My problem with capitalism

Why does capitalism make me upset? The best way I can explain it is my experience as a caddy. I started caddying this year at a private golf club. I wanted to make money this summer and this is how I am doing it. Obviously every member at the golf club I work at is extremely rich and successful. I knew that even going into the job. While training, my caddy master and his friends made it seem like caddying was the “it” job. They made it seem like it was the best job in the world. They made me feel like I was lucky to even be training as a caddy. When I actually started working there, my eyes started to open to what I was actually doing. Caddying can be a painful job, literally. The painful blisters I have received from that job are too many to count. First, your feet, back, and shoulders ache while you’re caddying; then the next day, your whole body will ache. All that while the person you are caddying for is trying to keep the conversation going between you two. “What school do you go to? Are you excited for high school? How many siblings do you have? Where are your parents from? Where do you live? How long does it take you to get to work? Do you have any family members who work here?” I know they have good intentions, but it’s easy to keep a conversation going when you’re not in any pain. They’re having a great time drinking, laughing, and golfing. All while you are aching, just so you can make 1% of what they make. 

            How does this relate to my point today? When you speak of the negative effects of capitalism, you must speak of how workers are treated. I believe that workers under capitalism work harder than the capitalists. After all, they are the ones doing the heavy lifting. The people that are “higher” than them have no idea how difficult, tasking, and exhausting it is to be a worker under capitalism. They will never have to know. Even though their workers are selling their labor, capitalists don’t pay them nearly as much as they deserve. While capitalists swim in their wealth, their workers are drowning in their own poverty and anguish. 

The gap between the rich and the poor will continue to grow if we don’t do something about capitalism. What is wrong with capitalism? For starters, it leads to excessive focus on material consumption. Capitalism promotes the idea that material consumption is a good thing and that people should spend as much as possible. Have you looked closely at Time Square? All you can see in the background are advertisements for countless different companies. This is very harmful to our economy and to our society in general. Consumerism makes the world superficial and promotes the idea that if you’re not up to date on the newest clothing, devices , etc. you’re missing out. This leads into how consumerism is bad for the economy. Consumerism causes more pollution. Since people want to be up to date, they throw away the items that society considers “old” or “out of date” to buy something they don’t necessarily need. We shouldn’t rate success in terms of how many material things a person possesses. 

One of the more obvious reasons as to why capitalism is terrible is because workers get exploited for the benefit of capitalists. In many capitalist countries, including the United States, companies do not care about the wellbeing of their workers. This means creating unsafe work spaces, unfair payment of workers, and many more. Think about all the billionaires in the world. Where would they be without the people who work under them? Absolutely nowhere. Since they will not meet any of those people in person, ever, they won’t pay attention to their needs and sufferings. It doesn’t affect them in any way. As long as their companies are up and running, they don’t care about the wellbeing of the people who are making it happen. 

Capitalism increases social tensions in our society. Poorer people will become more and more frustrated as time goes on, since they will not get any opportunities to get out of their misery. Because of capitalism, the price of land is higher. This leads to the price of rent increasing. As the price of rent increases, the rate of interest decreases. As capitalism develops, the size of rent increases. This leads to many evictions, since people cannot afford their rent. Evictions lead to homelessness. Capitalism can also lead to higher unemployment rates. As the economy becomes better and the demand for workers exceeds the supply, workers can afford to be more selective. Wages can be forced up. To save money, capitalists try to outdo each other and invest in machinery instead of workers. Capitalism creates greedy people. People who only care about getting ahead and money. Capitalism is creating a money obsessed society.

What can we do about capitalism? In my opinion, I think we should bring more attention to income inequality. Make sure people realize that they are being treated unfairly. Companies should start being transparent. If they are more transparent, corruption will decrease. I also think power should be distributed. One person shouldn’t have all the power when it comes to companies. Power should be open. This is where labor unions come in. According to Oxford Languages, a labor union is “an organized association of workers often in a trade or profession, formed to protect and further their rights and interests.” All companies should encourage their workers to create labor unions. As it guarantees the workers get the respect and equality they deserve. They should not feel threatened at all. Employees should be able to enforce policies and procedures. 

              These are only a few of the things we can do to improve capitalism. Until then, I think people should start speaking out more about the issues of capitalism. It should not be something that is swept under the rug. There is something we can do about it. We just choose not to.

Jacklynn Boateng

Loyola Academy – DMSF Class of 2026

Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash