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HAT Forum - "Economic Systems"

  • The 519, Rm 303 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessing; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” Winston Churchill

“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it’s just the opposite.” John Kenneth Galbraith

“Capitalism has been the greatest driver of prosperity the world has ever seen.” Barack Obama  

1.       Discussions about economic systems can be hindered by a lack of agreement on definitions. How do you define: capitalism, crony capitalism, state capitalism, socialism, communism, Marxism, and mixed economy?

2.       How well have the various economic systems worked out in practice?

3.       In Canada, and in many other industrialized countries, medical care is socialized, but other necessities, such as food, are distributed through the market system. Why is that?

4.       What changes, if any, would you like to make to Canada’s economic system?

5.       According to some economists, socialism requires central planning, since there would be no price system to coordinate the activities of the many actors in the economy. Therefore it is impractical, since such a high degree of coordination by a central planner is not possible. What do you make of this argument?

6.       Do certain political systems work tend to work better with certain economic systems?