Is Capitalism Dog Eat Dog?

It is not hard to find these accusations, particularly from those on the left.  We hear that capitalism is dog eat dog.  We hear that capitalism is a system where only the strongest survive.  We hear that the weak and poor suffer the most under capitalism.

In a sense, it may be true that the weakest are the worst off in a capitalist system, if by weakest we mean those who are the least hardworking, the least intelligent, and the least connected, or some combination of those things.  But in a capitalist system, even the poorer people will be far better off than the poor people of a less capitalist system.

There is a certain amount of dog eat dog competition in a capitalist system, but that competition is simply trying to please consumers.  If you are not doing a good job of pleasing consumers, then another person or business is going to do better.  Those who are the most innovative and who know how to please customers the best are the ones who will likely be rewarded the most.

The ironic thing is that in a capitalist system, the weak can survive better than in any other system.  Whether we are talking about being physically weak or intellectually weak, these people can still live a decent life in a relatively free society (just think of all of the rich dumb people in America).

In a system where brute force is used, then the weak will not survive, unless they can develop their own weapons to defend themselves.  But who would want to live in such a society?  There would be little or no division of labor and everyone would be living as savages, if living at all.

In a system that is heavily centrally planned by a government, those with the most political connections and those who are the most corrupt are the ones who are the most likely to benefit.  Perhaps some highly intelligent people, who are not necessarily corrupt, will do reasonably well in comparison to others, but they will still be worse off than they otherwise would have been.

If you live in a relatively rich country with a decent system of law and property rights, then you can flourish, even if you are just average.  Even opportunities arise for the poor and uneducated, even if they won't be equal to others in terms of wealth.  In addition, a rich country has the means to provide charity for those who are really down on their luck or who are severely handicapped.

Capitalism is a system where everyone benefits, except maybe the politicians and the politically connected.  But even the politicians would benefit financially in the long run as everyone shares in the benefits of economic growth and increasing technology.

If certain poor countries were isolated from the rest of the planet, the dictators/ politicians there would be living far worse than the average American.  It is safe to say that the wealthiest people on this planet just twenty years ago did not have ipads, iphones, or high definition broadcasts for their cable channels.

In conclusion, capitalism benefits nearly everyone over time.  A rising tide really does lift all boats.  There is inequality in poor countries and rich countries.  If there is going to be an inequality of wealth, wouldn't it be better for everyone to have more?