[Challenge:Future] Moral underpinnings of Capitalism

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[Challenge:Future] Moral underpinnings of Capitalism

  1. 1. Page 1 Moral underpinnings of capitalism –engineer’s point of wiew by Hrvoje Pauković, univ. bacc. elect. eng.
  2. 2. Page 2 To capitalism or not to capitalism? • Capitalism is the best type of economical and industrial organization in the history of mankind • It has significantly reduced poverty, famine, mortality, and prolonged averaged life expectancy
  3. 3. Page 3 Moral and ethical underpinnings •capitalism in its core idea is oriented to providing general social wellbeing – positive in essence •Tools: 1. by empowering human lust and need for self achievment 2. encouraging healthy competition •Results: 1. Acumulation of wealth, potential of general social prosperity “If our own misery pinches us very severely, we have no leisure to attend to that of our neighbor.” – Adam Smith
  4. 4. Page 4 Control or self regulation? •If not controlled, liberal capitalism (through strong corporations and monopolists) can devastate natural resources, exploit workers and diminish prosperity in the population •On the other hand if regulatory financial, moral and ethical limitations are set on companies, there is substantial risk that these measures could impede the growth of the economy and counter affect the benefits of capitalism How do we prevent capitalistic markets from changing into their corrupt forms without smothering economical growth?
  5. 5. Page 5
  6. 6. Page 6 Hybrid capitalist systems •Two opposing groups: 1. American liberal capitalist democracy -no obligatory public healthcare system -expensive education -only the best survive “survival struggle” -low government interference -high charity (social pressure to help others) -lower taxes 2. Scandinavian social capitalist democracy -free education -obligatory health insurance -social help for unemployed and students -higher taxes, high government interference -high government subsitys
  7. 7. Page 7 Conclusion 1 •Capitalism is the best economical system in human history. By moving risk of financial loss from the general population (socialism) to the job leaders and workers (capitalism) society has brought prosperity to itsels •Although capitalism is positive in its essence it must be contoled by the government to prevent human greed in twisting capitalist market rules •Government and its agencies must act as moral ambasodors creating just distribution of the acumulated social welfare. Aditionally every economical growth must be sustainable.
  8. 8. Page 8 Conclusion 2 •How strict the rules of controlling the market should be? How much profit should be given to the less fortunate through taxes? When does high social help diminish the will to work in people? These are some questions no one can answer. Practice will show the results. •Potential regulation methods: 1. setting rules about how much corporate profit has to be returned to research, scholarship funding, education, worker benefits 2. keeping regulated monopolist trades such as railways, drinking water and forest usage, electricity distribution and transmission 3. setting sustainable growth regulations (resources management, waste disposal, triple bottom line reporting)
  9. 9. Page 9 Finally • Social-capitalist hybrid systems which exist in Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) and Germany are examples of well balanced, justfull and prosperous capitalist democracies. Practice and personal preferences decide which hybrid system is better. I only ask you to think about this: if you are not very rich, in which country is it better for you to get sick or easier for you to send your children to top schools?

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