OPINION: Capitalism causes harm to democracy

Capitalism is defined as, “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decisions, prices, production and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Capitalism is the economic and political foundation of the United States, Canada, as well as much of the world. This system thrives when a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

This economic and political system has caused a greedy and unequally privileged society. It has caused inconsiderate people and corporations to put profit above people, and not consider the outcomes and effects their choices have on the life of consumers. 

Greed is a huge factor in today’s capitalistic society. Greed comes from an over attachment to material goods, psychological and metaphorical power. Since the industry is controlled by private owners for their own profit, only a few rich people hold the power to distribute jobs. 

The type of power that people at the top of the economic pyramid will always want more power.

Capitalist economies run on money and work under very few powerful people. Photo courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.

These powerful people have also turned the capitalistic world into one that is simply run by themselves. People at the top of the economic system would rather keep the power amongst themselves or people that they are fond of or related to than distribute jobs to those who need them, keeping the power centralized.

This can be harmful to a democracy because only a few people in the top one percent are controlling how the economy runs, without any governmental interference. Powerful people will always choose capitalism over democracy. Big corporations have one vote at the top of a power pyramid, without distributing any power or voting ability to workers and other employees.

While some may think that a privatized ownership of big corporations prevents governmental intervention and provides efficiency, social and political divisions are a far greater negative impact on the system. 

Alternate economic and political systems like communism, socialism, and others are also very flawed so there is currently no permanent solution to an unjust and broken political and economic system.

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Piper Hansen is the Social Media Editor of RedEye this year. She appreciates good books, original movies, labrador retrievers and art museums. When she’s not outdoors with her camera Alfred, she’s hanging out with her friends or volunteering at summer camp. Piper enjoys traveling and can always be found planning her next adventure. You can contact her at [email protected]