The recent sequence of events have sparked a debate among people of all classes, IS CAPITALISM THE WAY FORWARD FOR THE WORLD?
Which sequence of events am I talking about?
- Modi Election in India
- Donald Trump Election in the World's oldest democracy.
When we think of capitalism, we think of only one country USA which has been the global leader and advocate of Capitalism. The American Dream and their promotion of interests all over the world have been a testament to this World order It seeks to achieve.
After the split of Soviet Union and end of the cold war, USA has lead the global race to Capitalist Economy and many countries have joined this journey. Sure the developments we have seen in the modern world and to a huge extent Globalization have been two immensely beneficial by-products.
The current global situation has also been leading to rise in protests against Conservative Governments all calling for better and effective control of its people.
Now let us look at the effects of Capitalism.
China, India and many south Asian countries have become these "Global Factories" or we can call them Global Dumping Ground. They produce and supply goods and services to the world. As a consequence in China there have been reports of "Forced Urbanisation", very low satisfaction of workforce, cases of Human Trafficking and Child Slavery in huge factories. Also the pollution levels of these countries are among the worst in the world.
This certainly has a case of opening the Moral Debate of effects of Capitalism.
The gap between the rich and poor has never been worse. Around 10% of the population control more than 75% of wealth and the bottom 50% hold 1% in the US. While in India, Richest 10% hold around 81% of wealth.
There are several more statistics confirming my point of view. Capitalism relied upon empowering and increasing the number of people in middle class and lessening the economic divide. This phenomenon did not occur. That is what has bought us to the point where two outcasts, people who in past have been linked to Racism, Sexism have been bought into power. People wanted a change from regular political class which catered to the Top Class only. If you compare Trump and Modi political promises, they both were based on extremist definition of Nationalism and serving a populist agenda of empowering the middle class. Even the Brexit has been an effect of the same political Ideology.
IF NOT CAPITALISM, WHAT?
Recently Finland has started a socialist experiment of Universal Basic Income (UBI). It has been called the "Capitalist Approach to Communism".
This idea retains one of the most basic and positive point of Capitalism, i.e. Entrepreneurship. Capitalism rewards people who work hard and smart and that is why rise of Tesla, Facebook gives us all hope to earn better and make a dent into Economic Divide .UBI also holds a key aspect of Communism i.e. Common Resources to all people. i.e. Idea revolves around the fact that Natural Resources (Inc. Land) belong to people of a Nation . People pay Income taxes and what not. So the Idea of UBI is to pay each citizen a fixed basic amount of Income irrespective of their Employment Status, Financial Position or status.
This if implemented instead of all the corruption laced employment generation programmes, in some pilot tests has shown better results than most poverty alleviation programmes and has had a positive effect on general employability which has lead to self employment and better incomes by balancing the demand and supply disparity (for e.g. in India, Agriculture sector is over burdened and over employs people which has lead to fall in productivity i.e. one of lowest in the world. This UBI shall lead them to practice professions which are auxiliary to farming like Dairy, poultry.) Also, if Farmers get a basic income to feed their families or in-fact some money to help them in gaining inputs will lead to greater productivity and will not allow them to fall into Vicious circle of Poverty.
This concept of UBI has also gained traction in India and with many-many Zero balance accounts of poor people opened up, provides a structure to implement this scheme with almost NIL corruption.
So in this view, what capitalism did till now was necessary "evil" which has led to development of some impressive structures for the world to rely upon and thrust into future. Now what the World needs are Strong Independent Socio-Economic Institutions which employ their solutions at Micro Level also taking into account Macro-level.
There is a strong need to move apart from the current global scenario and go towards harmony and peace around the world by providing each person enough to live on.