Op-Ed by Kyle Moore

The capitalist system in the United States is one that distinctly contradicts the initial principles of this nation of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The “survival of the fittest”mentality in this country may appeal to some, but it should certainly raise some eyebrows when it comes to the economy. These constitutional dreams are rendered useless if people can’t afford food, shelter, or clothing. These guarantees from one of America’s sacred documents are political assertions but they are inevitably intertwined with the economy. In Howard Zinn’s “Artists In Times of War,” he poses the argument, “These political rights are circumscribed by the nonexistence of economic rights. If you are not wealthy, then your political rights are limited, even though they exist on paper in the Constitution. The freedom of speech is something that exists there, but how much free speech you have depends on how much money you have and what access to resources you have.”

It’s mind-boggling to me how millions of Americans so blindly support this capitalist regime every single day and do nothing about the inherent flaws in it. In capitalism, the rich get richer and the poor have almost no chance of improving themselves. Class distinctions are stretched, and the consumerist mentality is perpetuated.

In our current economic system in the United States, the richest 1 percent in the country owns between 40-50 percent of the nation’s wealth. That’s more than the total wealth of the bottom 95 percent. This depicts a system where this capitalist game of “making it in America” is clearly rigged. The rich are getting richer and expanding their wallets, while the middle and lower classes are suffering greatly.

On the contrary, a socialist system would cater to the need of the majority as opposed to the upper tier. This is, by far, more democratic in nature than the unjust and completely absurd elitist system that is in place. For instance, the son of a rich billionaire has an extremely high probability they will maintain that wealth and live a worry-free life (financially), but the son of a working-class couple has to work much, much harder to gain any sort of wealth, if at all. The rich will aim to maximize profits, which inevitably causes a schism in any economy that allows this kind of activity.

For this reason alone, I am perplexed that there hasn’t been some kind of uprising from the lower-middle class in America. We are in one of the worst economic times since the Great Depression and people are still accepting the fate that the flawed system has presented for them.

Socialism is the direction a country takes when they decide to eliminate the economic hierarchy. It is based upon public ownership of the means of production, where the management of these institutions is commonly owned. To me, capitalism greatly contradicts the original definitions of democracy.

Sure, in capitalism you supposedly have this kind of “freedom” to choose what you want to do, but does this freedom really exist or is it just a way for the government to deceive you while the rulers of this country, the upper class, sit on their yachts and laugh?