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Luke Hutchison

TED Fellow, Google

TEDCRED 50+

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Is capitalism sustainable?

Bono stated in his TED2013 talk that the numbers show that we can eradicate all poverty worldwide by 2030. While I really hope that is true, it begs the question: Is capitalism sustainable? Is it possible to have a rich and middle class without a poor class? The sad reality of capitalism is that if there is an exponentially small number of people with exponentially large wealth, there has to be an exponentially long tail of much poorer people who are each contributing to that wealth. Not that we necessarily need an exponentially small number of people with exponentially large wealth, but would the world keep running without capitalistic incentives that increase the separation between rich and poor? Can we eradicate all poverty without the rich sharing their riches? What happens to civilization when nobody is willing to work in the factories and orchards, or build roads?

(Please don't take this question the wrong way! Personally I wish that nobody had to work menial jobs. I just don't understand how we can eradicate poverty when so many jobs will always translate into low-paid labor.)

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  • Feb 27 2013: Ummm.It is a really good question.When I found how profound the education to affect the society.I started to devote myself to the teaching job at school.And I found the education has the closest relationship with politics.Then I started to pay attention to political information.I am patient to read political news,speeches.I am very delighted to see to improve middle class income in United state.I can read a lots of ideas which pay so much attention to larger people's benefit ahead of rich class's,pay so much attention to weak groups' welfare:old people and young kids.And very clever plan is United State start to invest in preschool education.I feel excited when I read them from internet.Infact it doesn't matter capitalism or communist,as long as all people's educaiton can be improved day by day,once people have good education,they will not have bias about what jobs are menial or noble.they know once they want to see their values in their lives:working is a must.it means we are all happy to work.Then a harmonious and peaceful world will be closer and closer to us step by step.Oh,guys,that's very beautiful we are lookingforward to it.But It isn't the right time be ready yet.maybe after one hundred or two ,three.....or longer time.But we must be positive to the direction.And only education it does help the most:)
    • Mar 7 2013: In the UK we educate the majority to pass tests and in a few schools they teach them how to run a country.

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