Comparing Capitalism and Socialism

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Introduction The two dominant economic systems we have in the world today are socialism and capitalism. In this text, I will in addition to comparing and contrasting socialism and capitalism also discuss the shortcomings of these two economic systems. Further, amongst other things, I will highlight the overlaps between the two. Capitalism vs. Socialism In seeking to highlight the key differences between socialism and capitalism, it would be prudent to first offer a concise definition of the two terms. Capitalism in the words of Brinkerhoff, White, Ortega, and Weitz (2007) "is the economic system in which most wealth (land, capital, and labor) is private property, to be used by its owners to maximize their own gain." As the authors in this case further point out, this particular economic system is largely founded on competition. Socialism on the other hand is defined as "an economic structure in which productive tools are owned and managed by the workers and used for the collective good" (Brinkerhoff et al., 2007). From the definitions, it is clear that unlike capitalism, socialism favors a situation whereby there is deliberate control as well as planning of economic activities on behalf of the entire community. In the case of capitalism, no attempt is made to have economic activities controlled from a central point on behalf of the community. Here, enterprises are allowed to compete in the supply of goods and services as they seek to rake in monetary returns. The key
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