Capitalism: The Shackles of Freedom

Image result for Capitalism"Freedom. It’s a word by which many people in America choose to live. Freedom of press, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. Since the creation of the Constitution, America’s freedom and “hands off” approach has been one of, if not the biggest part of this country. In fact it is such a huge part of what defines America that is has bled into our economy with a system known as “Capitalism.Unfortunately, this idea of freedom doesn’t really promise the same opportunities for everyone for everyone. Often times the word “freedom” is confused with the word “equality.” In the case of Capitalism, those two words couldn’t be more different.

While the term “Capitalism” is widely known by the general population, the concept is often misinterpreted. Capitalism can be simply defined as an economic/political system controlled by private owners rather than the state. Conceptually, that seems like a fantastic idea; but like most things, a deeper look into the way Capitalism really works reveals its many flaws.

Image result for Capitalism"One of the most controversial topics concerning Capitalism is the belief that it gives an unfair advantage to those at the top. This perception doesn’t seem too far off, especially when a “Capitalist” is, literally, defined as “a wealthy person who uses money to invest in trade and industry for profit.” Logically speaking, in order to be able to invest into something, you need to actually have something to invest in. This creates a situation where those privy to resources make more and more money while those with little to nothing remain stagnant in terms of wealth. Now, that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue if a majority of people did have these resources, but, as time goes on, the distribution of wealth seems to become less and less widespread.

Image result for Capitalism"According to a study done in 2017, America’s top one percent accounted for thirty-eight percent of the total wealth in the country. As the top one percent makes more and more money, the poor simply become poorer.  Money is a finite resource; if the top one percent are making more and more money that money has to be taken from somewhere else and for the rest of the country that means that money is coming out of their pockets. It’s like a weed plant taking over a garden, if not pulled out or taken care of, it will simply take over more and more until there is nothing left.

There is a reason less than half  (45%) of  “young Americans” think positively about capitalism. Many kids growing up in a poor household are told that college is the answer; it’s the way out. But, the same system that encourages people go to college as a “way-out” is the system that has college graduates drowning in student-loans. This cycle created by Capitalism needs to be fixed because, if continued, the gap between rich and poor will continue to inflate. The future of the American economy seems to be trending in one direction until there is nothing left to go around, and America’s future is starting to notice. As America’s future, it is our job to demand change. It is our job as the next generation to make sure the generations that follow do not have to be subjected to the same flaws that plague our nation today. Change has to start from somewhere. So why not now? Why not us?

For more information about the pros and cons of Capitalism and what they mean, see the links below: