Jeff (Capitalist Kids)
SPB: Who is your favorite capitalist hero?
Jeff: Ha ha. I don't have a capitalist hero. The Capitalist Kids are not huge fans of capitalism, even though every once in a while someone mistakenly “likes” our Facebook page with that belief. I suppose if we want to use this question as a springboard for discussing capitalism, I'll give you some of my thoughts. But, disclaimer: I am not an intellectual.
Capitalism's very purpose seems to be to create extreme disparity--haves and have-nots, the 1% and 99%--whichever you like. You have CEOs making something like 273 times as much as the average employee of a firm, which is a preposterous notion to me. No person is worth 273 times as much as another person. The only reason I can figure that Americans have supported it for so long is that deep down everyone thinks that he/she has a shot at being one of the winners. Meanwhile, millions are working full-time and not making ends meet because jobs are outsourced by the capitalist masters and the minimum wage is not something you can live on. (1 in 6 Americans falls below the poverty line. Is all that bailout money going to trickle down or what?)
Speaking of bailouts, isn't that a joke? These casino capitalists go hog-wild and as soon as they get in too deep, the taxpayers are forced to rescue them. It's hard to even discuss capitalism really, because we don't even operate under it. We have nothing like a free market here.
Another thing I don't like about capitalism is its obsession with growth. Growth is imperative. Every company has to make more profit than it made last quarter. In addition to laying people off whenever possible, this means maximum depletion of resources, maximum exploitation of the cheapest available workforce, and the constant manufacturing of wants and needs for consumers to consume. Not all growth is inherently good. (Sort of like how the GDP gets a boost from negative things like crime [legal fees, medical bills, replacements costs] and pollution.) We're facing a planetary ecological crisis, and capitalism is incompatible with solving it.
But it's a hard battle to fight, because in our society money equals power, and the people with the money have been shaping and coding all the rules to their benefit for some time. So they got more money, which equals more power, and so on. Oh yeah, and they have a militarized police force protecting their interests.
I apologize for the lengthiness of this response. I'll sum up by saying that for decades it's been taboo in this country to question whether or not capitalism is really the best and only economic system to operate under. But I think more and more people are starting to see past the bullshit.