Are capitalists happier?

By Vernon Smith
August 12, 2011

By Ronald Rotunda, Vernon Smith and Bart Wilson
The opinions expressed are their own.

As many of the world economies seem to be collapsing simultaneously, it is a good time to step back, take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture. Which kind of economy ultimately works better in the long run — capitalism or socialism?

We have long known that workers are richer in capitalist countries than in socialist ones. But are they happier? Capitalism sounds much harsher, like Thomas Hobbes’ depiction of the state of nature — the war of all against all. Socialists see capitalism as a system where people unfeelingly compete by trying to drive out their opponents. Capitalists counter that free markets are really about voluntary exchange and trading for mutual benefit.

So who is right? Using virtual economies, we can now literally recreate, in laboratory investigations, the state of nature and are no longer left to philosophical musings of first principles.

In the state of nature, individuals produce what they need — e.g., grain, beef, etc. People can remain self-sufficient, or choose to trade and specialize — some people may be more efficient than others in certain jobs. For example, some may herd cattle better while others have a green thumb growing crops. Or, they can even steal from each other because, in the state of nature, no legal system protects private property. (That should please the French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who proclaimed, “Private property is theft”).

The virtual economy endows each participant with an icon, “home,” where they consume goods, and a “field” where they produce them. For simplicity there are only two goods. They could be meat and potatoes, or ham and eggs. We call them red and blue. The experimenters privately inform each participant of their preferences over these two goods. Half are told that for every 3 reds they need 1 blue to earn 3¢, and the other half earn 2¢ for each red unit consumed with 2 blues.

An experiment consists of 24 independent sessions, each lasting forty 100-second “days.” Afterwards, each participant is paid privately in cold hard cash, just like a real market, providing the same incentive the capitalist system gives each of us. The more they produce, the richer they become.

No player interacts face-to-face with any other, and none can be identified, so we have the anonymity of an impersonal market. However, the players can anonymously communicate with each other in a public chat room.

For everything else over the next hour, they must discover by trial-and-error, including whether making reds or blues is advantageous. They can also discover that they are able to give goods to other people and other people can give goods to them. They can be self-sufficient, or learn to trade with each other, or specialize in red or blue and earn more money. These laboratory experiments consistently demonstrate Adam Smith’s assertion, that “it is the power of exchanging which gives occasion to the division of labour, so the extent of this division will always be in proportion to the extent of that power”. Many participants — but not all — quickly discover that they can benefit from trade.

There is a serpent in this paradise: participants inevitably, and often quickly, discover that they can simply take goods from one another without paying for them. In the chat room, the players promptly and spontaneously call this activity “stealing”. In this virtual “state of nature” no government protects private property.

Barter only works if the traders can keep the fruits of their labors. In a few cases the group agrees amongst themselves not to steal, even though the only enforcement mechanism is voluntary compliance. As in one person’s chat, “it would benefit us all if no one was a thief.” Another agrees, “to make a long term profit teamwork helps a lot”; “trade, not take.” This group gets richer. The potential profits these players can earn by trading are roughly triple their earnings from no-trade self-sufficiency.

Other groups do not barter much, do not respect private property and try to get richer by theft. They trade very little, steal a lot and get poorer. Groups that agreed to respect private property, trade and specialize create large gains, approaching 60% of the maximum possible (as high as, or higher than, an identical experimental variation where the computer prevents stealing).

The capitalists indicate greater happiness. We cannot measure this happiness the way we can quantify gains from trade, but the chat room discussions are revealing. In the “villages” (groups of players), the capitalist players engaged in small talk and banter as well as trade. A typical chat: Person 1 tells Person 7 that they can make more money if they specialize like the others, and Person 7 adds, “then trade” and “everyone is uber-happy.” Another player comments, “we are awesome”. “Yup,” says another. Another participant says, “usually there’s some idiot who just hordes his own blocks”. To which another responds, “very sad”. When Person 2 explains that stealing is not in anyone’s long term benefit, Person 6 responds, “I love you player 2”. The players who agreed to respect private property also seemed more respectful.

In the villages that did not respect private property, the chat room exchanges were very cold and impersonal. Surprisingly, at no point do these players discuss specialization. They saw that other villages were producing and consuming a lot more and were a lot wealthier, but they never asked how they might acquire such quantities. On the days of “rest”, they seldom chatted in the chat rooms.

A person in a village that respected property noticed the poverty in a village violating private property and lamented, “they must still not have everything ironed out yet. I feel sorry for em”. The anti-capitalists felt sorry for themselves. “I’m tired of this,” says one player. Strong language is not uncommon, “listen, im getting dicked over”.

Capitalism is about voluntary exchange for mutual benefit — risking loss as well as gain. As Person 8 says, “i think the point is to cooperate.” Oddly enough, only those people who agreed to respect private property figured that out.

It is interesting that the polls show that voters are not moving to the left, or favoring a larger role government, even after a market meltdown. Perhaps they sense what the economic experiments demonstrate. And perhaps the rioters in the UK will learn that it is better to find a system that works rather than work against one.

Vernon Smith is a 2002 Nobel Laureate in economics. He and Bart Wilson are professors of economics and law at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics and School of Law. Ronald Rotunda is a professor of law at Chapman.

Note: The experiments were conceived and conducted by Professor Sean Crocket of Baruch College (CUNY), Professor Erik Kimbrough of Maastricht University, and Professors Vernon Smith (Nobel Laureate in Economics) and Bart Wilson of Chapman University.

37 comments

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The development of capitalism consists in everyone having the right to serve the consumer better and/or more cheaply.

Capitalism means free enterprise, sovereignty of the consumers in economic matters, and sovereignty of the voters in political matters. Socialism means full government control of every sphere of the individuals life and the unrestricted supremacy of the government in its capacity as central board of production management.

A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.

Posted by johnrogersUSA | Report as abusive

The difference between socialism and capitalism has nothing to do with different motivations. Humans are universally motivated by self interest. Period. Different humans have different goals and dreams by which to define that self interest. So, the question becomes: which system permits those self interests to be most easily achieved.

For some, who abhor ambition and the ambitious, the choice is obvious. They choose security over liberty. Liberty involves risk and work, for which all are not well suited.

The experiment was crude and condescending to the human spirit, which does not recognize red or blue as the only choices.

I look at the thesis more basically as a choice about what kind of horse one might choose to be. Wild mustangs running free are sometimes too skinny, afflicted with maladies that kill them prematurely, and are hunted by predators, both four legged and two. Yet, they are free, run wild, and suffer no indignity of the saddle or plow.

Domestic horses are born under a roof, are fed, cared for by veterinarians, brushed and bathed, and are protected from fear of predators. The price for this security is mere acceptance of subservience and ownership.

When the show horses are trotting in their corral, and they look out upon the plain to a herd of wild mustangs, do you think they envy them or pity them.

There is no right answer, but how YOU would answer will tell you in which system you should be living.

Posted by scrjnki | Report as abusive

What’s all the fuss about?
First thing, scholars are scholars and the experiments they do don’t exist in real life. That’s why they are called experiments. Real life is much more complicated and trying to emulate those conditions would be more complicated than real life. Getting complicated?
Your happiness is not dependent on the system you live in. There are still very happy people in Syria right now and very unhappy people in the U.S.; the number capitalist nation. Happy or unhappy, you decide, not the system.

Posted by doctorjay317 | Report as abusive

I must say, this article is nonsense, with no relevance to the real world. The most successful societies use a combination of capitalist and socialist ideals. The most stealing occurs in capitalism, where there is no “free market”, but rather a mess of monopolization, tax inequities, trade agreements, fraud, collusion, and favoritism from government officials. It is difficult to evaluate socialism, without capitalism, because it does not exist in true form, except for a few impoverished countries that were previously devastated by capitalists stealing resources and land, leaving the population without the means to sustain themselves. Cuba is the most socialist that I can think of, but they are hampered by the constant harassment of capitalists, who through trade sanctions, and attacks from outside, that they are unable to realize their own potential. Democratic socialists, do not steal, but rather negotiate wages and rewards, and opportunities. Regulation is required to prevent those that would unbalance society in ways that harm the majority, but a person can still be free to save and invest, or work extra on the side and rise in wealth.

Posted by aligatorhardt | Report as abusive

No one has attempted to define the terms. I’ll make an attempt as well as I ever understood them.

Communism is often defined as the state ownership of all capital. It could be as extensive as the ownership of all industry, lands, and the control of all money of whatever scale in the name of the people who were theoretically in control of it through their government representatives. Everyone in an ideal communist state, of whatever rank, is really an employee of the state with no personal control of capital, land or labor.

Socialism was the selective ownership by the state of key industries that were usually of such a large size such as steel foundries, mines, public utilities or vital services like hospitals, clinics and their staff, or railroads and other transportation systems and some types of schools, that it was considered too important to be controlled by the profit motive for the benefit of private individuals. Socialism was a modification of an existing capitalist or free market system and would usually allow those to exist. The Great Depression, and WWII forced European economies and to a lesser extent, The USA and Canada, to adopt a socialist approach to economic life. Too many people in Europe, and the other theaters of the war, had been killed or their lives and property had been severely harmed, to ever be able to repair the damage done without extraordinary help outside their own limited means. South America and Africa followed a slightly different path because their development was not as heavily influenced by two world wars.

Capitalism is almost the hardest term to define because it is often confused with any type of economy not otherwise having some or all of the characteristics of the other two. It is generally considered to be a “free market” and is characterized by private ownership of capital and land and the uncontrolled competition of labor. It is probably the oldest system that isn’t actually a system at all. The formation of economic theories grew from it and that suggested the other two terms “socialism” and “communism”.

Another difficulty is that an economic system of whatever name is governed by a political system of some sort and they could/can range from absolute monarchies based on inherited aristocracies that could control considerable if not all capital, land, and labor or modified monarchies or dictatorships that have some limitations on their duration or control of capital, land and labor, to “democracies” that define themselves by some sort of representative government based on universal suffrage with all sorts of variations in between. And there is no standard definition of what any of the terms mean.

To totally confound any attempt to make an objective analysis of any of the above, least of all to try to define “happiness”, all of the systems mentioned tended to live within extensive religious traditions or tired to simplify terms by eliminating them.

The quote a Gospel passage (and this is not a unique statement limited to Christianity alone but can be seen in other religious traditions)

“he who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life will gain it”

How on earth can anyone make an experiment based on such amorphous terms or concepts? How can there ever be an experiment based on philosophy? One can’t actually define happiness at all.

@doctorjay317- I don’t think it’s making a fuss to consider the experiment the economists have devised. a few years ago The King of Bhutan said that he thought the major countries of the world should give more consideration to issues of their citizen’s happiness and less to issues of power, influence and enrichment.

I’m peacefully happy while writing this – but for two years I’ve been living with an EBT card and that makes me comfortably unhappy. I’d like to be more uncomfortably happy or unhappily productive and it isn’t too difficult to consider any political or economic system to get whatever it is that would allow that. I’m having a few problems with ways and means and terminology myself.

Maybe the economists should consider the idea that life requires purchasing future happiness with present unhappiness because present happiness can often yield future unhappiness. There are a lot of people facing terminal unhappiness in Syria and elsewhere right now in the hope? that someone might get happiness for it.

Do you think they know what they are doing and is it worth it? Somehow the system decides as well as the individual or there is no end to the bloodletting. Most societies do not define a state of chronic blood letting as a state of “happiness”.

Posted by paintcan | Report as abusive

The trouble with economics is the same as with all social sciences: it is NOT a science! Yet its practitioners love to dress up their subjective observations, opinions and conclusions as science. This does a great disservice to both science and social subjects (more appropriately called philosophy) – it tarnishes the former while arresting the healthy development of the latter. If we recognized subjectivity for what it always is – an opinion, an observation, even a systematic line of argument (and at its best wisdom) rather than try hard to pass it off as objective and verifiable truth, we will save ourselves from a lot of delusions and heart-ache.

This particular article compares human behavior under ‘best of capitalism’ with the ‘worst of socialism’. It would have been much wiser if we instead studied human or societal behavior as a whole under capitalism and socialism as actually practiced in various degrees in so many countries. In such a study, our observations would need to take into account various differences that may be due to human and institutional growth, complexity and development. In any case, pretense of ‘scientific experimentation’ necessarily tries to simplify greatly what can NOT be simplified.

Posted by reality3 | Report as abusive

I am really disappointed by this article, I fail to see how this experiment relates to the real world and real economic systems. The only reason I read the article are the credentials of the authors; I felt there must be something into it that is worthwhile. The experiment is clearly biased towards capitalism but I have no problem with that, I just feel sad with how badly designed it is. I hope it does not reflect in general on economic scholars.

Posted by painquotidien | Report as abusive

I am trying to understand something if this is true then why is it that Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Canada have the happiest people.

The problem I see is you use sound bites and select the groups for study. That is not the case in the world today.

The problem has always been and always will be our whole system (all of them are flawed). When you have winners and losers you are setting yourself up for a fall no exceptions.

Posted by theant | Report as abusive

While a Marxist, my personal approach to experimental economics is rather sympathetic. I, for one, am happy to acknowledge the many positive things achieved by researchers in this field (like Prof. Smith): in my view, the flaws demonstrated in the Homo economicus view of human behaviour, underlining the broader methodological individualism paradigm.

Also, unlike most Marxists, I tend towards empiricism.

With these two things in mind, it’s easy to understand that I find intriguing and exciting the idea of applying experimental economics to the question: “Which kind of economy ultimately works better in the long run – capitalism or socialism?”

What’s more, I welcome the proposition: “Using virtual economies, we can now literally recreate, in laboratory investigations, the state of nature and are no longer left to philosophical musings of first principles.”

Considering all these things, I respectfully must say that the desire not to rely on “philosophical musings of first principles” is not an excuse for not knowing what those first principles are.

And I regret to say, with due respect, that on the evidence of the text presented, the authors seem to have a poor understanding of basic terms.

Let me put an example where no “philosophical musings” intervene. If I understand the experimental setting, each experimental subject is equally endowed with the basic means of production: a capacity to produce (i.e. labour) and a “field” (i.e. land) where they can individually produce the blue and red commodities in some proportion of their choosing. (Although capital was not mentioned anywhere, this is not necessarily an objection, unless the authors intended their demonstration to apply to Marxist socialism).

They can also steal “from each other because, in the state of nature, no legal system protects private property”. Although not explicitly stated, I take it they can steal blue and/or red commodity from each other, but not the “field” itself.

To put it all in a more succinct way: there is absolute equality (including property of the means of production)

However, it’s a basic point of all forms of socialism that not everybody is equally endowed with the property of the means of production. Incidentally, the term “communism” itself alludes to an ideal state where land and capital belong to the community (which although not identical, somehow seems to correspond to your initial setting, ironically enough).

Although the authors do not seem to have it in mind, in the capitalist mode of production, for example, the fact that capitalists monopolise capital (while workers can only provide labour) leads to conflicts. Note the inequality in the initial endowments.

Likewise, in the feudal mode of production, the fact that feudal lords/aristocrats monopolise land, while serfs provide labour in exchange for the right to use a part of the land on their own behalf, produces conflicts.

Thus, the initial experimental setting of absolute equality seems singularly inappropriate to test whether socialism improves well-being: why should people strive to achieve equality, if they are already equal?

Although a more philosophically-oriented criticism would probably be unfair and outside the scope of this reply, I would recommend a revision of the notion of individualism underlying economic liberalism, as it has deep Hobbesian roots; unlike socialism, in all its forms, that emphasises equality, collaboration and at least some degree of “collectivism”.

Finally, I understand that the post I’m replying to is not a formal research report, thus there may be things “lost in translation”. If possible, a link to a publicly available formal report (maybe the working paper version) could help clarify the situation.

Thanks.

Posted by TheMagpie | Report as abusive

Magpie writes; “Thus, the initial experimental setting of absolute equality seems singularly inappropriate to test whether socialism improves well-being: why should people strive to achieve equality, if they are already equal?’

The experiment tested whether people working in a market economy were happier.

And socialism doesn’t made all people equal any more than the Constitution of the US made all men equal except to abolish titles conferred at birth.

Socialized medical care can be defended on the grounds that poverty can be inherited and without access to health care, any notion of equality becomes meaningless.

The issue of slavery in the old south was a true evil. It condemned people to a state of being bred like livestock. They were “mated” and their family affiliations were not respected if their owner had to sell them to raise capital. In fact, the southern slave could be either labor or capital depending on his master’s needs. He could breed slave children as just another cash crop.

A society that considers health care or any other aspect of the economy that can effect all of the population (like food that few can grow on their own anymore) a privilege and a reward for success is dangerously close to being a society where people can be enslaved by their own poor environment. The self-satisfied may claim it is due to one’s bad choices in life but it doesn’t require bad choices to sink into poverty. And one can make some truly rotten and even sociopathic choices to attain wealth. It may require super human effort and/or ruthlessness to out perform millions of other who may also be trying to get out of poverty. But if there are few opportunities to succeed, then most of that effort will be wasted. China has managed to elevate over a billion people above subsistence levels without massive debt by temporarily reducing everyone to slave status while India is developing rapidly but becoming a massive debtor and still living with teaming slums.

Life in the developed world makes it impossible for billions to ever return to the hypothetical state of nature or even to an adequate subsistence level. It requires having money to live in a developed society at all but depressions start because too few people have enough money or liquidity to keep the economy alive or active. Private debt isn’t sustainable in the long run and public debt may not be either. To put it another way: if the developed world collapsed – billions would very quickly die – winners and losers.

The health and welfare of the general population serves the capitalist and today the wealthiest individuals and enterprises don’t want to pay the system for all the goods it produced. Public education, a health care infrastructure, transportation and utility systems, defense capabilities, and a working government all made their fortunes possible at all. Socialism is the defining system of modern life and yet it somehow has becomes a dirty word. But it is socialism that has to take over in a crisis because capitalism wants to make a return on investment and shuns too great risk. It doesn’t work well with extreme poverty at all unless it can control the poor in slave like labor conditions. Slaves are all it tends to think the extremely poor are worth as tools.

There is something very strange in this and other modern countries in that religious institutions or even popular religion doesn’t seem to understand the economies they live in at all. A lot of them – especially popular religions – live in dreamlands that would prefer not to think about it. The Catholic Church was very suspicious of “liberation theology” because the old guard feared it. The current Pope and his predecessor was a staunch enemy of it and excommunicated many of its leading lights. Catholicism and Christian Fundamentalism, but not Protestantism to the same extent because it required that their followers could read well enough to read the Bible, don’t believe in the equality of people or access any more than Judaism or Islam does. All of them are more or less willing to accept the “divine right of kings” and the privileges of aristocracies, and it’s amazing how few people notice that. Modern democracy cramps their style. They all fear that modern life can make them redundant.

If the experiment lasted long enough it could have entered to the area where players were becoming indebted to the winners. And in the long run, the success of the winners may have been due to nothing more than the odds of choosing heads when someone else chose tails. And it doesn’t mention the possibility that winners can purposely misrepresent the rules of the game to set up losers as a cost of doing business. Slaves don’t tend to catch themselves.

Posted by paintcan | Report as abusive

@paintcan,

Except for paragraphs 1 and 2, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment.

However, I don’t understand how your comment in any way relates to mine.

In paragraph 2, you state:

“The experiment tested whether people working in a market economy were happier.”

Given this statement, I suppose your interpretation, as was mine, is that the experiment’s initial state (i.e. experimental setting) was intended by the authors to represent capitalism.

My objection, expressed in the paragraph below (which you quoted) is that the initial state does not represent a market economy at all: in a market economy not everyone owns capital or land.

“Thus, the initial experimental setting of absolute equality seems singularly inappropriate to test whether socialism improves well-being: why should people strive to achieve equality, if they are already equal?’

In fact, if one were to define equality as equal ownership of the means of production, the initial state of the experiment perhaps could be identified as “communism”, but it would never be described as a market economy.

In any case, and I hope you don’t take offense, I would rather discuss the experiment with their authors (and I assume you are not one of them).

And my insistence on having the authors’ opinion is because, as represented by the piece “Are Capitalists’ Happier?” this experiment seems to me as very poor science. That’s why I would like to know if there is something “lost in translation”, before making a definitive pronouncement that could be unfair to the authors.

Thanks.

Posted by TheMagpie | Report as abusive

@magpie – aren’t you reading too much into the experiment? They are trying to create a laboratory market economy. The players are producers exchanging their production for chits so they can either purchase other goods or save it and they want to make a profit.

People have been doing that since the beginning of human society. Ideas like socialism or communism would only enter the picture depending on the clan, family or tribal structure to which these primitive or “state of nature people” belonged. The prerogatives of the clan would determine the “taxes’ paid by the producer. He might have to turn over all profits or only a part. They could be aborigines of the northwest practicing ceremonially distribution of the production in the form of a potlatch. They could be Egyptians or ancient Romans that trade with money and charge interest or medieval peasants bringing their crops or livestock to the fairs. Pharaoh, or Caesar or the Lord of the Manor would have decided what they get to keep for themselves. Those market participants were unlikely to have had an economic philosophy to explain their activities. The ruler decided the rules of the game. The demand of the social system were met one way or another.

The experiment doesn’t mention taxes and there are many historical and cultural ways that taxes can be imposed without the use of money. Socialism tends to use taxation to distribute wealth. The Ancien Regime all over Europe would impose forced labor on peasants to accomplish rural public works. Nobles would be expected to field armies out of pocket to support the king. They were social duties that tend not to be called economic issues or tend to be ignored. They were taxes that might not have been in the form of money.

You evidently would rather not hear from me but the authors haven’t said a word and you agree with so much of what I said. As there is no etiquette for these discussions, I felt like answering.

Posted by paintcan | Report as abusive

“(…) the authors haven’t said a word and you agree with so much of what I said (…)”

Indeed, they haven’t said a word.

However, the lack of answer to a legitimate question, expressed respectfully, based on reasoning and a legitimate request for further information, within the limits of intellectual inquiry, sounds to me like an answer in itself, wouldn’t you agree?

In any case, I don’t think I read too much into the experiment.

Thanks.

Posted by TheMagpie | Report as abusive

Well, I think western economists underestimate the ability of people to be “trained” and “educated” to live in a socialist society. Look at what we got in Eastern Europe… several generations that clearly have problems adopting a capitalist approach to the economy because they were prepared to live in socialist economy in almost full equality with other people. I don’t say thats bad for them but if Vernom Smith has carried out his experiment in a soviet-type socialist state in the 80s I dare say his results would have been qualitatively different.

Posted by tolzkutz | Report as abusive

I keep a thread open until the time it closes. But this one has been open for months.

So Magpie – they may not have been at home when you asked your question and were trying to design a better experiment or just gave up on the idea? They may not even know you asked the question.

I don’t think you can use the old Roman principal – “Silence connotes consent”. You may also have them stumped or they can’t figure out what you were asking?

People also have to be trained and educated to live in a capitalist society.

The barter or the more sophisticated money economy, are not that hard to learn. I think they are instinctive, or skills even a child understands at a very early age. How many times have you seen children trying to imitate the grownup world by setting up lemonade stands? People were using money in Mesopotamia before anyone had a clue what “capitalism” was. Capitalism and market economies may not actually be the same thing at all.

Have you even read the work of Fernand Braudel?

Posted by paintcan | Report as abusive

Well theft is the biggest game in capitalism as it is today. And one reason for this is limited liability ownership. Imagine that if a company is guilty of an obvious crime, and that all who profited from said crime is guilty under full liability ownership. This will lead to a world where a CEO or fund manager would rather phone an investor and report a 5% rise in earnings than a 10% rise and 60 hours community service or 2 months jail for each and all investors.
Now how would corporations act towards people then? How would investors choose where to put their money? It is still capitalism just with the stick. How about the carrot… CEOs and management can earn a ceiling of 15 times the lowest salary of any employee in said corporation.. Stock and options included.. Overall people who excell are still rewarded better for tougher work but the more they exploit their workers the less their own compensation can legally be.
And how many community hours will be accumalated? All Im saying is that the “socialism” theft scenario is actually what happens in capitalism today and instead of the game ending, everyone will be indebted to the ones who stole the most…..
Democracy is a political aspect, capitalism is a financial aspect and socialism is a human aspect. It is about the way we treat each other. How we relate. Limited liabilty means that we are not truly accountable for the actions performed in attaining our wealth. If bank owners( all shareholders at the time of fraud in proportion to their % ownership ie if sentence is 100 years prison then 10% owner will get 10 years) were held liable for the libor fraud.. then multi billionaire families would be the ones going to jail..the ones who profited most from the crime, not to mention their liability through trusts, shells, dummy and ghost entities.. So your theft experiment is a good representation of capitalism as we know it today and you will see that the ones who steals most will be able to protect themselves by paying others to enforce laws on the poulation, and then become loansharks and then banks as we know it………… An honest and accountable banking and corporate system is what we need………………………………. Socialism( The way we treat each other in good faith and exploitation is seriously frowned upon) and capitalism( Our abilty to trade goods and services and produce the technologies to enhance our lives) will co exist.. and so will we

Posted by nods | Report as abusive

Looking forward to reading more. Great article.Thanks Again. Want more.