“Capitalism allows for freedom”

The first person I chose to interview was JV, a sixty year-old, married woman living in Virginia. JV grew up in a working class family in a small town, and credits the capitalist system as an aid in bettering her economic position throughout her life. In 1976, JV received a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and went on work in the fields of parole and probation. JV currently works as a hearing officer for a Virginia government agency. JV’s work involves disputed of private enterprise and government regulations, and thus she regularly sees the effects of the form of capitalism present in America today.

How would you define capitalism?

“Capitalism is an economic system that allows for free trade between people. It involves the private ownership of property and goods and it allows people to benefit from and retain their earned profits.”

How has capitalism affected you?

“Since I grew up in working class family, over the course of my life, capitalism has given me the ability to raise my own and my family’s economic status and has permitted me enjoy the fruits of my labors.”

Do you think there are alternatives to capitalism?

“While other economic and political systems exist throughout the world, none of them are comparable to the capitalist system. Whether you are talking about Communism, Socialism, or Marxism, other systems prevent the complete ownership of property and wages and involve some form of government ownership. In every one of those alternate systems, the laborer is forced to hand over some of their earned profits to the government for redistribution.”

Don’t we have a system similar to that now?

“In purest form of capitalism, government would not take money that the laborer has earned. However, political movements over the last 50 years have and continue to push out country in that direction.”

How has capitalism affected America?

“It has allowed us to become most powerful country in the world. The United States is the only county where every single person has a chance to excel or raise himself or herself up from poverty.”

Still, not everyone in our American Capitalist system has been able to excel. Can you expand on your explanation?

“Yes, it is more difficult for some people to achieve success, but the world is not always fair. Still, the average person has a much greater chance of improving their lives in a Capitalist system than in any other economic or political system. For instance, in India’s caste system it is virtually impossible for the Untouchable class to ever better their situation and move to a higher caste.”

Is Capitalism natural?

“Yes, I think it most definitely is natural. People naturally want to be free, and human nature is such that people desire to control their own lives and destiny, without the interference of others. Capitalism allows for all of these possibilities.”

After examining JV’s answers, it is apparent that she has a very favorable view of the Capitalist system in the United States. Her beliefs support a purer form of Capitalism, as she believes that creates more freedom for the laborer. JV’s views of Capitalism are based both on her experiences and the knowledge of alternate economic systems throughout the world.

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