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The question of the prevalence of
capitalism in democratic societies is one of the major puzzles which economic
theorists have yet to solve. Capitalism is inherently in opposition to the
provisions of democracy. This is because it advocates for the consolidation of
wealth and resources in the hands of a few. Democracy on the other hand is all
about the equitable distribution of wealth. In a perfectly democratic economy,
individual wealth would be redistributed among the citizenry, leading to a
collapse of capitalism. However, the contradiction between the two principles
has not prevented them from coexisting in the vast majority of the world’s
economies. This has formed a major topic of interest to scholars worldwide. The
major questions which social capitalism scholars have sought to address are why
the poor, who are the vast majority in democratic states, do not supplant the
rich and how capitalism continues to thrive in a socialist environment.

Friedman (2002) gives a
straightforward response to the question of why the poor don’t subvert the rich
in democratic, capitalist states. Any endeavor at radical redistribution, or
communism they contend, would be met by enormous disinvestment and conceivably
viciousness by the privileged societies. Therefore, regardless of whether the
poor would at last be better o? in a framework where private property
rights were suspended, the ‘valley of transition’ would discourage any balanced
government with a constrained time skyline from allowing it. Alternately, the
rich may agree to popular government and redistribution since the expenses of
constraint or the danger of insurgency would some way or another be as well high.
‘ Class compromise,’ at the end of the day, could be a harmony. This model
wiped out the thought in the Marxist writing that free enterprise could just
survive if the lower classes were stifled or misled.

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Class compromise has been in
existence for a long time (e.g. Adolf and Gardiner, 1932), however visualizing capitalist
democracy as a class compromise does not itself take us exceptionally far in
clarifying the change in policy approaches and results across nations. In spite
of the fact that it is anything but difficult to feel that majority rule
government—as a specific type of government—and private enterprise—as a
specific kind of financial framework—would yield comparative policies and
results, a prominent commonality in entrepreneurial democracies is the high
socioeconomic inequality in areas such as public spending, wealth distribution
and social security. A full-time Norwegian laborer in the top income decile,
for instance, makes about twice as much as somebody in the base decile. In the
United States this ratio is well over four (based on 2000 information from the
OECD). The degree to which majority rule governments redistributes additionally
shifts to an astounding degree. As per information from the Luxembourg Income
Study, the decrease in the poverty rate in the United States because of tax
assessment and exchanges was 13% in 1994 while the similar ?gure for Sweden was

There are two standard modes to deal
with clarifying this fluctuation. One is Milton Friedman’s (2002) model of
redistribution, which has been the predominant paradigm in the political
economy for two decades. The paradigm is based on the instinctively
straightforward thought that since the middle voter has a tendency to have
beneath normal salary (accepting a regular right-skewed conveyance of pay) he
or she has an enthusiasm for redistribution. With a relative assessment and ?at
rate bene?t, and expecting that there are e?ciency expenses of tax assessment,
Downs’ middle voter hypothesis can be used to anticipate the degree of
redistribution. Equilibrium is achieved when the bene?t to the middle voter of
extra spending is precisely exceeded by the e?ciency expenses of such spending
(Friedman, 2002). This suggests two key relative statics: spending is higher
(a) the higher the skew in the dispersion of wage, and (b)the higher the number
of needy individuals who vote.

The latter proposes that a
development of the establishment to poor people, or higher voter turnout among
poor people, will bring huge support for redistribution and social security. Expecting
that the median voter’s approach inclination is executed, democratization will
in this manner prompt redistribution. Haldane offers support to this theory,
opining that corporate existence is hinged on voter goodwill and companies must
endeavor to make the poor feel included through CSR programs.

The ?rst suggestion—that undemocratic
societies redistribute more than egalitarian ones—has been soundly dismissed by
Haldane (2005). In fact, the trend among majority rules systems gives off an
impression of the converse. As noted in the case over, a nation with a ?at wage
structure, for example, Sweden redistributes considerably more than a nation
like the USA with an extremely in egalitarian appropriation of wage. Now and
again alluded to as the ‘Robin Hood paradox,’ this phenomenon has been the
subject of much scholarly interest.

The other principle way to deal with
the investigation of free enterprise and majority rules system concentrates on
the part of political power, particularly the authoritative and political
quality of work. On the off chance that private enterprise is about class
con?ict, the association and relative political quality of classes ought to a?ect
strategies and financial results. There are two variations of the approach. Power resources theory concentrates on
the size and composition of the benefits state, clarifying it as a component of
the recorded quality of the political left, intervened by partnerships with the
working classes (Friedman, 2002). Neo-corporatist
hypothesis concentrates on the
association of work and its relationship to the state-particularly the level of
centralization of unions and their fuse into public policy frameworks (Haldane,

The two models have been criticized
for not focusing enough what part employers to play in ensuring democratic income
redistribution. Adolf et al. (1932) opine that businesses did not just
contradict social arrangements, but rather in actuality played a proactive part
in the early development of such strategies. Additionally, if the welfare state
is based on managers, then investments and economic projections will take a
nosedive. However, the exceptional truth is that there is no observed
connection between government spending, national income and investment in
democratic societies. However, if such a constraint exists, then it does not
have ability to limit government spending and labor market control. The
neo-corporatist variation is more attractive in this regard since it recommends
how enveloping unions may pick wage limitation, which prompts higher pro?ts and
increased investment. In any case, this can’t be the entire story since
corporatist constructs were disassembled in the 1980s, regularly driven by international
trade arranged managers in the interest of wage limitation (Haldane, 2015).

A more critical inquiry is the
reason con?ict ought to be sorted out around class and not professional or
sectoral organizations. At the point when individuals make ventures in speci?c
resources, which might be physical or human capital, their interests will be
tied up with those ventures rather than to class. There is likewise no precise
record of how distributive con?ict between di?erent groups of workers gets solved
politically. Partitioning a pie welcomes the arrangement of redistributive
coalitions, and such coalitions can’t be displayed as just a component of
interests. The shortfall of these paradigms of explaining the permutations of
capitalism in democracies is that they are too voter-centric.

The arguments advanced by these
scholars explore practical phenomena in our economic systems. The inherent
conflict in capitalism and the welfare state is one that has shaped policy and
politics for a long time. This is no more evident than in the United States
where welfare issues such as healthcare and education have been a point of
contention for a long time.

Capitalists have great economic
power through creation of employment and contributing immensely to the GDP. It is
estimated that 1% of the population owns about 35% of the wealth in America (Haldane,
2015). This bipolarization of political and economic power has effectively
created two constituencies with divergent interests. Balancing the interests of
these two groups is a nightmare for the government and social and economic
policy makers. On one hand, the importance of providing a social safety net for
the millions of American poor is an issue of paramount importance to the
government of the day. This is mainly driven by the desire to placate the
voters in order to boost populism of party ideology and position. While the
government endeavors to get healthcare reforms right to win voter approval, the
weight of capitalists’ demands also weigh heavily on government policy

Capitalists are naturally opposed to
the welfare state. This is because it interferes with the dynamics of the free
market and distorts fair competition. Introduction of government subsidies down
the prices of these commodities and services in the free market, thereby
eroding producers’ profits. This explains the protracted opposition towards
government welfare programs such as healthcare reforms. Capitalists are also
well represented in government and fight for of their interests through lobbying.
They endeavor to do this by blocking legislation which they deem detrimental to
their interests. Another manifestation of the socioeconomic conflict is in
employment relations. In a free labor market, the profit motive of the
capitalists would drive down wages to unacceptable levels, thereby putting the
ordinary worker at a disadvantage. Government policy such as minimum wage is undesirable
to entrepreneurs as it threatens their profit margins.

With the divergent interests between
the voter and the capitalists’ establishment, the dream of achieving income and
wealth distribution remains elusive. The forces of supply and demand such as in
labor markets are driven by socioeconomic inequalities. The middleclass need
jobs while industrialists need labor. Government welfare poses an inherent
threat to this symbiosis, with the capitalists standing to lose the most from
egalitarianism. Consequently, they push back by flexing their economic power in
to have their interests represented in government legislation. The people on
the other hand wield the power of the vote and express their wishes through
elections. These seemingly incompatible constructs continue to exist in through
negotiations and concessions. The government acts as the regulator for
enterprise and social welfare, creating an uneasy status quo where neither
absolute capitalism nor absolute socialism reigns, but where each constantly
pushes the bounds of its leash.

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