Jason Bayless is a life-long activist and is currently working at The Pachamama Alliance. When he is not working he spends, working with Center for Farmworker Families and spending his time recording shows, writing blogs, collecting 3D movies, and playing VR games.
Capitalism by raw definition is;
an economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated for a private profit; decisions regarding supply, demand, price, distribution, and investments are made by private actors in the market rather than by central planning; profit is distributed to owners who invest in businesses, and wages are paid to workers employed by businesses.
It looks great in definition but in execution of this idea loses sight of what is really important in life. I do not wish to go into great detail about the wrongs of capitalism here in this post. Our goal is to get the conversation started and to offer those who are interested a place to talk about this issues and to learn more about it.
- Wages, Profits, Prices. Capitalist believe that prices, profits and wages are determined by supply and demand in a free market, and not by greed. The reality is that when it comes to wages, companies are only willing to pay the very minimum amount to their employees to keep the cost of labor down and increase amount of profit. This rule is enforced so much the federal government had to step in and make a law of what the minimum wage would be set as to keep companies from exploiting their workers. (A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly wage that employers may legally pay to employees or workers.) Minimum wages were first proposed as a way to control the proliferation of sweat shops in manufacturing industries in the United States. The sad reality is that leaders of corporations and companies still try to get around better wage for their employees and go to great lengths to ensure they pay their employees the lowest wage possible like pulling their business from the States and move to areas where workers rights are non-existence.Prices. Not everything works on a supply and demand system. Take for example, housing and health care, the demand does not decrease. Therefore, the supplier has a market advantage and may continue to increase prices. More times than not, the prices are increased, take a look at the pharmaceutical companies. Not only do they move people away from natural remedies sources they create synthetic replacements and charge outrageous prices. They aslo encourage (pay) doctors and other medical professionals to push their products.Capitalism has never been in the interest of the individual or workers (or the environment) , its main and only goal is profit for the owners -at any cost.
Any system or philosophy that puts profits before people is inherently and fundamentally wrong and restricts our ability to evolve in our journey as a species. We should do everything we can to challenge and change this thought process.
There are a couple of key areas we should read more about and are not limited to the bullet points listed below. These are not the only answer to capitalism but they only offer an alternative to the capitalist thought, in hopes that we all can find a solution that works for our own community and lives. We always welcome other ideas into this mix.
- Participatory Economics – It uses participatory decision making as an economic mechanism to guide the production, consumption and allocation of resources in a given society.
- Social Ecology holds that present ecological problems are rooted in deep-seated social problems, particularly in dominatory hierarchical political and social systems. These have resulted in an uncritical acceptance of an overly competitive grow-or-die philosophy. It suggests that this cannot be resisted by individual action such as ethical consumerism but must be addressed by more nuanced ethical thinking and collective activity grounded in radical democratic ideals.
- Local Exchange Trading System also known as LETSystems are locally initiated, democratically organised, not-for-profit community enterprises which provides a community information service and records transactions of members exchanging goods and services by using the currency of locally created LETS Credits.
It is great to talk about different alternatives to the capitalist system and apply them in our everyday lives were we can but what really counts is what you can do to help people who are struggling to make ends meet due to the overwhelming pressure put upon them.
There is a wonderful book called, Moral Underground : How Ordinary Americans Subvert an Unfair Economy that I highly recommend to everyone. This book tells the real story of the countless unsung heroes who bend or break the rules to help those millions of Americans with impossible schedules, paychecks, and lives. Whether it is a nurse choosing to treat an uninsured child, a supervisor deciding to overlook infractions, or a restaurant manager sneaking food to a worker’s children, middle-class Americans are secretly refusing to be complicit in a fundamentally unfair system that puts a decent life beyond the reach of the working poor.
In a national tale of a kind of economic disobedience—told in whispers to Lisa Dodson over the course of eight years of research across the country—hundreds of supervisors, teachers, and health care professionals describe intentional acts of defiance that together tell the story of a quiet revolt, of a moral underground that has grown in response to an immoral economy.
– From The New Architects
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