It is a fact that all capitalist societies have extreme economic disparities. The vast majority of a capitalistic country’s asset is usually under the control of a few wealthy individuals. In addition, the social and economic disparities of capitalism lead to inequalities in opportunities.
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A child born to wealthy parents will ultimately have more opportunities than a child born to poor parents. Lack of fairness in a capitalistic society is one of the major reasons that parties that oppose capitalism, use as a basis of their arguments. However, extreme defenders of capitalism claim that it does not lead to inequality.
They claim that the main cause of inequality is government interference. Therefore, if the government leaves the market to regulate itself, there would be very low levels of inequalities. The argument of extreme defenders of capitalism is not convincing as the governments intervene to reduce inequality through wealth distribution.
Moderate defenders of capitalism claim that lack of government intervention is the main factor that contributes to the high level of inequality in capitalist societies. Modification of the economic system through political action would lead to a significant reduction in inequality.
The argument of these parties is valid, as government intervention has led to significant reduction of inequality and unemployment in various countries. On the other hand, certain defenders of capitalism claim that the benefits of capitalism outweigh its disadvantage due to inequality (Shaw and Barry 159). This argument is not convincing as an ideal economic system should improve the welfare of all people within the society.
Capitalism views people as economic creatures. More people translate to a large market in a capitalistic society. Ideally, consumers should have knowledge of the diverse products in the market. They should use their knowledge to make informed buying decisions.
However, today’s consumers face various difficulties in making informed choices. The large variety of products in the market necessitates consumers to possess a high level of literacy of the products. In addition, companies wield so much power. This enables the companies to influence the price and quality of various products, and create and shape markets.
Government’s intervention is not usually enough to curtail the powers of these companies. Therefore, consumers are at the mercy of the companies, who view them as a source of economic prosperity. Should the government and other agencies leave companies to act as they wish, companies may exploit consumers tremendously due to their immense power.
However, government control only reduces level of exploitation. It is difficult for the government to eliminate exploitation of the consumers completely. Thus, capitalism reinforces the notions of individualism and materialism, which may disregard human morality (Shaw and Barry 160).
People who defend capitalism claim that it has helped in improving the living standards of people. Capitalism has led to the production of various luxurious products that make people lead comfortable lives. Therefore, materialism improves the quality of lives of people.
In addition, defenders of capitalism claim that companies do not wield so much power over the consumers. The government has the means of curtailing the powers of various companies.
However, this argument is not convincing as in most cases, the government lacks the political will to curtail the powers of companies due to the economic benefits of industries to the country. In addition, the government may have vested interest in the companies.
Shaw, William H. and Barry, Vincent. Moral issues in business, 12th edition. Wadsworth, CA: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.