Capitalism: Does It Provide Prosperity For All?

Capitalism: Does It Provide Prosperity For All?

Presenter: John Pope

October, 2014

Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are largely or entirely privately owned and operated for profit.

We have embraced capitalism here in the West for generations.  A United States Congressional committee concluded in 1941, “The principal instrument of the concentration of economic power and wealth has been the corporate charter with unlimited power”. 

We have come to accept that capitalism has been the right system for achieving prosperity by allowing private enterprise to provide us with the many goods and services we so much depend on today.  The growth of society has clearly benefited from this system in many ways.

But now there are voices saying that there are serious limits to growth (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/02/limits-to-growth-was-right-new-research-shows-were-nearing-collapse), and that pure, unregulated capitalism is no longer needed, and that it is in fact actually causing serious problems for the environment, the economy, and general well-being for the average person.

Some have argued that we now live in a Corporatocracy which is an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.  It is true that the powers and privileges enjoyed by corporations has grown over the years.  I highly recommend that you read the following brief article which describes the historical growth of modern corporate power.

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-accountability-history-corporations-us “A United States Congressional committee concluded in 1941, ‘The principal instrument of the concentration of economic power and wealth has been the corporate charter with unlimited power….'”

Naomi Klein’s new book “This Changes Everything” addresses these problems with capitalism; she specifically targets capitalism’s effect on the environment.

Some have argued that we now live in a Corporatocracy which is an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.  It is true that the powers and privileges enjoyed by corporations has grown over the years.  I highly recommend that you read this brief article which describes the historical growth of modern corporate power.
“A United States Congressional committee concluded in 1941, ‘The principal instrument of the concentration of economic power and wealth has been the corporate charter with unlimited power….'”

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-accountability-history-corporations-us

Questions:

Is capitalism as serious a problem as Klein suggests?

Is the world ready to give up on capitalism?

Can the negative effects of capitalism be mitigated by regulation?

Can governments control corporations?  Do governments really have the power to revoke ‘Corporate Charters’?

What kind of system could replace capitalism?

Who are the biggest beneficiaries of unregulated capitalism?

Is Socialism the answer?

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