Chris Scandrett
September 3
2nd Period
Part 2: Economic Ideas

Capitalism is the economic system in which most of the means of production are privately owned, and production is guided and income distributed largely through the operation of markets. Since the end of Mercantilism, capitalism has been dominant in the Western World. Capitalism was fostered by the Reformation ,which consisted of hard work, and the Industrial Revolution. Capitalism uses the excess of production over consumption to enlarge productive capacity rather than investing it in economically unproductive enterprises such as palaces or cathedrals. The United States, France, Germany, Japan, and England are the most advanced capitalist nations in the world. A country can be identified using capitalism when the country openly professes a capitalist economic system, prices are controlled by an open market, the majority of the means of production are privately owned, and/or the majority of the people of that country must work to survive.Socialism is the economic system and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production. In other words the government redistributes wealth to help the poor or disadvantaged. The main way this is done is through progressive taxes in the U.S. This is what some call the ???Robin Hood??? system with the idea that money is taken from the rich and given to the needy. The United States has set-up programs to aid the poor. These programs consist of social security, medicare, medicaid, estate tax, income tax, and the list goes on an on. Social security has been called a scam by many because of the fact that the government takes money from a citizen and then gives it to the elderly and people in need that meet certain criteria. Venezuela, Cuba, The Peoples Republic of China, and North Korea practice Socialism, or what they describe as socialism. Most nations in Europe practice either Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism.
One strength of capitalism is that the government does not interfere with businesses and that there is competition that brings out a persons willingness to survive. One weakness of capitalism is that there are few rules. Some people might argue that socialism takes away a persons drive to survive because of so much assistance from the government but some also might argue that the government helping the poor and disadvantaged through progressive taxes is the right thing to do. This can be both a strength and a weakness for a socialist economy. The U.S tends to combine both ideas and creates one melting pot of political and economic diversity. The United States has created programs such as social security, ???obamacare???, medicare, medicaid, and many other programs that help poor and/or disadvantaged citizens. This is a clear sign of Socialism in the U.S. Government today. Also many jobs and careers are a competition and whoever is the best at what they do or whoever has the most money wins. This is Capitalism in the U.S government. The U.S government combines both the ideas of socialism and capitalism because of the diversity of the citizens and the different beliefs they have. American is said to be a ???free??? country and the rights given to the citizens consist of having their own political and economic beliefs and ideas.