Do the advantages of capitalism outweigh its disadvantages?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that much of this answer is going to depend on from which point of view a person answers the question.  For a thinker like Karl Marx, the answer is going to be that nothing could excuse the exploitation and violation of voice that is a part of capitalism.  For someone like Milton Friedman, I think that the real corruption would be external encroachment on market regularities.  I think that the issue at hand is that capitalism, in the end, won.  The globalized setting in which we live is one where the tenets of capitalism and the development of wealth in accordance to a capitalist model won out.  The issue is no longer whether or not capitalism or socialism/ communism is the way of the world, but rather how capitalism can be a system in which more people are able to participate and widening it is the primary concern of the modern setting.  In this, the advantages of capitalism outweigh its disadvantages.  I believe that there is some truth here.  The recent discussion about income inequality and the idea that emerges out of the President's State of the Union Address last week was this notion of seeking to expand the advantages of capitalism to more people in the idea of a "fair shake."  It is here where the advantages of capitalism are seen to outweigh its disadvantages.

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