May 25th, 2024

Capitalist system is unfair and socially unjust


By Letter to the Editor on September 30, 2021.

Editor:
My stomach churned when I watched Richard Branson and three others, fly in his own spacecraft, for an exciting three days of weightlessness. All the poverty stricken, miserable human faces arose up in my consciousness and haunted me.
Is it moral for someone to waste billions of dollars for a mere, fleeting pleasure while there are billions of people who are hungry, homeless, wear tattered clothing, are without any healthcare? Their children have no hope for their future, because they have no access to education. What did these unfortunate humans do wrong to deserve such miserable lives?
We must ask these questions again and again because wealth keeps accumulating in fewer hands, while the poor get poorer.
It may be argued that the billionaires worked hard to earn their wealth, they can spend it where ever they like.
However how much harder have they truly worked to earn billions compared to a worker in the same company who works just as hard but makes only $30,000 a year?
The millionaire owner of the company will not raise the wages of the workers who actually with their very hands create the product or provide the service. But he will give millions in bonuses to himself and his cronies, without any qualms.
When Nortel company became bankrupt, all the workers pensions became zero in value. But famously, the top gun executives gave themselves millions of dollars in severance pay. Where was their conscience?
What is the definition of morality?
As Gandhi said,”there is enough in the world for everyone’s need, there is not enough for everyone’s greed.”
There is a major flaw in the socio-economic system of capitalism. It is highly unfair and socially unjust.
The problem does not lie in the “mode of production of wealth”; that is working well. But it is the distribution of wealth that is downright immoral.
Just as there is a minimum wage, there should be a ceiling on maximum wage. The minimum wage of the working class should be elevated, plus medical insurance, while millions of dollars and bonuses of the head honchos should be curtailed.
A better distribution of wealth would create a more equitable and socially just society.
Unfortunately there is no ceiling on greed. Hence those few who own wealth and power will never accept a limit on their salaries.
Some billionaires like Bill Gates do share their wealth with the downtrodden and deserve our admiration.
Ramma Sawhney
Lethbridge  

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SophieR

While Branson was in space, I changed my mobile provider from Virgin Plus (albeit to another multinational exploiting labour and the environment). Take that, Richy!

Though I agree with the sentiments in this letter, there are no ‘good’ billionaires despite the efforts of people like Gates to apply their own lipstick. And, btw, capitalism is a ‘mode of production’.

prairiebreze

The problem is not with the entrepreneurs. I’m glad they have the money and the vision to get us into space and other progressive ventures. The problem is with people themselves – over population! The utopian quote by Gandhi may have been true decades ago but no longer. Third world countries including India are continually crying out for help and we provide them with a river of money, food and more. Problem is the Western world can’t keep up. As fast as we feed them, they’re producing more and more babies (breeding like bugs). I’m sick of hearing about babies being born in refugee camps with bombs blasting overhead. Bringing into the world traumatized progeny is criminal. Afghans are pouring in now and thousands of them are pregnant!! It’s time to rethink the whole business of charity. Conditions need to be put in place. If we provide food etc. they should have to take birth control. Time to manage our species.

Last edited 2 years ago by prairiebreze
phlushie

why do you think the entrepreneurs invented covid-19.

Southern Albertan

The irony is that Canada’s economy depends on an increasing population. Governments have allowed immigration because our birth rate has fallen too low. My Dutch relatives emigrated at the turn of the 20th century, then, “those damn Dutchmen!.”

Southern Albertan

Agreed. Here is a pertinent, and perhaps, uncomfortable (for some), read by independent journalism:
“The Crisis of Extreme Capitalism. How Milton Friedman’s ruthless agenda led to Edward Snowden’s grim revelations.”
http://www.thetyee.ca/Opinion/2013/07/15/Extreme-Captialsim-Crisis
Subtitles include: “The illusion of ‘freedom,’ The myth of shared productivity gains, The falsehood that Canada mainly exports, The delusion that drives government cuts.”

biff

excellent letter. and what further must be acknowledged is the dredging up of toxins and subsequent pollution to build and drive these ventures of sublime self service and greed.
and, there is nothing progressive about going into, at least not when our home is under siege.
is it not warped that some are looking colonise mars, a barren dustbowl of a wasteland? not tht i would want to stop billions from going there and sparing those choosing to remain here. but, if we lived on a planet like mars, and then came to see planet earth, would we not instead wish to be on earth?

Les Elford

Ramma
Thank you for your excellent commentary. So true, yet so sad. Most want to try and get ahead and succeed as much as possible. It I think is human nature. Unfortunately it appears the “humanity” of our human nature appears to be eroding, and greed, wealth and a “me first and only me” (at any cost, in any manner legal or illegal) mentality appears to be increasing.
I feel like I am trapped in an endless scene from the movie “The Hunger Games” Like those in the movie; I am beginning to feel enslaved to the corporate elite (banks, insurance companies, big pharmaceutical’s grocery chains, politicians etc.)
The middle class class appears to eroding, upper class appears to be increasing and sadly the lower class remain invisible and ignored and have no where to go to try and get ahead and succeed as much as possible.
Rachel Harder Lethbridge MP said today; “More power and control is in the hands of government than with the people. This is an error, and it must be rectified. In a democracy, it is the people who are to hold the levers of power.”
I agree with her; this IS an error and must be rectified. It can only be rectified by standing up for what is right and letting our voices be heard.

Respectfully,

SophieR

Rachel likes talking in platitudes, but empirically her party supports putting power into the hands of corporations and, therefore, the managerial elite. These people are dedicated to eliminating government (at least the social systems we rely on) in favour of accumulation at the top. This worldview is called neoliberalism. Government is only useful to them insofar as they police the 99%.

Les, you might enjoy the book ‘HumanKind’ by Bregman for an interesting discussion on human nature.