Worry--Hybrid Economies Still Have Capitalism

Since any actual economic system has some worker ownership, some state ownership, and some private ownership, we should really consider all of them to be hybrids of Capitalism and Socialism and all debate should be over how much control over capital the state and workers should have relative to the capitalists, and which mechanisms will allow for equitable sharing of capital and profits while minimizing negative consequences (i.e. major social upheaval).

Acknowledging the fact that a mixed economy is still Capitalism even if we were to implement every economic policy advocated by mainstream Social Democrats will go a long way towards easing the fears of the millions of people that have have a Pavlovian negative reaction to anything Socialist.

Making Capitalism Work for Everyone

There are many examples of new corporate governance structures, ethical investment strategies, and other strategies that seek to bend the incentives of capitalism towards equality and sustainability. Articles, podcasts, and videos with examples of these should go here.

Monetized Videos Criticizing Capitalism

You can't criticize capitalism without money.

What is Capitalism?
What does "Late Stage Capitalism" Mean?
Slavoj Žižek: Why There Are No Viable Political Alternatives to Unbridled Capitalism


Garfunkel and Oates - Save the Rich