Capitalism And The Free Market: Moral Or Imoral?

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The question of whether or not the free market is immoral begs the question of whether a system of trade can have morals in the first place. Capitalism, or the free-market, cannot be inherently immoral, but people do have the freedom to engage in immoral behavior within the free-market system if they so choose. Another way of asking whether or not the free-market is immoral is to ask how participation in the free-market both supports and corrodes our sense of morality.
Capitalism, as an economic system, cannot be inherently moral or immoral. A free-market economy is amoral. The free-market exists as a means to balance the supply and demand of resources in the most efficient way possible. Capitalism, the least restrictive system of trade used
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Aristotle writes that the natural use of money is to support a household and provide a means of survival while the other use of money, to accumulate more money is “unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another” (Aristotle, Jowett and Davis 1920). So why is overconsumption the new norm in our society? Alan Durning explains, “Traditional virtues such as integrity, honesty, and skill are too hard to measure to serve as yardsticks of social worth. By default, they are gradually supplanted by a simple, single indicator – money” (Durning 1992). Honesty, integrity and skill are honorable pursuits, but people indirectly pursue them through the accumulation of wealth, which according to Marx and Aristotle, leads to immoral …show more content…
According to Alfred Marshall, Equity and efficiency are trade-offs because equality requires a decrease in efficiency (Marshall 1892). This is bad for the economy and bad for everyone because it reduces aggregate wealth by destroying the incentives that businesses have to grow wealth. Not to say that there should be no distribution, in fact, the absence of government intervention gives people the opportunity to generate even more wealth and redistribute it according to their own “internal spectator” so long as excessive wealth-getting is not a factor. For example, a businessperson is more likely to redistribute his own wealth to those in need or to public works when he knows that the government will not levy a tax on his excess

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