“Any Sort of Lengths in Order to Consume More Things”


The interviewee is a college age musician. Their background is fairly typical, two married parents and a low income home. First generation college attendee. The most relevant excepts of the answers given are quoted below.

Question 1: How would you define capitalism?

“Capitalism I would say is an economic system that is centered around the ‘free market.’ And will essentially do just about anything to sort of make money. Expand neo-liberal interests in the name of the free market, etc.”

Question 2: What differentiates capitalism from other modes of production?

“Capitalism is sort of a hungry beast. It is always consuming. It always has to consume something in order for it to survive and not crumble. If we compare it to stuff like feudalism for example obviously the tech difference is there but as an economic system capitalism can only survive with mass amounts of consumption. Other systems may be more stable.”

Question 3: How do you think capitalism has changed over the years, if at all?

“In my point of view, to go off the need for consumption, we can see that capitalism will go to any sort of lengths or environments in order to consume more things. To chase profit. Nowadays we literally have private companies and billionaires rocketing people into space for tourism. When in the sixties getting a person on the moon was a national government thing. Now it’s so everyday because it’s marketable. We can see that development of capitalism constantly adapting to new spaces. We have like cyberspace and such. The whole NFTs and Metaverse thing. Capitalism is making up and creating realms of existence for profit and to consume from that is outside the tangible.”

Question 4: What is your role in capitalism?

“My role in capitalism is the same as anyone else who isn’t a capitalist. I am going to be exploited for my labor (making music) and I will never most likely see a lot of success or fame regardless of how good I am. Not that that’s something we should strive for, I think capitalism has ingrained that in my head. I mean I’ll be exploited like everyone else. Just a part of the system doing their best to survive.”

Question 5: How do you think capitalism influences the arts?

“I mean looping back to the thing I just said. I am aware of the ingrained idea I have as a musician which is the ‘live fast, die young, make it big’ mentality. That’s how capitalism treats artists. Especially musicians. Artists either make it big or they don’t. There is no living comfortably with the arts. It’s not something you can devote your life to. You have to pick up a day job. What should be their passion and the thing that they devote their entire life to is always always always referred to as a side gig. Under capitalism if it is not making something tangible or routinely exploitable, a resource or labor that is infinitely exploitable, it is not useful to capitalism. That’s why the image of the starving artist is the  first thing that comes to mind when someone says they want to major in an art. Beauty is not sustainable under capitalism.”


The interviewee has a fairly coherent view of capitalism. They seem to understand it as a system that is not natural but tied to a historical and technological context. The musician understands capitalism as a rapacious thing that requires expansion to grow, even going as far as to invent things to commodify. The interviewee also posits that capitalism views labor as an exploitable resource and imagines the perfect resource from a capitalist perspective is one that is infinite. This is interesting as it is essentially an admission that capitalism is unsustainable as few resources are infinite and those are mostly conceptual resources.

Unlike other interviewees, there is no mention of social mobility. The interviewee is an artist and understands art in capitalism as essentially a lottery. One “makes it and dies young” or toils in obscurity. The understanding of capitalism as something that intrinsically devalues art is quite interesting as it is a criticism that many levy even if they do not realize that capitalism is the root cause, as this interviewee does. Take for example complaints about micro-transactions in video games or low-quality Netflix shows.

Capitalism is also understood by this person as inherently unstable due to the inherent greediness of the system. They explain that even things like war and space travel are permissible for profit. There is the implied understanding of capitalism as amoral while other systems are potentially moral. There is one unifying trait with the other interviewees that I have interviewed, and that is the concept that the driving force behind negative aspects of capitalism is the rich. This interviewee understands the rich as symptomatic of a system, however. Not the origin of the negative associations.

“That is a very perplexing question due to the nature of capitalism being that you have to strike opportunity when opportunity is put forth.”

This interviewee is a 27 year old female that has both a Bachelors of Science in Community Health Education and a Masters of Occupational Therapy. She has recently graduated from Graduate school in 2021 and is currently residing in Virginia working as an Occupational Therapist. She attended Undergrad school in Pennsylvania and grew up in New Jersey for most of her life.

How do you define capitalism?

“Capitalism is the economic system we have in the country. Capitalism provides healthy business ventures for individuals.”

How do you think your parents view capitalism in comparison to you?

“During my parents generation they had to conserve more and there were limited opportunities for the middle class and women during that time meanwhile now it kind of has done the opposite where women have more opportunities and we aren’t in fear of having to conserve money because there is potential for growth.”

What is your role in capitalism?

“My role in capitalism is to make money and pay my taxes. During the pandemic as I was in graduate school, it taught me the value of a dollar and that needs are much more important than wants when looking to buy things.”

Do you like capitalism?

“That is a very perplexing question due to the nature of capitalism being that you have to strike opportunity when opportunity is put forth. I, as an opportunist believe that there is an opportunity in every situation.”

What do you think of other economic systems other than capitalism?

“I believe that other economic system do not warrant the same opportunities and rewards that come with capitalism.”


I really enjoyed interviewing this individual because she provided different and more current points of view than my previous interview subjects. The pandemic has taught many generations just how valuable money is and this interviewee provided an insightful answer about going to school and trying to get a job during a pandemic. The comparison question of her parents generation to hers was very interesting to hear and the answer provided an insightful reasoning on how capitalism has evolved over the years.

A Retail Manager’s Perspective

Today I interviewed a 37-year-old, single male who works as a manager of a local pet store. He has never attended college and considers himself to be an avid reader. He also loves to listen to NPR podcasts and to debate about social issues. These are the highlights of our interesting conversation about capitalism.

What does capitalism mean to you?

“Capitalism is an economic system where the government is “hands off” or something like that. There isn’t a cap on how much you can profit, and you don’t have to share with those less fortunate than you, but you might get a tax break if you do! A big part of capitalism is that you’re supporting the economy by exchanging goods and services for money.”

What is your role in capitalism?

“Since I work in retail, I provide merchandise for people to buy while also earning profits for my employer who pays me a set salary. Outside of my job I buy and consume goods, and I take my dog to the vet, so I keep the money exchange thing going. Everyone does unless you live off the grid.”

Do you think that you could survive living off the grid?

“Uh, maybe for a few days? I need the internet and I have no idea how to grow my own food ha-ha. We’ve gotten spoiled in the 21st century I suppose.”

Do you think that capitalism is beneficial to your life?

“I think so. I don’t know anything else besides capitalism, so I don’t know if another system would benefit me more. Living in a commune doesn’t sound appealing ha-ha.”

How do you think that capitalism impacts the economy?

“The constant exchange and circulation of money between businesses and consumers is what keeps the economy up. The economy does well if everyone contributes and participates.”

 How do you think capitalism has changed over time?

“Yeah, I think so. The internet has changed everything.”

How do you think that the internet has changed capitalism?

“You can do business overseas so easily now. I can buy snacks from Japan with a click of a button. That was not a possibility 50 years ago.”

How do you think that capitalism interacts with the media?

“Marketing is everywhere! You can’t go two minutes without seeing or hearing something or someone trying to sell you something. Social media, TV, apps, magazines, the radio, like the list is infinite. Even my favorite unpopular podcasts are getting sponsors now and trying to sell me something!”

Do you think that’s a bad thing?

“No, not necessarily. If I had a business, I would try to get the word out there too to attract new customers, but it is kind of overkill sometimes. Like do I like something? Or did I hear from an ad several times saying that it’s great so now I think that it’s great? You just have to turn the noise off sometimes.”


My interviewee has a pretty good grasp of what capitalism is and how it impacts the economy. His interest in politics leads him to read a lot of articles and books about different issues that are going on in the world. His comment about the internet was poignant because I hadn’t stopped to think about how that had impacted capitalism until he pointed it out. The internet really has broken down many barriers to allow global trade to happen so easily now.

“Its better now, I had nothing before.”

BP is a 44-year-old woman who currently works at a fast-food chain at a managerial level. Her family is middle-class and she works, along with her husband, to pay for the costs of living. During most of her childhood, she lived in extreme poverty in a Central American country and immigrated to the United States at 18.

When asked to define capitalism, she was apprehensive and stated several times that she isn’t sure what it is. She finally pinned down her definition as “Rich people”. This connection to people who participate in the system and the system itself appears throughout the interview.

BP was then asked if she believed that capitalism is a natural order and said, “It is what it is, and there’s not much we can do about it. Everybody who has money probably earned it in some way, not all of them are fair but some of them are.”

She was then asked if she had ever considered another economic system and said no. As a follow-up, she was asked if she had ever thought about communism in the same way and was very confused. She explained her perspective as “they are not the same, what’s the relationship between capitalism and communism? There isn’t. To me, Communism is the guerilleros and that has nothing to do with capitalism.”

Her perspective on how she plays a role in capitalism and explained that “I’m a person that buys things. I participate I work at my job and they take from my hard work and I would love if they paid more for my hard work.”

When talking about the generational divide between her and her parents, she believed that there was no difference in her beliefs with both sides believing that they “went through hell in poverty.” Focusing on the concept of poverty she expressed that she does believe that poverty is an outcome of capitalism and that “the ones who had money never helped anyone.” She further elaborated that she did believe that those upper-class people were a creation of the system, and not necessarily the outcome of moral failings.

Focusing on the preservation of capitalism, BP explained that “there have always been people higher and people lower and I have always been lower and I am very tired of being lower.”

Closing out the interview she was asked if she liked capitalism and was quite enthusiastic about it; “It’s better now, before I had nothing . . . yes I am very appreciative of where I am and the economy I’m in.”

BP’s interview is interesting while she at times does not appreciate aspects of her position in capitalism, she firmly expresses that those problems are nothing compared to the extreme poverty she lived in before. She expresses that she hated the position she grew up in but also appreciates that she was able to move up economically.

Interestingly throughout her interview, she mentions people in higher economic classes and the inherent class divide between her and them. The focus of her answer was about the people who participate in the system rather than how the system functions. This was an interesting insight as it expresses how capitalism is still a system where people’s actions play into the existence and preservation of it.

It is interesting to talk with someone who lived in poverty for a large part of her life and is appreciative of her economic movement later in life. While she is at times critical of capitalism, especially when it comes to her work, she still expressed that she enjoyed purchasing what she wants and living in a secure living situation. As we closed the interview, she explained that she wanted was to move up higher economically but despite everything, she was very happy in capitalism.

“But in a capitalist economy the opportunity is there for every individual to prosper according to their wants and desires.”

This interviewee is a 57 year old White male who lives in Virginia. He grew up in New Jersey and then moved to Virginia about five years ago. He is a college graduate with a law degree. He has been working in the insurance business for over twenty years. He formerly worked in New York City for many years and now works from home in Virginia.

How do you define capitalism?

“Capitalism is an economic system which provides a monetary incentive to every individual, without regard to class, race, creed, or religion, but in direct relation to how ambitious and industrious they are. Wealth and money is relative to the individual, some are satisfied with minimum wage which is fine and some want more, it all depends on what makes you happy. But in a capitalist economy the opportunity is there for every individual to prosper according to their wants and desires.”

Where do you see capitalism in action?

“Businesses, the local pizza and bagel place, Walmart, retail stores, Amazon, etc etc etc.”

How do you think capitalism impacts the economy?

“It creates a better product through competition. It creates wealth for individuals who then can spend their money at other businesses which keeps people employed.”

What do you think of other economic systems other than capitalism?

“I don’t think much about them, most are based on shared wealth, government control and dictatorships. Any country who had these economic systems did not last long; they do not stimulate ambition, inventiveness or creativity in an individual. If you like being told what to do in all aspects of your life then socialism, communism, or marxism is for you.”

What do you think are some positive aspects of capitalism? What negative aspects?

“Positive aspects include: Instills competition, ambition, creativity and individualism. All positive personality traits. It causes people to strive for greatness. Negative aspects include: failure in a capitalist economic system can devastate the weak minded individual and therefore the system needs to support those who give up. Which creates a dependent class of people.”


This interview was interesting and similar opinions were shared with my last interview. This interview and the last interview were both from the same generation and for my next interview I would really like to get an individual from a completely different generation particularly a younger generation.

A Future Counselors Perspective

MF is a college student from Liberty University. She is a student pursuing a masters in counseling and has a BS in psychology. She does not have a lot of experience in the realm of capitalism or political ideology, but is very familiar with education and how capitalism effects higher education today.

How do you define capitalism?

“I would define capitalism as a system that has to do with private companies and individuals who have complete control over everything. I think many benefit from this political system especially those who have money and have successful endeavors.”

What role do you see capitalism playing in your daily life?

“As a college student I see how capitalism plays a role in my life through the student dept I have to pay after college. Thinking about twenty or thirty years ago college was much more affordable, now the tuition rates and fees I have to pay just to gain an education is mind-blowing. These private institutions are sucking students dry of money, at least those who come from a non wealthy family, and we have to deal with piling student dept just to have education . If a person is going to survive and thrive in todays society you need an degree in higher education, though the pay off is its ridiculously expensive.”

Do you think your community has been affected by capitalism?

“Yes one hundred percent. Following off the previous question, most of my friends and classmates are going through the same issues I have when it comes to student debt. Depending on how much loans or scholarships one gets depends on how much they will pay after school. It is a messy system and we don’t like it. I do not understand why education has to have a money sign on it. If our country wants to help out its citizens, aka the future ones who will be leading and supporting the country, you need to not scare us away with crippling dept.”

Do you find capitalism effective?

“Yes I do, but only in certain areas. I think in other industries capitalism is effective like when it comes to real estate and private businesses but not education.”

MF clearly has strong ideas revolving around education and capitalism. What she states is true, education is  crippling if you are not lucky when it comes to having money. Higher education has been defined  by the amount of money one has and how much they are willing to spend to possibly have a successful enough career to pay off loans. MF’s analysis on capitalism is more specific but it is an important topic that needs to be addressed. Due to most universities and colleges being privately owned, the money one has to put in to go there is sky-high. Especially if you apply to say an Ivy School or one that has a name that pops on the resume, you will need to pay high dollar for it. Higher education is all about branding and pushes individuals to choose whether or not they are willing to be suffering with debt to possibly succeed in our economy. 

A Necessary Evil


For my second interview, I interviewed an older white man in his 50s. He is college-educated with a degree in finance (for this interview, I will be referring to the interviewee as LS). He retired as a Major in the Air Force and now works as a team leader in a grocery store’s produce department. Along with working currently in a grocery store, LS worked in a grocery store and insurance before joining the military. I asked LS a series of six questions to reveal his understanding of capitalism and how it works in today’s society. His answers also revealed his understanding of how capitalism changed over time and generations.


How do you define capitalism?

LS: I define it as all the factors (political, social, economic) that come together that make business work. Not only in our country, but also in the global markets.

How do you think capitalism impacts the economy?

LS: There’s good capitalism and bad capitalism. If there are people taking advantage of capitalism, especially with wealth, it can affect other people in the economy that do not have that advantage.

How do you see yourself in a capitalist society?

LS: Well, I am definitely seen as a “cog” in society to advance my family, work, and others in doing what I do. But my inputs have an effect on others (coworkers), good and bad.

What do you think of other economic systems other than capitalism?

LS: Well, I know that in other countries that other systems work for them based on their circumstances, but just like in capitalism, a small percentage take advantage while other people suffer. However, there are good aspects to those other systems just like with capitalism.

How do you see people’s views of capitalism being generationally different?

LS: So, I know different generations have different work ethics, different goals, and different means to meet those goals.

What do you think are some positive aspects of capitalism? Negative aspects?

LS: Positives of capitalism are that everyone has an opportunity to be successful from hard work and opportunities as well. Negative, there are certain people, classes of people, different situations, race, economical circumstances, that capitalism limits opportunities for. Opportunities are not fair across the board.


Even though I know LS very well, I was surprised by many of his answers. I had always known him to be more conservative when it came to economics, given his finance degree, so him saying that there are issues with capitalism took me aback. He seems to understand capitalism as a necessary evil. While he defined capitalism as “all factors that come together to make business work,” he also sees issues that arise from having this as our economic system. Working in a grocery store was a significant influence on LS’s answers. He sees himself as a “cog” in the system and sees his decisions affecting others he works with. Many of his coworkers are part-time, and he makes a great deal more money than them. As seen in the second question, LS sees capitalism as only working for a small group of people. His coworkers are more disadvantaged than he is, and he sees how it affects them. While LS sees capitalism as a necessity to advance business, he is also aware that people have fewer opportunities than he has.

“There has to be an interconnectedness…”

My next interviewee I connected with is a college educated man from Texas who was born in the late 1970s. He studied speech communication during his undergraduate studies and later received his Masters of Divinity. Now, the interviewee works full-time doing ministry, mentoring, and writing a book. Some of these questions were ones that we had talked about loosely in the past, but this was the first formal discussion. Unlike my last interview, I was able to weave in a few more questions based on their related category heading to create a smoother conversation. 

I first began with the question that I started my last interview with: How do you define capitalism? The interviewee said, [capitalism] is private ownership… people can own property and resources in order to buy/sell/trade in the free market… That’s at least my cursory, uneducated opinion. Off of the bat, it is evident that there is basic knowledge about the economic system that is capitalism from this interviewee. 

Continuing on in that category of basic understanding, I asked: How do you think that capitalism impacts the economy? Stating, It is the free exchange; you do have to have a level of government control [and] it’s hopefully it is free exchange where people can make money and a better life for themselves. My philosophy though about capitalism is shaped by my faith; I think about everything theologically and you can think theologically about money. If you don’t think about it theologically, then you’re doing yourself a great disservice. If we can freely exchange, how do we respond to that freedom? A lot of people think we’re free from certain government regulation, and I would flip that on it’s head and ask what are we free for? What can we do with that freedom? America is founded on individual freedom and liberty, and as a Christian I would move that view towards persons rather than individuals. To me an individual is a category as a person is someone I would have to know/interact with. Consider what my ability to freely trade/sell do to affect others? I may own land, but if it is sold to a developer who will build something that will have an impact on a neighborhood poorly, I would have to consider who I was selling that property to. So, capitalism is good because it frees us, but as a Christian it frees us for good. I cannot separate economics from spirituality. There is social responsibility that goes alongside capitalism. This answer is different than my past interview and offered an interesting perspective on the ways that capitalism can be an idea that is closely weaved with the Christian faith. Capitalism in my eyes is a very individual opportunity for each person, but what if it could be more than that, like the interviewee was saying?

When asked, How do you see yourself as a capitalist in society?, the interviewee responded: I see myself as a capitalist and I ask myself the question of if you really separate economics from spirituality? I don’t think you can or should. Certain things should inform our decisions and we should make responsible decisions. Frankly as a white man in America, there is a lot that I get to do, but there is a lot of weight in our economic system about debt and we’re called the land of the free?… How am I as a responsible capitalist thinking about saving and investing and charitably giving? These are the thoughts that I feel like are the opposite to what much of capitalism is about. As stated above, I feel as if his ideas about capitalism/consumerism are very different; his ideas are way more community based than I think could be possible in our current economic/political climate.

I then asked whether there was a specific event where capitalism played a role in his life. He talked about growing up saying, my grandparents were tomato farmers and grew far more than we could consume or sell, so my version of a lemonade stand was my own tomato stand growing up. I sold the tomatoes, of course with no cost from my supplier, and was taught about the value of earning money as an individual. This is a memory that most of us could probably relate to, selling tart lemonade out of sticky cups for a few dollars during the hot summer. But, those early moments for all of us were us participating in the practice of capitalism. 

Following, I asked: What do you think about other economic systems? Communism failed and the government owning everything failed because there wasn’t meaningful work. Socialism of course has a greater social safety net, but there is more placed on people who have more to pay more taxes. Does our economic system need repair? Is it perfect? Of course not, because people are involved; that is my call… trying to lead Christian community in a way that the theology is aligned with the economic world. It all goes back to the main narrative of discovering how we should do capitalism responsibly. How are we informed? The funny thing about this question was that it just led to more questions about other economic systems. He then discussed how to cultivate a community where the theology is parallel to the economic world; I am interested to see how this connects to one of our later readings about the connection between conservative Christianity and the business world…

Generational differences are something that I am very interested in as the interviewer, and we discussed this together: My grandparents were Great Depression kids and gained wealth after WWII, and [my] parents experienced great wealth as kids and were the first ones in their families to go to college. I grew up in Houston in economy fueled by oil and gas, which usually does well if the overall market is doing well. [My] parents came from a silent boomer generation and had a lot of stuff that was “important;” my sister who lives abroad as well as I place less value in stuff. Once again, consumerism is brought in as a sort of “symptom” of capitalism, which I happen to agree with.

When asked, what are the positives and negatives of capitalism?, he responded: The largest positive is the ability for anyone to come to the U.S. and make something of themselves. He talked about a family he knew growing up that moved to Houston and bought a store and said they lived there while gaining wealth responsibly before buying more stores. Some negatives he mentioned were, if you come from generational poverty, you won’t get ahead without some serious unlearning/relearning of how life in the United States works. He also mentioned the media and how that ties in negatively to capitalism and in turn, consumerism. Because of the media, people know they have less or more than others; there are many people who invest in outward appearances rather than other meaningful ways. The interviewee definitely understands that there is a wealth of opinions and thoughts when it comes to not just capitalism, but other economic systems as well. 

My interviewee ended by stating:  To people of faith, let’s consider how capitalism can be a good thing that we get to be for. There has to be an interconnectedness between faith and business/economics. Is capitalism good… yes; you just have to know what’s in your hand and think justly about it. 

Overall, I would say that this interviewee has a very good idea of the role that capitalism plays in their life and community, but has very different opinions than I expect some other interviews won’t have. It was interesting to hear from someone who didn’t think of economics as its own discipline, and that it could be woven into other disciplines/practices like the Christian faith. The interconnectedness of it all in his opinions were interesting to analyze and think about following the interview. Overall, this person believes in the practice of capitalism can be good if done well, believes that it could be improved in some ways, and overall believes in it more than other economic systems. I look forward to hearing from my last interview soon!

It Doesn’t Help to Think About it

He had just gotten off his 3:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. shift at the big box store where he works. “Capitalism, I try to stay away from that stuff,” he joked to me. “Well, no, there is no way of getting away from it,” he added, assuring me he was only kidding. The interviewee views capitalism as a way of life, with no escape, but he has an optimistic take for someone who feels overworked.

When asked how he would define capitalism, he took the “powers that be” approach. “It’s a bunch of rich guys who own stocks, and we all work under them.” I was intrigued by his response to the question, no words like “economics” or “system.” The interviewee sees capitalism as far beyond his control and in the hands of wealthy company owners.

I asked him how he feels about his job. He explained that he is generally content but added that things could be better. “Right now, I’m feeling discriminated against because I’m an old fart.” He is in his sixties and complained that he has spent twenty years working at the same company and feels his hard work has barely been recognized. “It’s better than other companies, I feel like we are compensated fairly well, but you’ll always feel underpaid.” He continued, telling me, “they tell you things like thank you or good job, and that’s nice and all but it’s just words.” He alluded to the idea that in a world where the dollar controls life– he would take a larger paycheck over kind sentiments.

The interviewee sees faults in the company where he works, but he also expressed that he is thankful for his job and is glad it provides him with good health care. Though, our conversation took an unexpected turn when he added, “you know, we are not just living to be workers at some company.” Then he continued explaining, “I don’t know what the right system to live under is, I guess his system.” I was not sure who he meant when he said “his,” but then he added, “you know, it’s all in god’s hands, and you got to follow him, not the capitalism will.” I was not expecting this response, but I admired his optimism. Under a system that expects long working hours with little reward, religion can act as a coping mechanism.

The interviewee expressed that capitalism is a system that is far from his control, but he tries not to ponder on it too much. He also said that he does not like to focus much on politics either. He feels as if politicians often do not have the interests of the working-class in mind. “They don’t do us right,” he claimed, “people with a lot of money influence things, and they can manipulate it on you.” His thoughts on capitalism showed me that in a world where the dollar speaks, it is difficult to trust people, especially people with a lot of money. For him, religion provides escapism from a world where he feels like a cog in the machine and gives him a sense of hope and individualism.

“it is company first, instead of people first like it should be”


AL is a 21-year old white female who is in her senior year of college, and beginning grad school in the fall. AL noted that she had a lower middle-class upbringing as a child but a more upper middle-class experience once in high school and college. AL also grew up in a military family, and had lived in multiple different states. Her father joined the Navy without a college education and eventually through online schooling earned his master’s degree, and her mother has a high school diploma. AL noted that their political alignment is very liberal which has an impact on many of her feelings about economic systems but that she was not that confident in her ability to discuss capitalism.

I decided to interview AL because I had a feeling that I would get a very different perspective from her than from the last person that I interviewed, which intrigued me. I was also interested to see how informed someone who did not explicitly say they were interested in economics, or the history of Capitalism would be.

How do you define Capitalism?

When asked “How do you define Capitalism?”, she initially seemed to struggle to address the question but then said that it seems like a network of private ownership of companies and capitalizing off of people. AL explicitly notes that she has a negative connotation towards Capitalism although some people might not and that at it’s root is might not be as negative as she looks at it. At the end of answering this question AL says that she can’t really define it because it is complicated to understand fully.

What role do you see Capitalism playing in your daily life?

AL believes that so many things are impacted in her daily life my Capitalism. She discussed how she believes so many people feel entitled to scam and mistreat other people just because of the position that they play in the capitalistic society. AL gives the example of internships and how the company uses that free labor in order to benefit their companies, and how that is only allowed because of how we live in a society that values money above people. This hurts people who are not able to provide free labor because they need to pay bills and don’t have that privilege from pursuing internships and opportunities that they need to advance their career and status. AL emphasizes that capitalism serves the privileged and hurts those who are not privileged and keeps classist cycles going.

Do you believe that Capitalism is inherent to society?

AL does not believe that Capitalism is inherent to society because there are many places that do not have a Capitalistic society but that it is now inherent to American society because America is fundamentally capitalistic in nature.

How do you think Capitalism interacts with the media?

AL noted that Capitalism interacts within the media she consumes a lot differently than in media older generations might consume or people who do not align politically with her would consume. She further discussed how much of the media she consumes is more against capitalism like she is and is humanist in nature. She said that, “My media tends to be swayed towards a people first approach and capitalism does not always do that in the ways I see it should.”. AL also discussed marketing from companies and how this is especially apparent with the beauty industry, saying that “you can see it with the beauty industry they are already marketing anti-ageing products to us and we are only in our 20s. They are trying to capitalize off of our fears of ageing as if that’s the worst thing to happen.”. She further discusses how as a marketing tactic to make money the beauty industry made ageing, a process that is so natural, seem so evil to the point where millions of dollars are spent on those products and companies are competing to make the most money off of those insecurities.

What are some negative aspects of Capitalism?

The main negative aspect that AL noted was that Capitalism is structured to keep people who are not economically advantaged at a low level and it creates a lot of situations for those people as a result. AL also said that it often bothers her how its very company first instead of people first like she believes it should be because the companies should be serving the people. It disappoints her how in our society everything is about making profit for the companies instead of the people that are within the society.

What are some positive aspects of Capitalism?

AL believes that there are some positive aspects of capitalism such as it breeding creativity for better and more effective products and services.

How do you think your parents view capitalism in comparison to you?

AL believes that her parents because of their more conservative views probably like capitalism and see it as beneficial or at least don’t really question it as much as she does. However, she notes that she has never had that specific conversation with them, so she is not fully sure.


I was not necessarily surprised by the responses that AL gave me because we have had discussions about the ethics surrounding our economy and she has told me before how she believes that our economy and society should be more focused on benefiting the consumer (the people) than the companies. I do, however, think that it is very interesting that she found answering some of the questions difficult because she is earning her degree in Business Administration and I had just assumed that capitalism was a topic that they would have discussed at some point in business classes. Her knowledge on capitalism aligns more with what I was familiar with before taking this class and establishing more concrete ideas on Capitalism. I believe that many student’s in college who have not taken extensive economics classes or have a specific interest in economics and learning about Capitalism would also find it difficult to approach the concept of Capitalism.

Overall, AL’s opinions on Capitalism do seem very rooted in her political beliefs and concerns of the ethicality of the system. It was very interesting to compare AL’s responses to the last person I interviewed because going into it I had a feeling that they would be very different interviews because I know that they hold very different political beliefs and beliefs on how money should be allocated. AL was more concerned about the people hurt by capitalism while CA was concerned with how Capitalism expanded opportunities and technological innovations. However, both interviewees mentioned that those with less economic privilege can be hurt within the system of capitalism, and that it benefits those with more economic privileges, showing that even though they might have different core beliefs they both have overlapping opinions.