Capitalism and the American Dream

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SOCI 2013
17 April 2013
How Capitalism Affects the American Dream
Capitalism is defined as “an economic system in which the ownership of the means of production- like land, factories, large sums of money, and machines - is in private hands” (SOC 10). Social Philosopher Karl Marx strongly believed that in the end, capitalism simply wouldn’t work for several different reasons. His idea became known as Marxian conflict theory. While the functionalist theory examines groups’ order and cohesion, the conflict theory examines ways groups disagree and struggle for power. Marx predicted that capitalism would cause continuous tension between the haves and the have -not’s; the have-not’s mostly being the minorities and the poor. He believed that capitalist societies would be reduced to two social classes; the capitalist class (the bourgeoisie or the rich) and the working class (the proletariat or the poor), and that this division would eventually cause some sort of social upheaval.

Generation Y is in trouble with the years to come seeing as it is against the odds that one will becomes part of the small percentage of people that are the capitalists. If our economic system remains the same, the generations to come will become nothing more than workers for the bourgeoisie. Karl Marx gave five reasons in particular as to why capitalism will fail. It will result in monopolies, inflation, unemployment, lack of income, and the wealthy ultimately ruling the world and making the rules. This all will result in reduced quality goods, poverty, poor legislation, and people not being able to afford the necessities of life.

The first reason Marx gave as to why capitalism won’t work is that in a capitalist economy, monopolies are unavoidable. A monopoly is when one supplier of a particular commodity is the only supplier. Monopolies eliminate competition. This gives the supplier the power to charge high prices and reduce the quality of the products because the consumers don’t...
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