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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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  • Mar 13 2013: I think that capitalism is not sustainable because it is build on constant growt and creating debt ,and creating money out of nothing.
    We live in a overproduction environment wich brainwashes us sending us impulses through media wich products we have to buy in order to create a desire for it
    All over the world this system is collapsing Europe,USA,and soon we will find out that we depend on eachother because everything is connected .
    Humanity should strive to give every citizen of this planet their basic needs (food ,shelter,healthcare,education) all products that are not urgent we can do without.
    By doing this we create an environment where everybody cares for eachother and create other values then just money.

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