The Morality of Capitalism

2662 Words11 Pages
Thesis Capitalism has been the subject of ethical criticism since it was first introduced into society. I defend the morality of capitalism because it gives people incentive to work, establishes a web of trust between them, satisfies their material well-being, and generates a wide spectrum of prosperity. Exposition As citizens of the United States, we are members of the leading capitalist economy in the world. Our production and distribution is mostly done privately and we operate in a “profit” or “market” system. The capitalist system has been a target for criticism throughout the last three hundred years and is being discussed now more than ever due to the recent recession and financial crisis (Shaw and Barry n.d., 1). Its effects,…show more content…
The justification of private property is that it is a necessity in society. Nearly everything we cherish as American citizens – advancement, democracy, success, and freedom – rely on the private ownership of the means of production. It is essential for social progress for numerous reasons. First, private property gives people the incentive to work hard. People work to make money, which can be used freely to make purchases. This motive increases their labor output and rewards them for their efforts, which ultimately benefits society. Without it, there would simply be no reason to seek higher-ranking jobs and provide innovation in society. When jobs are in demand, employers can generally fill positions quickly by offering a higher wage. Next, it provides pleasure to those who work hard. The amount a man succeeds or fails in society rests solely on how well they perform. This is completely moral because it rewards your achievements and ability without discrimination. John Locke, an English philosopher from the Age of Enlightenment, claimed there was a natural law before the emergence of regulations of private property. The natural law states that if someone mixes their labor with something that nature has to offer, they have the rights to possess it. He claimed that, “The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with,
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