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Capitalism is an economic system in which ownership of economic resources is by private individuals. The system entails exchange of goods for making profit. The free hand made up of the unseen forces of demand and supply determines the amounts of goods sold and bought (Slavin 102). The state controls the working of the system by ensuring there is harmony. Capitalism is a common economic system in many countries. However, this study will only examine two states using this system. The two countries using the system are U.S and Canada.
The countries are characterized by private ownership of the basic resources that are used in production such as land, factories and industries. The individuals owning land produce various agricultural products such as corn, wheat, cattle meat and cow’s milk soybeans among other products. On the contrary, Canada produces grains and oil seed and red meat, dairy products and horticultural products.
The agriculturally produced goods are supplied to other private owners of factories and industries for the manufacture of refined products. The main motive of exchange in the U.S and Canadian economies is profit with the level of demand and supply in the economy determining the levels of goods and services produced and supplied.
Government structure: the structure of the government in the two countries, (U.S and Canada) involves federal governments that are led by the political elites in the countries. The government has the duty of formulating policies that regulate the private production of goods and services in the country. Demographically, the U.S has a population of about of 311,650,000 people. This population is made up of people from different backgrounds including the race, economic, gender and age among other factors. The 2006 census provided the population of Canada as 31,612,895 people (CIA 1).
Natural resources: economic resources are scarce yet the needs they are required to fulfill are many. Countries are endowed with different natural resources that form the base of their comparative advantage. Therefore, the U.S is endowed with large pieces of land used for farming practices, forestry, and oil among other resources. Similarly, Canada is endowed with land, forestry, minerals and metals. The differences in the endowments of natural resources enable the countries to engage in international trade. The good produced by the countries are sold both domestically and internationally in various markets.
For both Canada and the U.s, the destinations of the goods are mainly in EU, Asian countries and developing countries throughout the world. The trade deficit for Canada for the financial year that ended in April 2011 was CAD 924 Million. The U.S too experienced a trade deficit that amounted to USD 43.7 billion in the financial period ended in April 2011. This means that the imports of the two countries were more than the exports.
According to Slavin, communism as an economic system is characterized by the ability of the state to promote equality among the members in the communist state (105). Communist states are not many in the world. Communism is characterized by public ownership of resources of production and in individuals do not posses anything. Although people exert many efforts top national building, their wages are low. Two examples of communist states are China and Cuba.
China: the country has an estimated population of about 1.3 billion people comprised of different age structures. The population is made up of different ethnic group. However, the dominant ethnic group in China is the Han Chinese that forms about 91.5% of the population. The religions in the country are Daoism, Buddhist, Christianity and Islam. The Chinese economy is strongly supported by various sectors with the major sectors being service and industry sectors.
The Chinese market is supported by a market system with main agricultural products such as rice, wheat, potatoes, barley and cotton among other agricultural products. Being sold both domestically and internationally. The main trading partners of China are the U.S, EU, Asian countries and other developing countries in Africa. Some of the natural resources found in China include natural gas and minerals such as antimony, Zinc and Tungsten (CIA 1).
The government structure in China is that of a central government that controls all resources of the state. A president (Hu Jintao) who is assisted by the premier, WEN Jibao and the vice president rules the country. The people of the republic of China elect these officials for a period of five years. Given the country’s economic and governance system, the economy has been performing well because economic indicators point to a positive economic growth. For the first time in many years, China’s economy registered a deficit of $1.02 during the first quarter of 2011. The deficit is termed as temporary and can be changed to a surplus especially due to the appreciating Yuan.
Cuba: is a communist state located in the Caribbean islands. The country has a population of about 11,087,330 million people made up of American-Indian. The population is composed of different races including Indians, Africans and whites. The religious affiliation of the citizens in the country is Christians with Catholics being the majority. Official language spoken is Spanish. The Cuban government is led by the president (Raul Castro) assisted by two vice presidents. The electorate elects the political leaders of the country, the president and vice presidents among other leaders for a period of five years. Being a communist state, resources of production are controlled by the state with the citizens working had for the development of the economy. However, the hardworking people are poorly compensated for their efforts (CIA 1).
Owning about 7.4 million acres of land, the state controls agricultural production. Sugarcane, tobacco, and coffee beans are the major agricultural products of Cuba among others. Major natural resources of Cuba are land and forestry. The economy of Cuba has realized deficits for a long period with a deficit of $1.7 million being realized in the 2010-2011 financial period. However, recent years have seen the deficit improve as the exports began growing at an increasing rate compared to imports since 2007. This follows a growth in the level of export that the country exports. The country has suffered for many years from sanctions from the UN and U.S. however; major trading partners of Cuba include Canada, Netherland, China and Spain.
Slavin defines fascism as an economic system in which the leader of the government is a dictator who imposes his/her power on the opponents leading to their suppression (106). War-like ultranationalists are the modern day fascists since most of fascism was experienced many years ago. Fascist states are limited and cannot be directly pointed at because they have branded themselves in different names that sound democratic and patriotic.
However, their actions reveal something different. Examples of fascist states could be drawn from Africa and other parts of the world with countries such as Sudan and Cambodia being examples. Fascism is characterized by dictatorships and individual drives of political leaders. In spite of the resources being owned by either the state or the public, political leader’s loot from the people using force and their power.
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Sudan: is an African country whose leadership has been dominated by Islam religion. The country suffered from long-term war for the last part of the 20 century. The conflicts in the country were fueled by domination of the Southern no Muslim and non-Arabic speaking by the Northern Arab and Islam. Having a population of 45,047,502 people, the country is a major exporter of coffee, tea and tobacco among other crops. The population of the country is made up of Christians (Southerners) and Muslims (northerners). The Muslims are of Arab origin while Christians are Africans by decent (CIA 1).
A government of national unity whose leader is Omar El Bashir leads the government of Sudan. In spite of the brand name of the Government of national Unity,” the country does not depict any national unity since the North neglects the South. The President abuses his power to suppress the development and progress of the South. The country is endowed with natural resources such as oil and vast arable land owned partly by the state and by private investors. The resources drive the economy of the country. In spite of the minerals, the country has constantly realized a deficit due to other reasons such as civil war.
Socialism means common ownership of resources used in production. In economies that are purely socialists, every member of the society owns a section of the resources. In such states, every person has the right to the decision making process hence democracy is an important factor. The electorates participate in the election process to help select representatives that would present their contribution to leadership regarding resource governance.
Resources are produced specifically for consumption rather for sale and profit motive as indicate din capitalism. Moreover, members have free access to the produced goods and services. There are not socialist countries today although previously, there were as indicated below (CIA 1).
Venezuela: military strong men who promoted social reforms and socialism governed the country for a long time. Every citizen of the country owns the resources. The country is endowed with land and forestry that is accompanied by production of sugarcane, rice, corn and sorghum. A central government that owns some resources while other are owned by the private owners leads the government. The produced goods and services are shared among the citizens.
The democratically elected government monitors and manages resources while sharing produced output among its 27,635,743 population. In spite of the sharing, the country has not realized smooth economic growth since it has continuously realized a deficit (CIA 1).
Libya: is an African country situated in the Northern part of the continent. It is endowed with oil that has helped it serve its citizens well, led by a central government, the country has tried its best to ensure that every citizen benefits from the resources. The leaders are elected democratically after five years. The main agricultural productions are wheat and barley that are produced mainly for consumption and not for sale. The economy of Libya has been resilient for many years depicting surpluses. However, the violence being experienced in the country led the country to realize a deficit of about USD 2.1 billion (CIA 1).
CIA. “The World Factbook.” Central Intelligence Agency. 2011. Web.
Slavin, Stephen. Economics. 9 Edn. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin. 2009.