Capitalism for the Long Term
According to educator Jonathan Osler, capitalism is an economic system where private individuals can own and control the productive forces of society, such as land, factories, or tools. It sets out the rules by which social production is carried out and determines how much is produced and divided up. In capitalist societies, private property is an instrument of wealth creation and a commodity that can be bought, sold, and traded. There’s no doubt about the capitalist system’s advantages for consumers: it has given us mass-produced goods at low prices. But what does capitalism look like in the long term?
What Capitalism Looks Like in the Long Term
According to the educator, capitalism creates a society of conflict and dysfunction in the long term. In the short term, it provides cheap goods, but in the long term, it destroys individuality and leaves us with a society ruled by social classes. Capitalism is a system that ultimately only benefits those with capital, to begin with. For example, if you have money to invest in making more money, you can become very wealthy. But this economic system doesn’t provide prosperity for everyone else.
In capitalist societies, individuals tend to be consumed with accumulating wealth rather than creating it. They will spend as much time working on their businesses as possible to maximize profits and minimize costs. This creates a society where people are constantly trying to outdo one another. When those at the top of the socioeconomic ladder start making more and more money year after year, those at the bottom start feeling less and less fortunate about their lot in life.
The Long-Term Benefits of Capitalism
In the long term, Jonathan Osler believes that capitalism does many great things for society. It has given us mass-produced goods at low prices and has led to economic growth. The capitalist system is also responsible for improvements in efficiency and technology. The downside of this system is that corporations have accumulated too much power, which impacts the well-being of workers and consumers. As capitalists become more powerful, they can take away people’s rights by limiting their access to resources and limiting their freedom of expression. This leads to a system that’s not so beneficial for society in the long term.
The Long-Term Costs of Capitalism
In the long term, capitalism makes people more dependent on the market. If a price goes up, so does the cost of production. This means capitalists must produce more goods than consumers can afford to meet demand. The result? Overproduction and stockpiling of goods. As mass-produced goods become scarce, people’s attention shifts to other products such as luxury items or drugs in limited supply.
Capitalism has an inherent tendency toward monopoly and surplus-value. It generates a huge disparity between those with capital (the capitalists) and those who don’t (those who work for wages). This doesn’t just cause inequality. It also leads to systemic political problems like authoritarianism and totalitarianism. In addition, corporations have no loyalty to their customer base because they’re not directly accountable to them.