Richard Cohen: Why Not Socialism?

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Although today we live in a capitalist world; as Cohen would put it, “Why Not Socialism?” Today, more than ever, with the fight for equality and the constant political debates at the forefront, chatter on the way the economy should be run has become a common occurrence. People are beginning to question where they believe their wants and needs should be allocated, and who should be allocating them. With the well being of the citizens financials in mind, it is clear that market economies have fallen short on ensuring that the basic needs of all citizens are met. It has causes a need for greed in society, and has eliminated the sense of community. Our current economy has also lead to very big gaps in the way our resources are allocated and …show more content…
However, with socialism that is no the case because the resources are allocated fairly. What we see happening in a capitalist society is that the ones who supply the most labor, and the ones who put in the most effort, are the ones who receive the least compensation. Whereas the rich, who are already at the top, just keep getting richer, and accumulating larger masses of wealth that they don’t need. Thus resulting in the laborers getting paid much less than the value of the labor that they contributed. As Karl Marx said, “this is stealing, or exploitation of labor”. With these wages for the hard working laborers often being too small to live off of, they are forced deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of poverty. “The population of unemployed and underemployed explodes. There is a vicious circle here. Because so many seek work, wages are very low. Because one wage cannot support even a small family, more and more family members must seek employment. This move adds to the pool of labor and further depresses wages.” (On the Edge of Scarcity) Additionally, if these wages begin to rise in one country, other countries take advantage of the opportunity and lower their wages even further. With this cycle of falling wages and more and more people needing jobs, poverty increases drastically. While some might say that capitalism brings more competition and …show more content…
In a capitalistic society, everything is based off of greed and self-interest. For example, Cohen’s camping trip scenario, where he illustrates how people would act in the same situation in both a socialist and capitalist economy. First showing how the socialist would share and contribute to everything, abiding by the socialist principles of community and equality. He then went on to show the capitalist side of pure greed, where all of the friends start to have different demands, and are only thinking about themselves. Cohen concludes that the socialist economy was clearly better on the camping trip, because it became toxic once they started to act like capitalists (Cohen). To his point, in a Capitalist economy people are forced to provide for themselves and their families, because there is no guarantee of resources, and while that might encourage people to work harder, it also encourages corrupt business practices. Everything is based around profit, not quality, equality, honesty, or generosity. Products are being made not for the good of society but for the profit they will produce. Leading to companies aiming for quantity and marketability rather than quality, resulting in the consumers suffer. Fro example, healthcare today striving solely for profit, and not on the patients overall well being. This is a very serious problem and is extremely detrimental to the vast majority of

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