Overcapitalism: When a Good System turns into a Weapon

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1 year ago

Living long enough to become the villain

The word capitalism has been condemned with a bad reputation for too long, as people tend to blame their problems on inefficient systems or companies that squeeze their soul of their bodies either through tedious work or a bad product that they are forced to buy, thus leading them to generalize and mention capitalism as the first thing in their list of troubles. However, If you take a look at capitalism for what It is (And should always be), you will notice that a popular definition will be "an economic system based in the private property of the production means and free markets", this meaning that instead of public entities such as the state, It is businesses owned by individuals like you and I that control the way in which the things we consume are produced and delivered, in a market that (on paper) is considered fair and where everyone can participate. However, due to bad practices done by certain companies, where profit was put before the customer, people had come to have a bad concept of what capitalism really is and why It is probably the most used system in the world. That's why in this article I will explain how Ideally the market works in a capitalist society, the real good It can cause and the damages of a company taking It too far. Let's begin:

Image taken from Pixabay.com. Author: stevepb

Offer and Demand, How It should Work

One of the main benefits of capitalism is that the price isn't regulated by governments, though by offer and demand, each one dependant of the other. If you ask yourself what offer and demand are, the first can be defined as how much goods and services are available in the market and the latter as the need for those goods and services.

The relationship between the two can be explained better through an example. Let's say that a farmer goes to a newly inaugurated town to sell eggs from his farm. In the beginning, the eggs are sold at 0,25$ each, price that the people of the town is willing to pay as there are no hens in the town to lay eggs for them. However, one day a new farmer comes in town and also begins to offer eggs, now for a lower price: 0,20$. Word quickly spreads in town of the cheaper eggs with the same quality as those of the original farmer and they shift to the new provider. Upon seeing this, the first farmer lowers his price in order to compete to a whopping 0.18$, bringing back his old clients and attracting new ones. This situation creates a competitive market where both farmers have to either offer more value with their eggs or reduce their price. Here, the price of the eggs reflects the offer provided by the farmers and the people who want to buy eggs and how much they are willing to pay represents the demand. When offer increased (As shown with the appearance of a second farmer), the demand decreased for each one of the sellers as there was an abundance of options. This is precisely what happens in a free market, where the acquisition of goods by the consumer is dictated by the value that companies can offer and If more people want a certain product, the demand increases and the offer decreases as there will not be enough for everyone, for which the businesses can either increase their production If they have enough means to do so or If the resources are too scarce, they can increase the price.

Image taken from Pixabay.com. Author: Pexels

Then what's wrong?

Means to increase demand of a particular product/service are not limited to the price only, as businesses can either increase the quality of the goods, offer new features or additional items and even increase the desirability of It through marketing and publicity campaigns. The problem in the modern world comes when companies decide to increase the margin of benefits by decreasing the value of the product or creating an artificial demand that's exaggerated, all while masking the situation with elaborated PR schemes or another type of value that doesn't add up for the one that was diminished. For example, If you suddenly decided to lower the quality of any product you offer while keeping the price the same, you will obviously increase the profit you get from It at the beginning, as you will decrease the costs that influence the quality of the product though in the long run your consumers will notice and they will go with another provider that delivers something that's worth the price. However, If you are smart and nonethical about what you do, you can increase either the accesibility of the product or make publicity campaigns in social media that attract more people while hiding what's missing.

This is precisely what happens nowadays, where a lot of companies are willing to sacrifice their core values all for the sake of profit, all while deceiving their consumers through things such as making It easier for them to go the store and having tastier/more addictive ingredients regardless of the damage they can cause (As It happens in the cause of fast food) or even creating problems they can only "solve" with only a pill. Along with this, there can also be found instances of companies outsourcing the fabrication of their products to other countries where there are no regulations with regards to the way workers are treated or their age, making It all have a dark undertone.

Image taken from Pixabay.com. Author: barbaracascao

However, I'm not advocating for the abolition of capitalism or that other systems that are inefficient in practice (Such as communism/socialism as I have lived the consequences of these in my country) should be employed instead. There's one thing that you have to take into account: The fact that not all companies are like this, as there are new initiatives that always put the word of the customer first (As It always should be done), generating income and thus adding value to the world in an honest manner.

Image taken from Pixabay.com. Author: mwitt1337

I hope that the information provided in this article could have made you realize that even If capitalism has Its flaws, It is still the most used and the best system when It comes to generating opportunities for everyone, as the labour of every person will be needed to keep It flowing. I encourage you to always keep in mind that for the sins of a few the many are punished and that If you start your business, you should always put what's most important in front: your customers. Thank you for your support and good luck!

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