An Unsure Member

EP is a 39-year-old construction worker for a small company. He is an immigrant who came to the country when he was 19 and has been a part of the American working class since then. He considers himself financially secure and comfortable in his current economic status.

When asked to define capitalism, EP described it as “money, buying and selling” but he admits that he isn’t very familiar with any formal definition of capitalism.

EP was then asked if he considered capitalism as a natural system and replied “I’m not sure, maybe, I know that there are rich people who earn their way, but, I don’t know, there are probably people who don’t.”

He was asked if he ever considered a different economic system. He explained that he never thought of another system, “it’s not something I think about, I know communism exists but I know that it’s not good, it has hurt my family.” EP explains that he isn’t necessarily interested in thinking in another system and that he would rather work in the system they are in.

Afterward, he was asked how he saw capitalism in his daily life. He said that he especially sees it at work, explaining that “I go to work every day and do what I do to earn money. I guess that’s what it is in my life.” He adds that he might also consider actions like purchasing things or working with his cryptocurrency wallet part of capitalism.

He was then asked how he thought capitalism was preserved and replied that he didn’t know. Expanding on that he described that “I don’t know how something like that would work. It works on its own, doesn’t it? Maybe people with money keep it going?”

Following that EP was asked what he thought about the system as a whole. His response was mixed and expressed that he benefitted from the system but he understood that it wasn’t perfect. He further explained “I know that there are bad things to it but I can’t complain, I live fine and better than I used to. There are people who don’t deserve what they have but I live good and it’s getting better for me.”

Throughout the interview, EP expressed that he wasn’t completely in tune with what capitalism is and at various points explained that he doesn’t have a complete answer for many of the questions. He was unsure of many of his answers to more technical questions but was more comfortable connecting the concept of capitalism to his own experiences.

He never directly gave a positive or negative description of capitalism and even when asked if liked it as a system he seemed unsure because he benefited from the system and is quite comfortable. However, he also says that he has lived through what would be considered the negative aspects of capitalism.

This conversation was interesting. EP’s perspective was unsure but was insightful as a perspective from someone that is a part of the working class. It is notable how EP doesn’t know how to consolidate the positive and negative of the system but overall is happy with his current situation.

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