Socialism - Socialism: Evil, or Evil? Michael Tam...

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Socialism: Evil, or Evil? Michael Tam Government
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Throughout the past election year, the topic of healthcare reform has been a major issue on both the Republican and Democratic platforms. Many have debated whether socialism would be a better alternative to our current capitalistic system. The purpose of this research paper is to address whether or not socialism is a viable system. To begin, we must first define what capitalism is. Capitalism, in its absolute form, is a perfectly free market. In a perfectly free market, “every individual … neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting It … he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his own intention.”(Smith, Adam) This means, that if the world has 560 billion barrels of oil, and we consume 16 billion barrels of oil per year, we will never run out of oil. One may ask “Why?” To illustrate this, let us pretend for your birthday, I gave you a room full of Hershey Chocolate Kisses, with the only condition being you must eat these fine chocolates in the room, and you may not take the wrappers out of the room. At first, you’re ecstatic. For a little while, the chocolates are free. But as time goes by, it takes longer and longer to find an unconsumed chocolate. The wrappers are getting in your way! You come in the room and spend hours upon hours wading through the wrappers of chocolates you’ve already consumed in order to find an uneaten one. What happens? You eventually stop coming to the room, because the chocolates aren’t free anymore. The same is with oil. Before we ever consume the last unit of oil, we will find an alternative energy source. (Roberts, Russel) Let us consider the greedy business owner. The higher price he charges, the lower quality product he creates, the more profit he makes. So its tempting to charge high prices for a shoddy product. But gouging the customer sends them
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out the door to look for alternatives. A business owner who charges “unfair” prices will soon see himself out of business. It is the same with wages and working conditions. Why don’t employers make their employees work 100 hours a week and pay only 1,000 dollars a year? One could argue that the minimum wage and unions forbid that, but less than 10% of the workforce is unionized and only 5% makes minimum wage. Since the 50’s, union membership has gone down every year. Wages have grown, work week has gotten shorter, and all sorts of innovations such as flextime, telecommuting, day cares, gyms have been formed. Why would businesses offer these services? Competition. If they want to attract quality workers, they have to offer competitive wages and working conditions. One could also argue about collusion. Assuming
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This note was uploaded on 09/25/2011 for the course GOV 112 taught by Professor Jones during the Spring '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Socialism - Socialism: Evil, or Evil? Michael Tam...

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