The economy has always been an integral part of society. However, it has changed substantially over the course of its existence, shifting towards a global economy with few large corporations dominating the international market. This discussion post will focus on capitalism and socialism as two primary economic models and their place and roles in the modern world. Underemployment and unemployment and their contributing factors will also be discussed.
Today, several types of capitalism can be seen in society, including welfare and state models. It can be argued that welfare capitalism is the primary type observed in American cities. This model can be described as a market-based economy with social assistance programs to support citizens (Macionis, 2021). In this type, most companies are privately owned, with certain industries and services being maintained by the government, offering a wider choice for consumers (Paul, 2011). In Oakwood, Georgia, there are both private, for example, Walmart, and government-owned companies, for instance, United States Postal Service. The Department of Human Services offers public assistance programs in Oakwood, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and Medicaid (Georgia Department of Human Services, 2012). Thus, welfare capitalism can be observed in American society today.
Socialism as an economic model can also be advantageous in modern society. Specifically, many communities could benefit from collective ownership of property as it would ensure that every person has access to housing and essential goods (Macionis, 2021). Socialism promotes economic equality, reducing the existent pay gap between employees in different industries (Sanders, 2015). In addition, unemployment and underemployment in modern society add to the economic disparity between different categories of workers. The two phenomena can be explained by the companies downsizing or closing due to competition or other circumstances. In 2020 approximately a quarter of small businesses closed due to COVID-19, with many people losing jobs and being unable to find work (Routley, 2020). Overall, competition and economic recession are primary factors behind current high rates of unemployment and underemployment.
In summary, the contemporary economy is represented by two primary models: socialism and capitalism. Welfare capitalism can be observed in many American communities today as there are many programs aimed at supporting citizens in need. However, there are high unemployment rates in the country due to competition between companies and such external factors as recession and the current COVID-19 pandemic. The economic system can benefit from certain aspects of socialism, including collective ownership of property.
Georgia Department of Human Services. (2012). Public assistance. Web.
Macionis, J. J. (2021). Sociology (17th ed.). Pearson Education.
Paul, R. (2011). What’s wrong with socialism, socialized medicine . YouTube. Web.
Routley, N. (2020). Mapping the uneven recovery of America’s small businesses. World Economic Forum. Web.
Sanders, B. (2015). Bernie Sanders on what’s wrong with American cowboy capitalism. YouTube. Web.