Compare and Contrast the Key Components of Capitalism and Socialism

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Compare And Contrast The Key Components Of Capitalism And Socialism Capitalism and socialism are somewhat opposing philosophies in economics. Economic equality and the function of government are the primary arguments in the socialism/capitalism debate. Capitalism is a system in which individuals own almost all the economic resources and means of producing goods and services. In a capitalist society there is no government interference in the operation of the economy. The price of all goods and services depends largely on supply and demand. Individualism and competition are essential to capitalism. Individual success is valued and people are encouraged to pursue personal wealth, often through higher education or by starting a business. Competition is also stressed as a way of increasing personal success and wealth. Capitalism relies on competition for resources and a system of checks and balances. Individuals can compete against others to provide the best goods and services, at a price people are willing to pay. Those who do are likely to succeed, those who do not will eventually fail and leave the marketplace (Diffen). Capitalists believe that society is better off with the free market determining economic winners and losers rather than the government. Capitalist systems general goal is low taxes. Consequently, government funding for public services, like financial assistance, welfare, employment aid and child care, are generally kept to a minimum. Health care systems are not government funded and citizens must purchase their own health insurance or rely on an employer to provide insurance benefits (Brym, 2012). Socialism relies on public or governmental ownership and control of economic resources and the means of producing all goods and services. While some individuals may own businesses or offer services to consumers, their profits are heavily taxed.
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