# Global Poverty and Capitalism

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alexandra
russ_watters said:
No, alexandra. All capitalism claims is that the government won't interfere with your ability to succeed. And the touble with the forced "equality" (in quotes because if it is forced, it isn't real) of some systems is that success is less based on merrit if it is given by the government.

No system can be a complete meritocracy, but capitalism comes closest of any. It is the only system that allows any social mobility at all.
I agree with you that forced 'equality' is not real equality - but there's another way of looking at this issue too: a society could exist that provides everyone with the same starting opportunities (truly the same opportunities - all children are assured a nutritious diet and good health, are brought up in safe, enriching environments, are entitled to attend equally good schools and universities, etc). It is only in such a society that what people make of their lives would truly reflect what individuals are capable of. The point is that I am not arguing for forced 'equality' - if laziness and lack of input into the community are reprehensible to conservatives and liberals, these qualities are even more reprehensible to socialists (who believe that all people living within a society have obligations to do their bit for their communities).

In the current system, which is set up to favour those who are already rich, much human potential is simply going to waste for trivial, unworthy reasons. I have taught in some very poor communities, and have had at least a handful of students who showed immense promise and went to extreme lengths to get an education, but could not even finish their high school education because of the extreme poverty they faced. I have also tutored rich kids who have not a jot of interest in their studies (despite the extra lessons) who have gone on to university and have successfully completed law degrees (taking twice as long as they should, I might add - why not, after all 'Daddy has the money!') and have been rewarded with more riches. I guess unless you have witnessed this sort of unfairness first-hand, you cannot really understand why I get so upset about it.
russ_watters said:
There's a big problem with that line of reasoning: capitalistic societies are the only ones that are at all concerned with environmentalism. Yeah, maybe in theory people who are motivated soley by greed shouldn't care about the environment, but in the real world, capitalistic societies do care about the environment and are the only ones making any effort to improve it.
Not true, Russ; they're not making an effort to improve it. One of the main reasons multinational corporations shift their operations to third world countries is because in those countries they can literally get away with environmental 'murder'. Here are some references to support this last statement if you'd like to look at them:
http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/tncs/2002/0911impunity.htm http://www.yale.edu/environment/publications/bulletin/098pdfs/98friede.pdf http://www.globalpolicy.org/reform/2002/modelun.pdf
russ_watters said:
You too, alexandra - the principles of Marx in his book sound reasonable (sorta), but in the world we live in today, it just isn't that way.
Sigh - yes, I know we live in quite a desperate period of human history. But I also know that human societies change - the future is not pre-determined, it is ours to shape. We can avoid the disasters that will inevitable result from the current path we are on. That was the main principle Marx outlined, and its as true today as it was when he wrote it.

russ_watters
Mentor
X-43D said:
That's nonsense. The reason why Africa is poor is because they need to adjust their economy to meet the needs of the global market (the international trade system) including excessive debt payments.
Since Africa has never had a modern, functional economy, you'll have a hard time proving that. You can't "adjust" an economy away from being functional if its never been functional to begin with.
What you wrote above is clearly Eurocentric. I think you didn't even took the time to read the link i posted above. There are reasons why most of the world population is poor, including much of south america.
Yes, there are reasons. And those reasons are internal politics. While it is true that in many countries, the breakup of empires left power vacuums that were not adequately filled (ie, meaning the UK could have done a better job setting up stable countries before abandoning them), internal problems are still internal problems.

The link of yours makes some statements which are intentionally misleading, but utterly transparent. For example:
All over the world, disparities between rich and poor, even in the wealthiest of nations is rising sharply. Fewer people are becoming increasingly “successful” and wealthy while a disproportionately larger population are also becoming even poorer.
Yes, its true, the disparity is getting larger. But what is more important is the fact that the actual poverty rate has decreased.
Around the world, inequality is increasing, while the world is further globalizing. Even the wealthiest nation has the largest gap between rich and poor compared to other developed nations.
Again, that's true - so how does that fact help the thesis there? The US has the highest gap but also has very low poverty - so didn't they just prove that the gap does not cause but actually helps reduce poverty?

But again, the simplest evidence here is the simple fact that all mature capitalistic nations are prosperous and no country that isn't prosperous is a mature capitalistic nation. Inevitable conclusion: mature capitalistic countries become prosperous, so countries that are not prosperous should reorganize to become mature capitalistic countries.
Capitalism never had respect for the workers. In capitalism, people gather their wealth by exploiting the workers. A worker is not paid the entire produce of his labor, as the employer retains a portion as profit. Profiting in this way tends to further enrich those with capital while not significantly enhancing the material well-being of workers. This perpetuates concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.
Straight from the mouth of Marx. That doesn't make it true. Some of the most successful compaines are also the ones who are the best toward their employees. Case in point: Southwest Airlines.

But beyond that, a successful company in a mature country pays its workers vastly more than in a country without a functional capitalistic economy. Again, this problem that Marx saw was limited to the transitional, immature capitalistic societies of the late 1800s. It is not true today.

And that's probably Marx's biggest error: he saw things like sweatshops, company stores, "robber barons" (monopolies), child labor, etc. and believed that as corporations became richer and more powerful, incidences of such things would increase. What he didn't understand is that democratic societies are self-correcting and that they would be able to successfully deal with such problems. He did not realize that child labor laws, the Sherman Act, labor unions, etc. were possible. As a result of these self-corrections, such problems are virtually nonexistent in mature capitalistic societies.

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russ_watters
Mentor
alexandra said:
I agree with you that forced 'equality' is not real equality - but there's another way of looking at this issue too: a society could exist that provides everyone with the same starting opportunities (truly the same opportunities - all children are assured a nutritious diet and good health, are brought up in safe, enriching environments, are entitled to attend equally good schools and universities, etc).
Only in the mind of Marx and his followers. In reality, no such society has ever existed and that's good enough evidence for me that no such society is possible. The reason why is simple: there are only two ways for absolute equality to be possible - either everyone with more must voluntarily give up what they have or it must be taken from them by force.
The point is that I am not arguing for forced 'equality' - if laziness and lack of input into the community are reprehensible to conservatives and liberals, these qualities are even more reprehensible to socialists (who believe that all people living within a society have obligations to do their bit for their communities).
Marxists always say that, but never say how equality can be achieved if not by force, except possibly by changing human nature.
In the current system, which is set up to favour those who are already rich, much human potential is simply going to waste for trivial, unworthy reasons. I have taught in some very poor communities, and have had at least a handful of students who showed immense promise and went to extreme lengths to get an education, but could not even finish their high school education because of the extreme poverty they faced.
Where are you from? In the US, anyway, there are opportunities for such kids.
I have also tutored rich kids who have not a jot of interest in their studies (despite the extra lessons) who have gone on to university and have successfully completed law degrees (taking twice as long as they should, I might add - why not, after all 'Daddy has the money!') and have been rewarded with more riches. I guess unless you have witnessed this sort of unfairness first-hand, you cannot really understand why I get so upset about it.
I've asked before: why is that unfair? Part of freedom is the freedom to be able to use your money to provide for your children. Those spoiled rich kids may be lucky that they were born into wealth but that doesn't make it unfair. Its precisly the same as saying it is unfair to the losers for anyone to win the lottery, because that's what it is: a genetic lottery.

What is unfair is when kids like that are given special priveleges because of "who they are". Ie, having the money to pay for an exclusive prep-school is not unfair - being accepted to college in a "legacy" situation (because your parents went) is.
Not true, Russ; they're not making an effort to improve it. One of the main reasons multinational corporations shift their operations to third world countries is because in those countries they can literally get away with environmental 'murder'.
I said capitalistic societies. Companies will always follow profits and the fact that they will follow those profits to immature societies is the whole point that I was talking about. If such societies had similar laws to those in mature capitalistic societies, companies would not be able to go there and disregard the environment.
Sigh - yes, I know we live in quite a desperate period of human history.
The only possible basis for that that I can see is that you see the failure of Marism as a desperate situation for you, ideologically. Because as far as the rest of the world is concerned, actual living conditions are what is important. I hope you're not trying to say that a 50% drop in poverty in 20 years is a "disaster".
We can avoid the disasters that will inevitable result from the current path we are on.
That still doesn't explain why we shouldn't continue the way we are going - and cut poverty in half again in the next 20 years...and again in the following 20 years....and again in the following 20 years....and again in the following 20 years. If the trend continues, poverty could drop from 18% to 1% in my lifetime. Is 1% poverty a "disaster" you wish to avoid?

I continue to be amused by that - one thing about people who predict the end of the world is they always predict a date, otherwise no one would buy their book. There's no panic if the "disaster" isn't imminent. Yet you refuse to make predictions on a timeline. Certainly, we are currently in an unstable situation: GDPs are increasing and poverty is decreasing. Will the miraculous improvements ever reverse themselves? - I don't know, but there is absolutely no evidence in the trend that they will. Part of the reason there is so little support for Marxism today is people see the vast successes of capitalism and see no reason to assume those vast successes will lead to disaster.

Meanwhile you are left to point at a graph of poverty's dramatic decline and call it evidence pointing to an inevitable "disaster". I think, alexandra, you may be reading the graph upside-down.
That was the main principle Marx outlined, and its as true today as it was when he wrote it.
Predictions can't be "true" in that sense - they either come true later or they don't. Marx's prediction may have been reasonable given the assumptions he made, but the assumptions proved false and that's why the prediction continues to fail. The predictions are only "true today as it was when he wrote it" in that they weren't true then and they still aren't.

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russ_watters said:
How does that fit with the definition of the word "individual"? "Marked by or expressing individuality; distinctive or individualistic" -- ie, different. Are we making up new definitions for words here? You're using the word almost exactly opposite from what it really means.
New words and meanings evolve all the time.

I have found references to papers on the internet from 1992:

[PLAIN said:
http://rous.redbarn.org/objectivism/Writing/RaymieStata/WhatIsIndividualism.html][/PLAIN] [Broken] Individualism holds that every person is an end in himself and that no person should be sacrificed for the sake of another. Collectivism holds that the needs and goals of the individual are subordinate to those of the larger group and should be sacrificed when the collective good so requires.

What does that have to do with anything? Slavery does not exist in capitalism today. Hard to argue that its a flaw when it doesn't exist. Are you at all concerned with the reality of the world we live in today? Its all well and good that in Marx's book the world you describe exists, but it doesn't exist in reality.
You really should get out more.

Capitalism has progressed to globalization bringing a melding of political ideologies with capitalist ideologies which are rife with slavery.

A simple entry of Halliburton and Burma into a search engine should be enough to convince you otherwise.

If not, try the writings of the investigative journalist John Pilgar:

http://pilger.carlton.com/print [Broken]

And what of the hard, factual data that says otherwise? Simple: they don't live in a mature capitalistic society. There is no mature capitalistic society that isn't prospering.
And you fail to acknowledge that it is those 'capitalists' who are reaching into these 'oppresive regimes' and taking advantage of the oppression to achieve slavery.

If you want to stick your fingers in your ears while Nike reaches into China and opens yet another sweat shop where an 'employee' has to work for two years to purchase one of the products she manufactures you will eventually have a horrible awakening.

In the Jeffersonian version of slavery, the slave owner paid for the food his slaves ate and gave him clothes to wear.

If I gave you a job where all I paid you was enough to purchase exactly what the Jefferson slaves were given, has slavery disappeared or are we now talking 'employment'? :rofl:

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russ_watters
Mentor
The Smoking Man said:
You really should get out more.

Capitalism has progressed to globalization bringing a melding of political ideologies with capitalist ideologies which are rife with slavery.

A simple entry of Halliburton and Burma into a search engine should be enough to convince you otherwise.
Huh? The worst that can be said about Haliburton is that they choose to associate with bad people. Yes, that is inethical and they should stop. But you're seeing the problem backwards: this does not change the fact that it was the Burmese that did those bad things and if their society were a mature capitalistic society, such things would not happen.

You guys just aren't hearing me. I don't know how many times I have to say it before it gets through: if these countries were mature capitalistic societies, these problems would not exist. Capitalism is the solution, not the problem.
And you fail to acknowledge that it is those 'capitalists' who are reaching into these 'oppresive regimes' and taking advantage of the oppression to achieve slavery.
How many other ways can I say this: such oppression does not exist in mature capitalistic societies and does exist in corrupt third-world societies. Are you saying that the solution should be for the capitalistic countries to become corrupt third-world societies? Don't you see how absurd that sounds?
If you want to stick your fingers in your ears while Nike reaches into China and opens yet another sweat shop where an 'employee' has to work for two years to purchase one of the products she manufactures you will eventually have a horrible awakening.
You tell me the solution then! Is the solution for China to adopt labor laws like the US or for the US to adopt labor laws like China?

You do understand the fact that much of that vast global drop in poverty comes from the drop in poverty in China - and that is because China has become more capitalistic in the past 20 years, not less. Yes, they still have a ways to go, but they are moving in the right direction.
In the Jeffersonian version of slavery, the slave owner paid for the food his slaves ate and gave him clothes to wear.

If I gave you a job where all I paid you was enough to purchase exactly what the Jefferson slaves were given, has slavery disappeared or are we now talking 'employment'?
Wow. If I were black, I'd probably be insulted by this whole post of yours. What makes it slavery is that slaves are forced to work. When Nike builds a plant in China - yes, even if the pay is very low - people have the choice of whether to work there or not. And for most, the choice is obvious: its better to work than to not work. And if you think that alone makes it slavery, you should quit your job and start begging for food on the street.

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X-43D said:
Does capitalism seek to create an individualistic society?
It would really help if you phrased these kinds of questions in well-defined terms. The rest of your post dwells only on the relationship between taxes, trade and wealth inequality.

Rev Prez

russ_watters
Mentor
Here's a proposal for you guys to mull over:

If the problem you are concerned about is Nike sweat shops in Asia, what would you say to the US applying its labor laws to its companies and associates of its companies in foreign countries? This would be difficult to impliment, but doable: it would require sending inspectors to China to inspect working conditions in Nike owned facilities and Chinese-owned afiliates of Nike and punishing Nike in the US for violations made by companies Nike doesn't own but only does business with.

What do you think of this plan?

russ_watters said:
Huh? The worst that can be said about Haliburton is that they choose to associate with bad people. Yes, that is inethical and they should stop. But you're seeing the problem backwards: this does not change the fact that it was the Burmese that did those bad things and if their society were a mature capitalistic society, such things would not happen.
Halliburton employed slave labour.

You guys just aren't hearing me. I don't know how many times I have to say it before it gets through: if these countries were mature capitalistic societies, these problems would not exist. Capitalism is the solution, not the problem. How many other ways can I say this:
Are you not hearing us? How many ways do we have to see this? The Mercantile Cpaitalistic Societies are not interested in allowing these banana republics and oppressive regimes to become mature capitalistic societies. It is not in their interests to do so.

You do understand the fact that much of that vast global drop in poverty comes from the drop in poverty in China - and that is because China has become more capitalistic in the past 20 years, not less. Yes, they still have a ways to go, but they are moving in the right direction. Wow. If I were black, I'd probably be insulted by this whole post of yours.
Presumably, if I were Chinese, I would not have the right to be insulted by yours?
What makes it slavery is that slaves are forced to work. When Nike builds a plant in China - yes, even if the pay is very low - people have the choice of whether to work there or not. And for most, the choice is obvious: its better to work than to not work. And if you think that alone makes it slavery, you should quit your job and start begging for food on the street.
Your presumption to lecture me on the status of employment in China is Ironic.

What constitutes slavery?

Couldn't the Jeffersonian slaves have refused to work?

"No massa I ain't pickin no cotton today."

Now tell me the difference between the black slave and the Chinese slave as far as their disposition in two months time.

There are a lot of 'well fed' Americans who simply state that people have the 'Choice' ... to live or die.

The 'CHOICE' is not obvious. It is as manditory.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
russ_watters said:
Here's a proposal for you guys to mull over:

If the problem you are concerned about is Nike sweat shops in Asia, what would you say to the US applying its labor laws to its companies and associates of its companies in foreign countries? This would be difficult to impliment, but doable: it would require sending inspectors to China to inspect working conditions in Nike owned facilities and Chinese-owned afiliates of Nike and punishing Nike in the US for violations made by companies Nike doesn't own but only does business with.

What do you think of this plan?
Great idea but impossible. Other countries wouldnt be very welcoming to this idea. Who knows what kind of kickbacks the governments get for various reasons.

Pengwuino said:
Great idea but impossible. Other countries wouldnt be very welcoming to this idea. Who knows what kind of kickbacks the governments get for various reasons.
Exactly ... and who funds the kickbacks?

Those ever so cool and progressive Mercantile Capitalistic Societies who just write it off to 'the cost of doing business'.

Then when it all blows up in the future, the USA says it was only the French that did it.

russ_watters
Mentor
The Smoking Man said:
Halliburton employed slave labour.
Source?
Are you not hearing us? How many ways do we have to see this? The Mercantile Cpaitalistic Societies are not interested in allowing these banana republics and oppressive regimes to become mature capitalistic societies. It is not in their interests to do so.
It is not in our power to stop them. Its their choice.
Presumably, if I were Chinese, I would not have the right to be insulted by yours?
Huh? I just complimented the Chinese for the vast improvment they made. Where is the insult?
Your presumption to lecture me on the status of employment in China is Ironic.

What constitutes slavery?

Couldn't the Jeffersonian slaves have refused to work?

"No massa I ain't pickin no cotton today."

Now tell me the difference between the black slave and the Chinese slave as far as their disposition in two months time.
OMG, are you serious? "No massa I ain't pickin no cotton today" gets you whipped and, or shot. You don't last two days, much less two months.
There are a lot of 'well fed' Americans who simply state that people have the 'Choice' ... to live or die.

The 'CHOICE' is not obvious. It is as manditory.
If the choice is to live or die, then the better choice seems pretty obvious to me. So why don't you quit your job and go live on the street?

But again, all you are doing here is complaining: stop complaining and propose solutions.

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russ_watters
Mentor
Pengwuino said:
Great idea but impossible. Other countries wouldnt be very welcoming to this idea. Who knows what kind of kickbacks the governments get for various reasons.
Actually, its not a great idea. The problems are far more severe than just kickbacks (I'll go into it later). But since the others here are unwilling to provide actual solutions, I'm left to attempt to argue both sides.

Pengwuino
Gold Member
The Smoking Man said:
Exactly ... and who funds the kickbacks?

Those ever so cool and progressive Mercantile Capitalistic Societies who just write it off to 'the cost of doing business'.

Then when it all blows up in the future, the USA says it was only the French that did it.
SOCIETIES? Might want to think that over buddy.

russ_watters said:
When Nike builds a plant in China - yes, even if the pay is very low - people have the choice of whether to work there or not. And for most, the choice is obvious: its better to work than to not work. And if you think that alone makes it slavery, you should quit your job and start begging for food on the street.
Here's an example:

http://www.todayonline.com/articles/59498.asp [Broken] Thousands of farmers demonstrated against a government-backed land grab in China's southern Guangdong province, with clashes erupting after police detained some protestors, a rights group said.
.
The protests were the latest in a series of incidents that have turned violent throughout China in recent months over government land requisition polices or abuse of power.

Who gets the land in the end? Foreign factories.

Who gets the jobs in the factories ... the farmers who used to own the land.

Choice ... Nil.

Kickbacks ... Youbecha!

Funding of kickbacks ... Mercantile Capitalists who don't care enough about their own countries to keep the jobs there. Why ... because true capitalism is not a democracy and they operate better where people have no say.

Ask the people of Bhopal India.

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russ_watters
Mentor
First tell me why those farmers are worse off than they were before, but next, propose a solution that will make them better off and another solution to prevent such land-grabs in the future.

TheSmokingMan said:
What constitutes slavery?

Couldn't the Jeffersonian slaves have refused to work?

"No massa I ain't pickin no cotton today."

Now tell me the difference between the black slave and the Chinese slave as far as their disposition in two months time.
I'd say that in two months time the chinese worker will still have the choice to find another job. In a couple days time the slave would most likely have either gone back to work or been beaten to death.
Slaves are property. There's your differance.

russ_watters said:
Source? It is not in our power to stop them. Its their choice. Huh? I just complimented the Chinese for the vast improvment they made.
You complemented the government. Not the people. You referred to African Americans, not their government.
russ_watters said:
OMG, are you serious? "No massa I ain't pickin no cotton today" gets you whipped.
:rofl: Apparently you really ARE out of it because in most cases, that is exactly the SAME result here.
russ_watters said:
If the choice is to live or die, then the better choice seems pretty obvious to me. So why don't you quit your job and go live on the street?
Because Russ, I am an independent consultant working in domestic and foreign corporations to improve the lot of people in China as I did in the Philippines 10 years ago.

But again, all you are doing here is complaining: stop complaining and propose solutions.
I propose solutions every day across board room tables.

Believe me it is hard walking the knife edge of watching employment withdrawn completely while sticking up for rights of individuals.

The latest stats place 26 million people at less than 668 yuan per year and 270 million at less than 2,400 ($300) per month. TheStatutoryApe said: I'd say that in two months time the chinese worker will still have the choice to find another job. In a couple days time the slave would most likely have either gone back to work or been beaten to death. Slaves are property. There's your differance. :rofl: So after two months of no food the Chinese worker would have found another job. You should take this act on the road. Do you imagine they get the same benefit cheques an american worker gets? Pengwuino Gold Member TheStatutoryApe said: I'd say that in two months time the chinese worker will still have the choice to find another job. In a couple days time the slave would most likely have either gone back to work or been beaten to death. Slaves are property. There's your differance. And there were LAWS to enforce this difference! Pengwuino Gold Member The Smoking Man said: Here's an example: Who gets the land in the end? Foreign factories. Who gets the jobs in the factories ... the farmers who used to own the land. Choice ... Nil. Kickbacks ... Youbecha! Funding of kickbacks ... Mercantile Capitalists who don't care enough about their own countries to keep the jobs there. Why ... because true capitalism is not a democracy and they operate better where people have no say. Ask the people of Bhopal India. Welcome to socialism. Capitalist societies do not believe in taking land away. Only socialist ideals dictate that land can be taken away from someone for the good of someone else. The Smoking Man said: :rofl: So after two months of no food the Chinese worker would have found another job. You should take this act on the road. Do you imagine they get the same benefit cheques an american worker gets? I see you've completely side stepped my mentioning the fact that a slave is treated completely differantly and is considered property. At any rate, my point was that the worker can find another job. As soon as he leaves one he can look for another. Regardless of how long it takes or if he gets government help or not he will always have that choice. A slave does not have this choice. He is property. He works or he will be beaten until he either works or has been beaten to death. Pengwuino said: Welcome to socialism. Capitalist societies do not believe in taking land away. Only socialist ideals dictate that land can be taken away from someone for the good of someone else. Well unless you're the US supreme court. Pengwuino Gold Member TheStatutoryApe said: Well unless you're the US supreme court. Take away our guns and look what happens! Run amuck. russ_watters said: First tell me why those farmers are worse off than they were before, but next, propose a solution that will make them better off and another solution to prevent such land-grabs in the future. Oh, I don't know ... Maybe the fact that their liveliehood as farmers was just taken away from them!? Doh! The solution is to make the people of the countries of these foreign corporations aware of what is going on and have them act in their own countries. Did you expect that Burma was going to act AGAINST Halliburton for instance? Even YOU state that it was the Burmese Government who employed the people when just a little common sense would tell you that the Government knows NOTHING about the construction of a pipeline. With a nod and a wink, Halliburton had those people do the tasks needed. This has very little to do in the foreign nations that have corrupt governments. They are merely the facilitators of the abuse. I straddle both societies ... western and third/developing world. I watch as these corporations search for countries with the least population friendly governments so that they can take advantage of every cent. People like yourselves are deceived into the idea that the slow move towards rising wages for the employed solves problems when in reality you are quoted rising wages while rising costs are hidden. This means that those NOT employed in those areas are thrown even further into poverty. This is the danger of those nasty things called statistics. A statistician is a person who can have his head in the oven and his feet frozen into a block of ice and say, "On average, I feel okay." Take Bill Gates and stick him in a room with 9 people about to die from starvation and you get an average income in that room of$4 billion.

YOU are being manipulated by statistics.

If you can honestly say with a straight face that you don't know if those farmers are better off or not now they have lost their land, you have some serious issues.

I see people all the time from Spunkhollow, Alabama who blame the 'chinks' for their problems and Bush's have and have nots laugh behind their hands.

They say the media here is censored ... Besides John Pilger, I have seen few journalists actually give this problem the attention it needs.

I unge you AGAIN to go to his web site and read the section on Globalization:

http://pilger.carlton.com/print [Broken]

He states the problem there and has some solutions.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Pengwuino said:
Welcome to socialist. Capitalist societies do not believe in taking land away. Only socialist ideals dictate that land can be taken away from someone for the good of someone else.
Eminent domain has been part of the US political-economic system since day 1.

The Federal and State governments took private land in the Eastern US during the 1800's and gave it to private companies and some public companies for railroads. In fact, railroads had the right of eminent domain granted to them in some cases.

The one can look at how J. D. Rockefeller built his oil monopoly. He had people sabotage the competition. No telling how many people he 'murdered'.

And Carnegie - equally ruthless - no telling how many people were killed (murdered) by people in his employ.

Capitalism or rather industrialism in the late 1800's and early 1900's was brutal.

That and the Great Depression is why the US ended up with Socialist policies - and that saved many lives.