Democracy and capitalism aren’t perfect

Snow Pastermack, Reporter

Democracy

Democracy was born a millennia ago, in the Greek city-state of Athens, with the premise that all citizens should have a voice in governing their society. On paper, democracy seems like the golden model for how a society should be run, but like every other form of governance, it is flawed.

The way a democracy typically works is that the populace will vote for a leader or representative, and then the majority vote will win. While this is great in the sense that it allows people to have a say in the way an area is governed, there are underlying issues that many don’t see.

One of the most prevalent issues at the moment is the fact that democracy does not represent minorities. There are many minorities in the USA that currently have little to no power in the government, due to how little voting power they gain. This will cause many issues to go unsolved, and even if they protest and bring these issues to the government’s attention, none of the government officials will know what it is like to live in their use.

Insulin prices are an example. Approximately one percent of the American population is a type-1 diabetic and needs insulin to live. Since barely anyone is aware of the issue and most government officials don’t understand or aren’t educated on the issue, the issue won’t be resolved anytime soon. 

Another problem with democracy is that people’s votes don’t always go towards what’s best for the country. Oftentimes, someone will vote for the candidate that benefits them the most, but not the candidate that will be the best for the nation as a whole. 

It’s like this; the pilot and co-pilot of an airplane are unconscious, and there’s no way of helping them. Someone else needs to fly the plane. Two people stand up to the challenge, candidate one states that he has his pilot’s license, and candidate two states that he’ll give everyone free food and beverages. The plane agrees to vote for who should be in charge of the plane.

From an outsider’s point of view, it seems obvious that you should vote for the more experienced pilot, but most people would vote for candidate two in that situation, assuming that they know how to fly the plane well enough.

Democracy has many flaws, and people should be aware of them before they vote, but this does not mean democracy is a bad form of governance. Democracy is still far better than many other forms of government. 

Capitalism

Capitalism is often put close alongside democracy as well, since it values private enterprise and allowing business owners to dictate market prices. Similarly to democracy, capitalism may seem great at face value, but it has its faults.

The definition of capitalism is an economic/political system, in which a country’s trade and industry are completely controlled by private owners for profit. This is great in a sense, because everyone has the freedom to be as successful as they want, doing whatever they want, but it has a long list of flaws.

One of the main ideas of capitalism and the free market, is that only the best products will be successful, and therefore innovation will ensure, since people will buy the better product. Oftentimes, though, this can have the opposite effect. The most successful companies end up being the companies with the product that can be made with the cheapest materials, and distributed quicker. Have you ever noticed that store-bought products can never compare to home made products? This is because in order to become a big corporation, it isn’t profitable to hand-make every single product, therefore they have to tweak parts of the recipe to make it mass producible by factory workers or machines. 

This leads to tons of food being extremely processed and pumped with preservatives, and sugar, making it far more unhealthy than some home-cooked products. This is quite counter-intuitive to the original purpose of capitalism.

Another issue is that due to the competitive nature of capitalism, companies will resort to manipulation techniques and gouging their prices.

The world is greedy, and if you give someone the ability to take advantage of people, they will always take it. A good example can be the pharmaceutical market; the prices of specific medications have continued to increase yearly. They can get away with this because consumers are required to buy from them if they want to live, therefore they have infinite demand, no matter how high they make their prices.

No matter the issues, though, as long as a market is monitored and protected from price gouging, it’s far better than an alternative like communism.