There is extreme partisanship in the United States regarding whether or not capitalism should continue to be implemented. This partisanship is apparent in Capitalism, For and Against: A Feminist Debate, by Ann E. Cudd and Nancy Holmstrom. The published debate between Cudd and Holmstrom ultimately discusses whether systemic changes can be placed upon capitalism for an ideal "enlightened capitalism", presented by Cudd, or if the United States should adopt a new economic system altogether, suggested by Holmstrom. I address Ann E. Cudd's argument for an "enlightened capitalism" by summarizing her main ideas, and proceed to refute it on the grounds that her four defining conditions of capitalism: 1) private ownership of capital, 2) free wage labor, 3) decentralized open markets, and 4) the nondiscrimination constraint, fail to include profit maximization, an element considered inherent to capitalism by many economists, including Adam Smith. By excluding profit maximization as a defining condition, Cudd not only neglects to present an empirically accurate description of capitalism, but she also disregards the inequality and harm that follow from this condition. Hence, I ultimately argue that a capitalist system should not be implemented in the United States because its inherent conditions debilitate its participators.
Shown, Phoebe E.
"The Constraints Within Capitalism: An Evaluation of Ann E. Cudd's "Enlightened Capitalism" in 'Capitalism, For and Against',"
The Cardinal Edge: Vol. 1:
3, Article 13.
Available at: https://ir.library.louisville.edu/tce/vol1/iss3/13