Hi. I saw you linked to this from another comment, so I thought I’d respond.
As I mentioned in my other comment, I am a capitalist, and am not proposing that we get rid of capitalism altogether. What I am challenging is the idea that capitalism is flawless, that it is never predatory, that it does not need to be regulated.
Capitalism doesn’t prey on anything.
Well, that’s not even remotely true. Capitalism is competition in the pursuit of profit. And in the pursuit of those profits, certain competitors will prey on anyone and anything they can in order to maximize said profits.
Now, yes, some capitalists operate morally and ethically and avoid undertaking predatory actions. But in any venture, there are good faith actors and bad faith actors. So you may have some capitalists who voluntarily choose to not exploit their workers or the environment, but you will always have some capitalists who are willing to do so. That’s why regulations are necessary.
Some people thank unions for much of what we have today, but again as I’ve mentioned, it is really consumerism and capitalism that we have to thank for much of what we have.
Sure, capitalism is to thank for our technological advancements, and for much of that technology being cheap enough that it can be put into the hands of the average citizen.
But since you bring up Rockefeller, let’s take a look at what capitalism looked like in his day.
Children were working in factories for 70–100 hours a week. They earned about 75 cents an hour (in today’s money). The machines they worked with were dangerous to operate, with tens of thousands of factory workers being maimed or killed outright in a given year.
Food processing plants had no oversight. That meant ungodly levels of unsanitary working conditions, and it meant that the can of processed pork or beef you just bought might contain plenty of things that are not pork or beef.
Working conditions are no longer nearly as bad as that, and we have unions and regulations to thank for that.