Reflection Post

Over the course of the semester the class has gathered the public opinion and education of Capitalism. A common theme I found with people’s opinions is that their career and demographic determine their views. The opinion of financiers and people in high positions  is that Capitalism has always been around and is the only thing that works. The interviewees also believe that most of the world flourishes on Capitalism, and that the social hierarchy it produces keeps the system balance. The differing of opinion occurs from people who have experienced the downside of Capitalism. One interviewee believes it has gone on too long without regulation, and that people are suffering. Most people do not believe Capitalism has changed over time, and that it will stay the same. The one change is technology that is the means of the economy. The last theme I noticed was that people are not taught Capitalism at different levels in their education. The interviewees were taught that it is the only system to work, and basic facts, including that it is a free market economy. Overall, the public knows very little on the education, change over time, and all the angles of the economy.

The course taught the students how the culture can influence the economy. Our first book by Polyani describes this cultural influence with the many push-backs humans do against a free market economy. A example of this is in Zelizer and Levy with the many insurance push-backs. Levy also highlights on the escape people desired from the economy when they bought or kept their land down south. The most influential aspect on the economy is consumerism. The consumerism aspect changes over time with the economy as well from English bought merchandise, home-spun clothing, ready-made, and post depression buying. The other important aspect is slavery, which is where people struggle for Capitalism. The issue of the chicken or egg with discussion was presented. I believe that slavery and capitalism began simultaneously, or slavery was the first form of the economy. The overall course taught how there are several aspects that contribute to capitalism. The system has changed over time because of the people’s pushback on the market. Capitalism is a market economy that depends on the citizen’s opinion and commitment to stay in balance.

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