Economic ideology is a set of philosophical views about how the economy should be organized and operated. It is based on subjective opinions as opposed to economic theory which is an objective set of facts. Economic ideologies are usually associated with a specific political point of view or party affiliation. Examples include capitalism, socialism, and communism. Economic theories are based on observable data, measurable relationships, and logical conclusions derived from them. On the other hand, economic ideologies are more ideologically driven and focus on creating guidelines for how economies should be managed. They are usually based on a certain set of values, such as equality and justice, and how these values should be incorporated into economic policies. Additionally, economic theories are more focused on the analysis of current situations while ideologies focus on optimizing outcomes in the future.
Overview of Capitalism
Capitalism is one of the most dominant economic systems. According to world population reviews, an estimated 157 countries subscribe to the monetary values of capitalism. This financial system is characterized by private ownership. The wealth in this economy is based on a system where owners control the factors of production. These owners then employ people to help generate income from production. It is a competitive system that requires innovation as owners compete against each other for market share. These owners target specific industries to generate revenue by selling their products at competitive and profitable prices. To achieve an advantage in their industry, owners must employ high innovation levels to maximize production times while keeping costs manageable. A free market economy is often viewed as the best facilitator for such an economic system. Capitalist economies use demand and supply to help stabilize their prices without affecting production levels. Capitalism can sometimes be flawed in a Free market economy as the middle class, and the working class may struggle to acquire a competitive disadvantage. This hindrance may stop them and the generations that follow from succeeding in this environment.
Overview of Socialism
Socialism is an economic system that advocates for equal ownership of the factors of production. Socialists believe that every member of society is equal. Full citizenship guarantees you a fair share of the natural resources in the country. The revenue generated through labor, capital goods, and entrepreneurship is split among everyone. An equal share of the economic output is considered fair as this monetary system argues that human nature is inherently cooperative. The governments are the collectors and controllers of national revenue. They are obligated to subtract a portion of the money to help maintain the country and for the common good. The remaining share is then distributed. If a member of society is not in a position to contribute to the country’s economic output, then the system will cater to them. Socialism is therefore based on a non-competitive economic structure that values contribution.
Socialism should, in theory, eradicate poverty within its society. The availability of equal access to services should prevent inequality among the populace. Citizens should be able to access free health care, education, and food. The challenge with a Socialist economy is that it suffers from the same problems as a command economy. When the state involvement in business is too high, it can cause the economy to stagnate. Without competition, there are likely to be reduced levels of innovation and efficiency. A low-performing economy could lead to economic instability.
Overview of Communism
Communism is an economic system that has similar values to socialism. With communism, the factors of production are owned by the people. The critical difference is that economic output is distributed based on need. Socialism distributes economic output based on the value of your contribution. Communists argue that their system reduces income inequality and poverty. The main critique of this system is that it is similar to a command economy. The consumer often receives substandard services and resources because of decreased innovation and slowed economic growth. A recessionary environment often leads to financial instability as producers look to sell their goods by creating black markets. This action diverts valuable income away from the formal revenue collection covers.
Overview of Mixed Economy
In practice, it is difficult for an economy to use one economic style. Most countries around the world have therefore adopted a mixed system. This system is an amalgamation of market, command, and traditional monetary systems. The key benefit of this structure is that it combines the advantages of each design. They counter each other well, and this, therefore, mitigates their disadvantages.
Mixed economies respect property rights and allow market forces to determine prices. The laws of supply and demand exist freely. However, the government can sometimes take over strategic economic sectors. This feature is an aspect of the command financial system. In these economies, the government sometimes runs particular industries such as energy, defense, healthcare, and banking. This is believed for the greater good as the government can fund these massive sectors through revenue collection. One of the main advantages of a mixed economy is competition and innovation; however, the government still controls some key sectors.
Overview of Free Market Economy
The laws of supply and demand are vital to determining the prices in a Free Market economy. The government does not intervene between the seller and buyer. Both parties agree upon the merits, production, and distribution. The goods, services, and property must be privately owned for the deal to be valid. This feature gives them the right to generate profit from that ownership. This rule applies to products, property, and skills. Sellers can charge any price they wish if buyers are willing to pay the purchase. The buyers can select the best product for the price they are willing to pay. This balance helps to ensure that what is supplied is exactly what consumers demand. A free-market system often has stable prices as the goods and services reflect their actual value to society. The race to capture consumers leads to sellers being more innovative and efficient. Efficient production and distribution are seen as the only way to outperform competitors in the market. The main challenge with this type of economy is that it values competition. Ordinary and underperforming citizens can be left vulnerable.