Capitalism Equals a Greater Quality of Life for Everyone

Taylor Abernathy-Period 3-Honorbound

Young children in America grow up hearing the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” on a daily basis and as soon as they turn into adults, they must choose a career path from the endless job titles that exist. Capitalism comes along with many perks such as the ability to make choices but who exactly benefits from capitalism? First, it is important to understand that one of the most basic components of capitalism is freedom. “Freedom to live your life the way you want” [1]. Without freedom, individuality would disappear. Capitalism benefits every human person because it creates “a sphere in which the individual is free to think, to choose, and to act without being restrained by the interference of the social apparatus of coercion and oppression, the State [2].

Even though capitalism encourages individuality, some still argue that capitalism utilizes mass production for a desired end result; however, capitalism uses mass production to “satisfy the needs of the masses” [3]. Ultimately, the consumer is who holds all the economic power in a capitalist world, forming the “immense majority” [4]. This means that the majority has a large say in the market place. Others argue that capitalism makes life worse for the poor. But capitalism actually builds an “efficiency that makes it possible for capitalistic business to support a rapidly increasing population at a continually improving standard of living” [5].

In today’s times, the percentage of American families living under the poverty line, who own basic appliances, has gone up tremendously and “the number of people worldwide living on less than about two dollars per day today is less than half of what it was in 1990” [6]. Capitalism reduces infant mortality rates and maternal pregnancy death rates while extending life expectancies and access to better medical care as well as food simultaneously while sustaining more people [7]. In addition, education, art, and culture have become more readily available to more people through world-renowned platforms such as the internet and television. Finally, the workday and workweek have decreased “thanks to the much higher value of labor that comes from working with productive capital” [8]. Although there are still different classes in a capitalist society, the poor have seen a better standard of living for themselves in correspondence with the economy becoming more productive over the years.

Before capitalism existed, the freedom to make choices was not a reality. Freedom, whether it be freedom of property or freedom of choice goes hand in hand with capitalism. Capitalism ultimately aims to make everyone in society better off, whether they be rich or poor, by increasing their standard of living. Other economic systems, such as communism, results in the population becoming “a pawn in the hands of the supreme social engineer” and Ludwig takes this claim a step further by saying “he is no longer a man” [9]. Freedom is an essential aspect to capitalism and without it, society as a whole would not be experiencing the increased standard of living that it has today.

Works Cited:

  1. Nunno, Jed . “Top 10 Greatest Benefits of Capitalism.” Listverse. June 17, 2014. Accessed May 01, 2017.
  2. Ludwing von Mises, Liberty and Property, 64.
  3. Ludwing von Mises, Liberty and Property, 58.
  4. Ludwing von Mises, Liberty and Property, 59.
  5. Ludwing von Mises, Liberty and Property, 64.
  6. Horwitz, Steven. “Capitalism Is Good for the Poor | Steven Horwitz.” FEE. June 09, 2016. Accessed May 01, 2017.
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid
  9. Ludwing von Mises, Liberty and Property, 59.

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