Something Isn’t Working

By Hussein Elsadek

Ever since the time scholars began studying and thriving for economic development, the world has been trying to figure out what must be done to achieve constant, stable “economic growth”. Many economic methods and strategies have been laid out but, unfortunately, there has not been notable global progress. Even though some countries have been considerably and relatively successful, we still fail on the global stage. Why could this be?

Throughout adolescence, I constantly thought of the possible factors that make life on earth a massive struggle for most people around the world. I reach the same conclusion every time. Capitalism. We are born into a system that does nothing but support corruption and inequality in the name of economic freedom and prosperity. How can anyone possibly think of globally eliminating poverty when most countries live under a system that promotes “survival of the fittest” ideologies? Under capitalism, as we have witnessed over the decades, there will always be a weak and neglected class and they will always be the majority. Capitalistic development only favors a certain concentration of people. Any person who thinks for themselves knows who they are. Even though there could be obvious signs of economic improvement, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall standard of living is rising. “Economic growth” and “development” don’t mean that less people are struggling to meet their basic needs. If we are finding it difficult to make severely struggling people our priority, then the whole system under which we live is flawed.

Another reason I think we have struggled to “develop” is the deep levels of corruption that plague most countries around the world. Capitalism revolves around financial gains whether it is on a personal or institutional level. This makes huge space for corruption. As long as people in control are willing to be corrupt in favor of money, which is usually the case, then there couldn’t possibly be any type of economic growth. If we are not able to control aspects such as corruption then we must find a system that does allow any space for such facets that stagnate real growth. Global capitalism will only make it harder for actual economic growth, considerable higher standards of living, and almost impossible for lowering poverty. I hope one day the world realizes that capitalism is not the only logical and realistic solution.

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5 responses to “Something Isn’t Working

  1. While I agree that capitalism does have a role to play in subjecting a large portion of the population into poor conditions, I think the broader problem is the inevitably destructive and selfish nature of mankind. One could say that capitalism is born of this very tendency of man; however, even those that preach equality among the masses are subject to selfishness. Look at the former USSR. Yes it was equal in most respects; equal in that everyone was starving and living in poverty. Only a select few closely affiliated with the government were spared. Don’t get me wrong, the principles of capitalism could certainly be revised so as to make the world a more equal place; the hard part is getting people to sacrifice for the greater good.

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    • I understand and agree with everything you say, I dont mean to support communism through my article. Extreme levels from either side will always result in the suffering of humanity.

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      • I think an important point here though is that the system is not necessarily the problem. Many systems should work well in theory, capitalism, communism, benevolent dictatorship, the problem is not the system used, its the people using it. We are incapable of making any system work in the long term, the best we can do is encourage policies that make the best out of what we have right now.

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  2. I agree with our opinion that “Even though there could be obvious signs of economic improvement, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall standard of living is rising. “Economic growth” and “development” don’t mean that less people are struggling to meet their basic needs.” No matter “capitalism” or “communism” will has their own problems. For example, the communism will make the production efficiency low. I think what we can do is trying to build the infrastructures to meet people’s need for developing.

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  3. Dear Hussein,

    An article that brings up a lot to consider and reflect upon. No matter what ideology any body agrees with or does not agree with, it is important to look beyond our set ideas and views to try to understand what we can do to solve our global problems and to make the world a better place for us all to live in.

    ~Professor Myra Chaudhary

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