Economic Ideologies Response Paper
Forms of government across the globe of all different types serve the general purpose of establishing order and civility among the people. Like anything, there are countries with strong political power as well as countries with little or almost no political power largely influencing the citizens of their nations. In poor countries such as Somalia government nearly ceases to exist without a way to implement rules and regulations, creating havoc among the people. In wealthy countries such as the United States, the ability to maintain order and create opportunity for the people is made possible by their strong and powerful government. It can certainly be understood that political power is necessary to maintain order, however the idea that one form of government is better than another is heavily debated among individuals regarding economic equality and the role of government. The discrepancy between capitalism and socialism is a contingent issue currently debated about for a number of reasons. In the United States there are allegations that the current president Barack Obama is a socialist, serving what is considered a capitalist society. The changes brought about or implemented by President Obama as well as the history of American politics provides insight aiding the ability to understand why the debate between capitalism and socialism really has no definite answer.
Capitalism is essentially a political system where trade and industry are controlled by private ownership giving individuals the power and freedom to do what they want, where socialism is a political system where trade and industry are controlled by the state giving the majority of the power to the government.1 In any country with an established government there will always be extremists on both ends, with the majority falling somewhere in between. In this case, various right winged extremists have claimed Obama is a socialist through his implementations of new policies, one of which most commonly known as the Affordable Care Act.4 Right winged extremists find the idea of required and regulated health care unfair going against their freedom to have a choice. Left winged extremists find this to be a great idea, providing nationwide health care to the population, being one example of working together as a whole to achieve the larger goal of a stronger nation. There are also the people in between who find pros and cons about nationwide healthcare supporting policies on both sides of the spectrum. With the majority of the population being somewhere in between, the topic is highly debatable because the amount of variables involved with both forms of government will always leave someone unhappy in some way or another. Many consider United States a capitalist society, however it is more realistically a mixed economy falling somewhere in between for that exact reason. There is no easy solution to the problems that arise from political systems because it is simply impossible to please everyone.
Back in 2008, when the U.S. housing bubble busted, the collapse of the economy became one of the largest financial crises in history. Financial institutions across the global suffered immensely with catastrophic losses of equity obtained over years of time, all evaporated within just days.5 With an economic collapse as large as this arises questions of intended or unintended consequences playing a role in the government. Naomi Klein author of The Shock Doctrine, poses the question, was this financial crisis intentional? Her argument stems for the idea that a crisis such as this is beneficial to political leaders by taking advantage of the people to gain more power while they are weak and less resistant to change.2 With the 2008 recession, people everywhere were unstable and distraught, with so many losing almost everything. This idea of kicking people when they are down and abusing ones power is one of the eye-opening flaws that potential...
Citations: Faunce, Kenneth. "A Brief History of Capitalism." Lecture 22, History 105, Pullman, March 23, 2015.
Klein, Naomi. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2007.
Fulcher, James. Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
Thompson, Tamara. The Affordable Care Act. New York, 2014.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Report: Final Report of the National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States. Official Government ed. Washington, DC: Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission: 2011
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