Capitalism: Yay or Nay?

During the interview process I came across many answers to the same questions. My three interviewees were taken from all walks of life, different ages, and education levels, lines of work, sexes and even variant citizenships. What struck me as strange though was not the different answers they came up with, but how similar some of these answers were.

All three of my interviewees had a positive opinion towards capitalism. Profit and prosperity as well as ambition and merit were recurring themes in all of these interviews. What I found most interesting while reviewing these interviews is that all of my interviewees associated capitalism with freedom at one point in our discussion. FA, a 31 year old from Brazil, noted that “capitalism sets people free to better themselves.” TS, a 25 year old teacher from Stafford, stated that capitalism provides a “freedom of choice,” in the consumer’s life. And DR a 63 year old iron worker, noted that capitalism provides “freedom of movement” between socioeconomic statuses. All three of these people had completely different upbringings in different parts of the U.S. and Brazil, and yet they feel as though capitalism is a benefit to them and to society as a whole.

TS expressed some interesting beliefs about capitalism in this interview.  One such belief is that Capitalism is a democratic form of commerce and that it is part of being an American. Although her “Because I’m American” statement was made as a joke, I thought it brought to light an interesting belief that many U.S. citizens might have. That Capitalism is a purely American invention. Because TS was my first interviewee, I thought I would run into this again during the course of the semester, but upon further interviews, this preconceived notion was proved untrue.  Both FA and DR noted that capitalism could work with many different forms of government.

The conclusion that can be drawn from this small sample of the population is that people may see capitalism in many different lights but its notion of good or bad really reflects their own personal beliefs and experiences. If one values hard work and experiences success from their own work ethic, they will value capitalism as the catalyst to their success. Each of my interviewees considered themselves lucky and successful in their own way, and though they are not all wealthy, consider themselves to be thriving under capitalism. They each note their own merit and work ethic as the reasons for their success. Freedom and in this case, “economic freedom,” is seen as a positive to those who wish to prove their worth through their success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *