The American capitalistic system is based on the theory of supply and demand. When there is not enough product to supply the number of people who want and can afford it, the prices increase. When there is more product than people want or can afford, prices go down. Supposedly, this creates a balance which benefits both consumers and producers. According to the theory, there is no need for the government to be involved in this system.

Because of a global pandemic, production has been low. Workers were furloughed, laid off, or unable to work because of disease. The economy tanked and not enough goods were produced to keep businesses going.

The government, in order to prevent a serious economic depression, provided subsidies for furloughed, laid-off or disabled workers to keep the people from doing without their basic needs. While receiving assistance to meet their needs, families survived and the economy began to show the possibility of improving.

To the surprise of many capitalists, unemployed workers are not eager to return to work for the low wage salaries they were barely surviving on before the pandemic. Apparently, the potential employees are reluctant to go back to the low paying jobs. They are unwilling to accept jobs producing goods they cannot afford to buy.

Now our American capitalists conclude that government must become involved. Because they are not getting their workers back, employers are demanding that the government stop paying subsidies to help families survive. CEOs and business owners want the government to force workers back to work for less than sustaining wages.

So my question is, if capitalism works for pricing goods, why is it not useful for paying workers to produce the goods? Could not the economic theory of supply and demand apply here?

Evelyn Swart


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