The new culture has thrived on capitalism’s tenets. Both developing countries in Europe and America followed the democracy doctrine and permitted private property ownership. And countries that once followed socialist ideology, such as China and Russia, have moved to a market system. However, the scale of disparity is concerning, as the wealth of private capital tends to rise beyond the control of the majority of people who do not own any means of development. Democracy, on the other hand, tends to be the predominant democratic structure in many parts of the country. The majority chooses a few people who have the power over the state’s finances. Taxation is the only way to control social development by ensuring all income earners contribute to the state kitty. To avert the inequality crisis, the state needs to introduce economic control measures through legislation that will cushion the majority from expropriation.
According to Marx, the capitalist society is evil because in engages in the exploitation of the majority. The workers or the proletariat do not own the means of production they tireless work on every week. Most the workers are unfairly remunerated because the owners of the capital want to reap maximum profits and accumulate more capital. That is the reason today we have a few people controlling more than 90% of global capital. The liberal system allows an individual to own up to ten or more companies, and in some cases, workers in those companies earn a small fraction of the income while the owner takes s home the larger fraction of the income. For a long time, that has been the normal system acceptable by all in the society. However, there is need to create a society where the majority are economically empowered.
The alternative of liberalism is a communist or socialist ideology that purports state ownership of property. Proponents of communism argued that the community owns the means of production collectively through the state. There was no private ownership of property in such societies since the state was in control of all resources. However, Meszaros believes that the assertions of communism were false. The communist party owned and controlled capital while pretending it is the masses that won it. Both socialism and communism were proved to be unsustainable in the modern world. The fact that the state is in control of capital makes it impossible to have dynamic means of production that encourages growth and innovation. Therefore, countries that encouraged a few people to own property prospered while the communist regimes struggled to develop economically and socially. With communism, the state and the masses cannot think creatively because there is a lack of both trust and freedom.
Consequently, the best way to create a society of self-ruling people is through modification of the capitalist system and not through a communist ideology. It is obvious that a society where capital is collectively owned does not encourage development and freedom of thought. The state has a bureaucratic system of management that makes it impossible for communism corporations to be enterprising. Conversely, the privately owned property gives freedom to the owners to be innovative and development oriented. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, individuals have established products and services that have contributed immensely to global development. The human mind is liberal and unique and should never be restricted by collective thinking that exists in communist societies.
The state still plays a critical role in controlling the political and economic activities of a country. Even with capitalism, it is possible to have a society where the majority benefits from the collective effort of the thinkers and doers. The thinkers in the society are the entrepreneurs who have ideas that they convert into businesses. The do-ers are the workers employed by the entrepreneur to actualize the idea. It is not possible to have an economy where everybody owns a business or means of production by creation. In as such, the risk-takers who venture into business instead of looking for employment needs to be rewarded with profits. That has been the motivation of capitalistic economies. Everybody is free to venture into business but only a few manage to create viable corporations that earn profits and create employment. The others should be humble enough to work for fair pay that allows them to lead comfortable lives.
In countries that have low inequality statistics, the state creates a system that supports the majority in the economy. Even though capital is privately owned, the state has the powers to level the economic playing field by creating sustainable employment and social support for those out of employment. Today, we have a culture of corporate social responsibility that encourages private corporations to share their profits with the community. Social responsibility of social corporations obliges them to give back to the public and employees. Some private companies are even generous enough to share their income with the employees besides paying them their salaries and benefits. Apparently, that has been a voluntary practice for the private companies but it is possible to make it a compulsory trend with the help of state legislation.
Instead of allowing privately owned companies to take home all their profits, the government can introduce laws make corporate social responsibility a requirement. Through taxation, it is possible to collect enough revenues from the private corporations that will allow the state to offer social services to the entire population. The amount collected from the business enterprises should offer basic services such as free education, healthcare, and welfare support to the unemployed. Most importantly, the companies should share their profits with the employees every year. Hence, those who are working for the high-performing companies will not feel exploited when the owners walk away with huge profits. The point is to ensure the majority benefit considerably from the gains of the private companies. For example, some of the super-rich individuals in the United States, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, agreed to distribute a proportion of their wealth to social causes or charity. They have both donated billions of dollars in the fight against poverty and diseases across the world. If they can do it voluntarily, the state can gain a lot by placing legislation that compels the wealthy to distribute their income to the society. The wealthy gain their riches by selling their products and services to the society and using labor forces from the community. Therefore, without the society, they could not have acquired their wealth. It is only fair that they periodically share their richness with the society so that the gap between the rich and the poor is managed.
Creating a large and empowered middle-class population is a sure way of reducing inequality in the society. The third world countries have high poverty indices because they have a few rich people and many poor people living below the poverty line. However, with good economic policies, it would be possible to expand the middle class by ensuring the private corporations pay their workers fairly. Middle-class workers have a high purchasing power that also benefits the business community. They buy electronics, vehicles, real estate, financial services, and other products that benefit the economy of a country. Eventually, the entire state develops despite having a few people who enjoy unrivaled wealth generated from their private entities. The democratic state ensures that everybody has the right and freedom to enjoy their life without much control or interference.
Ultimately, it would not be possible to have a collectively owned economy in the modern age. However, it is possible to have a capitalist society where the majority enjoy the benefits derived from the privately owned companies. The democratic state has a role in safeguarding the interest of the majority while not stifling economic freedom. Through taxation legislation, it is possible to reduce social inequality by making sure the big corporations give back to the public and pay their employees fairly based on their profits. Consequently, the entire population becomes economically, socially, and politically empowered. The few super-rich individuals that control large proportions of capital are obliged to support the state in uplifting the standards of living. Then, the large middle-class population breaks the inequality gap as the majority live comfortable lives despite being employed by the privately owned companies.
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