LB is 24 and lives very comfortable. He is a software engineer for a large company and from what I know is finically independent. LB grew up in a middle-class family and his parents covered the cost of college leaving him with no debts. Also, LB found a job immediately out of college and has only moved up the ladder of success.
How do you define Capitalism?
“I believe capitalism is system in which companies and corporations set their own prices and wages for employees.” When asked it they believe America has historically been a Capitalistic country they responded, “I mean yeah … I think Capitalism is what our country is build off of. I believe it’s always been this way, but I also believe we have become too Capitalistic.” I asked the interviewee to elaborate on this, “There was a point when Capitalism worked in America. Everyone could get a job and afford a house, but now it’s becoming more and more difficult for people to be self-sustainable. I know a lot of people who have degrees in Computer Science or Economics, and they can’t find jobs and have to rely on their parents for financial support.”
How do you think your parents view Capitalism in comparison to you?
“I was just talking with my parents about this the other day. I think they use to admire it. My dad was reminiscing about how cheap everything used to be and there were so many opinions when it came to products, but now he has a much more cynical view. I think he is worried about me and how I am going to be able to afford to live and buy a house. My mother seems to still hold onto this American dream type Capitalism, were anything is possible when you work hard enough.” When asked why they have these two opposing views he answered, “I think it is because my father works health care so he has seen how expensive medicine has become because of greed and maybe even seen how people can’t afford treatment. My mother is an executive director of a company, so he is far removed from the financial burden people experience.”
What do you think are some positive aspects of capitalism? What are negative aspects?
“There are not many positive aspects, but I guess one would be it’s supposed to promote competition and companies strive to be the best and deliver better products than an economic system without capitalism. Negative aspects, and the biggest one for me, is cooperate greed makes everything expensive. I believe a lot of the time prices are inflated for no reason, but to increase profit margins. I think that capitalism is a system which is meant to keep the poor poor and rich rich.” I then asked if they believed its ways been this way, “No, I think it was originally created to just promote competition and make sure there was a product for everyone, but now it is a scam.”
What do you think of other economic systems other than Capitalism?
“I don’t know a whole lot about other economic systems. I know there are a lot of people who like Socialism, but again I don’t know a lot about it other than Bernie is one and it could offer free health care and college. But I also know Capitalism is a system which no longer works on its own and needs so sort of government involvement.”
Do you like Capitalism?
“No. At one point I might have said yes, but now that a few companies own everything it has lost all meaning. There is no more competition anymore and companies no longer need to work to be the best they just put out an expensive good product and a cheaper not so good product and call it a day.” I then asked if their opinion would be different if it was still the same as when their parents were growing up. “Probably, but its hard to say. I think I might have been indifferent towards it instead of hating it.”
Originally, I interviewed this person because I believed they would give a pro capitalist stance because of the positions they are in and passing comments in the past, but I was wrong the interviewee clearly has a cynical view of Capitalism. Multiple time throughout the interview they would start getting loud while talking about why they did not like Capitalism, but they made it very clear before, during, and after the interview that they do not know much about economics, Capitalism, or other economic systems. However, I think this is particularly interesting because it shows that despite not knowing a better alternative people can still be critical and believe that there is a better way that we have not deployed yet. Also, I found it interesting how they kept comparing capitalism to how it was to how it is now. This is what led me to ask my last question of the interview to see if they just longed for the old days of Capitalism. Finally, he brought up this American dream type Capitalism. This was the first I hear someone mention Capitalism this way, and he made it very clear that this form of Capitalism is not longer achievable for the common people.