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  • You work for me.

  • We're gonna make a lot of money today.

  • We're gonna make you some money today.

  • If you guys don't, you're fired.

  • [THEME MUSIC PLAYING]

  • NARRATOR: The School of Life is sending

  • some of YouTube's most popular creators

  • on a series of field trips

  • to explore some philosophy's most intriguing ideas.

  • This time, good friends

  • Hannah Stocking and Anwar Jibawi

  • two LA-based content creators

  • best known for their comedy skits

  • and with a fan base

  • of over ten million subscribers between them,

  • asked, "If capitalism has reached

  • the end of the road,

  • and, if it's broken, what kind of system might replace it?"

  • Anwar, what do you know about capitalism?

  • Capitalism, well, here's the thing.

  • Capitalism is um...

  • NARRATOR: A 60-second guide to capitalism.

  • For thousands of years, the rich were rich

  • because they owned land

  • and the poor were poor because they didn't.

  • With no opportunities to change their circumstances,

  • nobody questioned their place

  • or hatched elaborate schemes to get rich quick.

  • But, in the 1500s, a scientific and technological

  • revolution swept through Europe.

  • Over the next 500 years,

  • fortunes were made from a new capitalist system,

  • based on the spiraling profits that could be reaped

  • from an ever growing cycle of production and consumption.

  • But capitalism also created a new moral choice,

  • because as the wealth of the few grew,

  • so, too, did the suffering of the poor,

  • as they labored in the new factories in cities

  • they flocked to looking for work.

  • We could either be rich or virtuous.

  • Profit relied on exploiting workers

  • and selling people things they didn't need.

  • While being thrifty and honest meant a life of poverty.

  • The choice between profit and purpose

  • is more urgent now than ever.

  • As a soaring population

  • consumes increasingly scarce resources,

  • provoking a striking new question.

  • Could the future of capitalism look a lot like socialism?

  • We asked Hannah and Anwar to investigate

  • some of the pluses and minuses of capitalism and socialism,

  • by running rival cake stalls

  • according to the principles of each

  • at the Grand Central Market at downtown Los Angeles.

  • Hannah's stall is driven by key capitalist principles,

  • an overwhelming concern for profit,

  • prioritizing the needs of consumers

  • over those of the workers,

  • and clever marketing to stimulate desire.

  • HANNAH: If somebody's gonna buy a cupcake,

  • they're gonna want edible sparkles and gold flakes on it.

  • And deliciousness.

  • Anybody want some cupcakes, five dollars only.

  • NARRATOR: Anwar's cake stall

  • is governed by key socialist principles.

  • Because profit seems to rest upon exploitation,

  • the only goal is to break even,

  • prioritizing the needs of the workers

  • over those of consumers,

  • providing customers with only the basics.

  • Our cupcakes are three dollars.

  • ANWAR: Cool. Agreed?

  • -ANWAR: Cool. Awesome. -Works for me.

  • NARRATOR: A long standing argument

  • between capitalism and socialism

  • hangs on a heated disagreement over three key concepts.

  • Profit, competition and happiness.

  • In capitalism, people use their money

  • to start businesses, or lend their money to others

  • expecting to make a return on it.

  • Socialists say that the search for profit

  • inevitably exploits the workers,

  • by not paying them decently

  • or by making them work too hard.

  • We're gonna make you some money today.

  • You guys don't, you're fired.

  • You gotta work hard enough to get rewarded.

  • Why do you think parents give you chores

  • and then money at the end of the day?

  • You have to work for the money.

  • That makes sense. But there's a limit.

  • We're not trying to rip anyone off.

  • What if we don't sell?

  • Don't worry, you'll still get paid. Yeah.

  • NARRATOR: But capitalists say

  • that in the drive to make money,

  • they become focused on customer satisfaction,

  • in a way that socialists rarely are.

  • We have four flavors. All of them are $5 each.

  • Five bucks? That's so much money.

  • -It's probably the best cupcake you'll ever have. -Okay.

  • NARRATOR: This is the paradox that capitalism's earliest analyst, Adam Smith,

  • called the invisible hand of the market,

  • whereby capitalism forces the most selfish people

  • to think about the needs of others.

  • Not because they're kind,

  • but in order to drive up profits.

  • Out of selfishness, business will be super-attentive

  • and, in a way, kind to customers.

  • Thank you guys, so much, for your business.

  • NARRATOR: In a deep sense, greed is good,

  • or at least it may do good.

  • Capitalists believe that humans are lazy, risk-averse creatures

  • who naturally take the easy road,

  • and won't invent or invest unless forced to

  • by the threat of someone else grabbing their profits.

  • We're gonna go get something to eat.

  • Can you watch my stand, please?

  • -What? -Yeah, is that cool. Thank you.

  • ANWAR: Let's go.

  • NARRATOR: A so-called free market

  • is essential because only competition

  • creates an incentive for people to innovate

  • and make their products and services better.

  • HANNAH: People are just naturally drawn to ours,

  • which is gold, balloons, signs, boys yelling.

  • And over there...

  • NARRATOR: Socialists will say that the free market

  • leads to further exploitation of workers

  • as firms undercut each other on price

  • by pushing down wages and conditions.

  • Arman,

  • I don't know if I could afford to keep you here any longer,

  • so we're gonna need to send you home early.

  • You want me to go home, right now?

  • HANNAH: Right now. Yeah.

  • NARRATOR: Socialists prefer

  • the opposite of the free market.

  • A monopoly: one cake stand for everyone.

  • Which is the very thing that capitalists say leads to stagnation

  • and the failure to provide value for customers.

  • My workers obviously love me way more than they loved you.

  • Yeah. You're a popular boss,

  • but you're not gonna be popular when you run out of business.

  • NARRATOR: Socialists argue that profit relies

  • on selling people things

  • that they desire but don't need.

  • Things like exotic fruits, expensive wines and cupcakes.

  • Socialists prefer a simple economy

  • based on needs, not desires.

  • We've got red velvet, chocolate, double chocolate.

  • -Guys, you want some cupcakes? -[GIRLS SCREAMING]

  • She's profiting off everyone here.

  • ANWAR: And she's ripping everyone off.

  • NARRATOR: Capitalists would say that in a basic economy,

  • where people only buy what they really need,

  • most businesses would quickly go bust

  • and tax revenues would collapse.

  • Everyone would suffer, especially the most vulnerable.

  • Capitalists don't think we desperately need fancy cupcakes.

  • But the surplus generated

  • from this kind of unnecessary expenditure

  • is what creates the wealth

  • which pays for things like schools and old people's homes.

  • It seems we face a choice.

  • A free market economy driven by profit,

  • which strives to please customers but exploits workers,

  • or the workers who do well can be richly rewarded...

  • So, here's your wages and here's your bonus.

  • Thank you so much, boss.

  • Thank you for making me money.

  • NARRATOR: ...or a tightly controlled economy

  • focused on satisfying basic needs,

  • where workers are put ahead of customers,

  • but where a lack of competition

  • means that there's never enough profit

  • to escape from poverty or innovate properly.

  • -This is for you. -Thank you.

  • -This is for you. -Thank you.

  • This is for me. Cheers.

  • WOMAN: Cheers. [LAUGHS]

  • NARRATOR: Part of the problem

  • is that the capitalism versus socialism debate

  • is often presented as an "either-or."

  • I think both are good in their own ways.

  • I just think that if we get little parts from each system,

  • there's a good way of finding, like, a middle ground, you know.

  • Think you're onto something, Anwar.

  • Yeah.

  • NARRATOR: Perhaps both sides

  • need to steal each other's best lines.

  • From socialism, capitalism should steal...

  • And from capitalism, socialism should steal...

  • What else might each side learn from the other?

  • Tell us in the comments below.

  • I hope you guys enjoyed watching this film.

  • Make sure to subscribe to The School of Life channel.

  • All you got to do is click the button right here.

  • Right over here.

  • Click it. Click.

  • Click it, now!

  • -And like it. And comment it. -Click it.

You work for me.

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Is Greed Good? | The School of Hannah Stocking and Anwar Jibawi

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/28
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