How can capitalism be modified to avoid done of the damage resulting from legal money making schemes which do more harm than good?

e.g. How to gradually reduce the harm to the environment and done by the health system and it's affiliated parties over time through gradual change, avoiding harmful conflict?

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    $\begingroup$ You seems to be asking several questions and your sentence structure is not great. It's not clear what the question is since your mixing too many things. $\endgroup$ – Vincent Jul 10 '16 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ Some (including myself) would argue that wage-labor under capitalism inherently does more harm than good and that harmful class conflict is a fundamental part of any capitalist society. But I don't think that's the answer you're looking for. $\endgroup$ – ApproachingDarknessFish Jul 10 '16 at 23:52
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    $\begingroup$ The ultimate problem with your question (and the sort of mindset that is behind questions like this) is who defines "good"? Capitalism allows the most people to define good and work for their own good; most of the things people see as failure tend to be "regulatory failure", where government inserts itself into the market for the purpose of defingin "good" their way and preventing or discouraging alternatives. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Jul 11 '16 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ You may do well to change this into a reference request for books centered around this topic. There's hundreds if not thousands of books written about different ways to take major facets of our society, like capitalism, and change them. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Jul 11 '16 at 4:30

Your question is worded pretty strangely, maybe you're ESL, but I'll try to answer it as best I can.

To start with, capitalism by definition is a legal money making "scheme". The word itself means "to grow with capital" or to grow your wealth and power by leveraging existing wealth and power. As for doing more harm than good with capitalism, that's largely a matter of perspective. Own a coal mine in West Virginia? Investing money in solar panels is downright sinful! Own a silicon mine in Wisconsin? Go technology and capitalism!! So to make capitalism a force for "good", you'd need to find out what are the most collectively beneficial sectors to invest resources, and convince people to follow the plan.

That second section I ~think~ is getting at how to do this without starting a war or massive financial fluctuation. This is a bit more tricky than the optimization and cost-benefit analysis of part 1. The most obvious answer for a smooth transition is through policy changes. Get the government to make big public initiatives for investing in the optimal industries from part 1, and create subsidies to keep people there until the industries are self sustaining. The problem with this is, agendas change, and policies follow agendas. To use a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory: what if there was a cure for cancer, but the people who make money on cancer medication hid it from the public? Well then all that medical research we invested in after part 1 would then be worthless because now that we've cured cancer, John Doe Medical Supplies and their owner, Senator Doe, just passed a bill that bans all experimental cancer drugs. So sorry. Game over for you.

The other option would be to get the population to put together this massively difficult task of re-structuring the economy on themselves. This could go well, this could start a civil war. Depends how much change you're trying to commit to at once. And example could be the "sharing economy" we've seen rise in the past decade or so. It's a very clever and mutually beneficial marriage of capitalists leveraging existing assets like rooms and cars, and consumers essentially "voting" for the sharing economy with their dollar, and happy to do so because it means they spend less money.

In the future, try to phrase questions more clearly as it helps you get more views and more importantly, answers. Hope this helped, please let me know if it did!


The easy solution is to create a rule that every legal money making scheme must submit documentation to prove that it does not do more harm than good.

Unfortunately, it is most likely that this new documentation will do more harm than the money making schemes ever did, so it, itself, does more harm than good.

Beyond that, I would recommend reading up more about capitalism and ethics at a philosophical level, and trying to pin down the definition of "more harm than good." Its actually a really slippery concept. You can spend a lifetime developing your concept of what "more harm than good" means, and not have wasted a life. Meanwhile, someone else could develop a completely different answer, and they wouldn't be wrong.

The general question of "what is wrong in our society and how do we fix it" is a good one, but its also one which lots of brilliant minds are thinking about, so don't be surprised when the answers take some work to come by.


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