Price in Socialist and Capital Markets

Looks at the concepts of socialism and capitalism from an economic perspective.

This paper provides an introduction to capitalism, examines its dominant characteristics and looks at capitalism in the modern world. The paper then provides an introduction to socialism and compares the fundamentals of socialism to capitalism. The paper discusses the advantages of competitive market systems and looks at the various reasons by which prices change.
“Throughout its history, but especially during its ascendancy in the 19th century, capitalism has had certain key characteristics. First, basic production facilities–land and capital–are privately owned. Capital in this sense means the buildings, machines, and other equipment used to produce goods and services that are ultimately consumed. Second, economic activity is organized and coordinated through the interaction of buyers and sellers (or producers) in markets. Third, owners of land and capital as well as the workers they employ are free to pursue their own self-interests in seeking maximum gain from the use of their resources and labor in production. Consumers are free to spend their incomes in ways that they believe will yield the greatest satisfaction. This principle, called consumer sovereignty, reflects the idea that under capitalism producers will be forced by competition to use their resources in ways that will best satisfy the wants of consumers. Self-interest and the pursuit of gain lead them to do this. Fourth, under this system a minimum of government supervision is required; if competition is present, economic activity will be self-regulating. Government will be necessary only to protect society from foreign attack, uphold the rights of private property, and guarantee contracts. This 19th-century view of government’s role in the capitalist system has been significantly modified by ideas and events of the 20th century.”