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Economic liberals argue that ecomonic exchange is a positive-sun game - Essay Example

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Economic liberals argue that economic exchange is a positive-sun game. In the Marxist approach, the economy is a site of exploitation and inequality. Who is right? The capitalistic economic exchange is the permeating economic model in the world today. Even socialist and autocratic regimes such as those in China are adopting some elements of free market, highlighting the economic liberalism’s perceived efficiency…
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Economic liberals argue that ecomonic exchange is a positive-sun game
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Download file to see previous pages These two explain the prevailing capitalistic economic exchange in opposing light. The former upholds the capitalistic ideal while the latter criticize it based on the argument that it such exchange is a breeding ground of exploitation and inequality. Although both of these schools have valid arguments, this paper will argue that the liberal point of view holds more legitimate positions than Marxism in explaining the economic exchange in the capitalist system. Free Market The fundamental features of a capitalist economy are right to private property, profit-motive, freedom of choice, market forces, and minimal role of government. It promotes individualism and is consisted of individual units like workers, people, capitalists, consumers and firms and that social forces determine the formation of a capitalist economy. A critical aspect of capitalism that is relevant to the subject of this investigation is the labor market. In this case, individuals play an important role in the exchange of goods. First, they are incapable to produce what they need and what they consume. This is the reason why a highly specialized division of labor emerged so that people rely on others, particularly, the producers, in order to survive. Callero explained that when someone is looking for a job in a capitalist economy, that individual is engaging in a capitalistic exchange using his skill and abilities as a commodity to be traded for wage, which is necessary in the procurement of food, shelter, clothing and other goods (25). The labor market also collectively demonstrates the flow of goods in capitalism and depicts several capitalistic principles. If there is excess in the labor force, unemployment and low wage emerge as a result. The implication of this situation demonstrates two important points. First is that the unemployed or the labor force in general will be engaged in fierce competition for the scarce work and this is often characterized by enhancing competitive advantage (Todorova 31). Finally, there is the profit motive characteristic wherein people engaging in the economic exchange, especially the producers, operate with profit and self-interest as their primary concern. Each individual, grouping and organization relegate concern for others or the society secondary to their own interests. At first glance, this appears cruel and unjust but economists argue that emphasizing profit is a driving force behind free market economies. It functions as a reward for people, entrepreneurs, and organizations who work hard, invest time and money, take risks and innovate. According to Mink, profit, which critics such as those coming from the Marxist school assails, is behind efficiency in production because it is behind – through competition – the efforts of economic actors to constantly innovate (125). The Marxist Criticism Karl Marx’s investigation of the late twentieth-century capitalism resulted in several important criticisms to the economic system. But these criticisms are based on an important Marxist theory, the theory of exploitation and inequality. Here, an unequal exchange develops between workers and capitalists. Solimano explains: While the workers’ only asset is labor (in flow terms, “labor power”), capitalists are in advantageous position due to ownership of the productive capital that allows them to organize ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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