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Capitalism is (not) Compatible with Economic Morality How are capitalism and economic morality compatible? Capitalism is the free market economy which has private ownership, private enterprise, and private credit. I consider that economic morality is the morality which deals with the allocation and the productivity of the limited resources among people. Capitalism may or may not be compatible with the economic morality. It depends upon historical time as well as of values of the person who describes capitalism. The explanation of some aspects of the first two stages of capitalism is the goal of this paper.

The first stage of capitalism, mercantilism is characterized by the rise of banking activity which was regulated by the government such as kings. The banks lend more money than they receive which is called money creation. In the beginning it was used by Italian bankers in the big business centers of Europe, Genoa and Venus, in the Northern Italy. Other bankers begin to create money as well. The usurer of money becomes an important link between loaners and creditors. During this time credit on a large scale begins to be available. A lot of European voyages to other continents became available with the help of the credit of money. The economic success of the merchants and the bankers makes some royalty and church officials angry. For the disadvantaged people mercantilism is incompatible with economic morality. They can find justification for aggravation from the writings of Thomas Aquinas. He reflects the Medieval view that price should be fair by using logic and Christian principles. The Medieval view is that God gave power to the kings to protect the peasants and the craftsmen in a war time, and the peasants and the craftsmen are supposed to work for lords and to give taxes to the holy church. Any other business activity is a sin. Good Christians are supposed to help other Christians but not to take advantage from the needy people. Therefore, most of the usurers of money are murderers of Godís-Son, bloodsuckers of the Christian children, greedy Jews. Therefore, interest prices are unjust, and usurers are sinners. In places of social instability, Jews are the main scapegoats. From the fifteen century the market pushes a lot of non-Jews to be involved in the business trade, and the economy of Europe became more global. The concept of the fair prices is diminishing.

From the last quarter of eighteenth century until approximately the beginning of the twentieth century economy is characterized by the pure capitalism. The private ownership, the private enterprise, and the private banking become reality. This free market is responsible for the dramatic increase in productivity according to economists. On the other hand, this economy has some bad side effects such as thousands of hungry workers, and exploitation of children. This capitalistic, unregulated economy has deep business cycles which lead to the unemployment of workers and instability of prices. Workers have to spend ten or more working hours a day sometimes without a break and to work at the plants from six years of age. Their daily meal consists only from the few pieces of bread and a glass of water, and properties of the labor are only few working shirts and pants and one clean shirt for the holy Sundays. The life of the workers in the dirty barracks is miserable. The above facts are only a part of the working conditions at that time. Do capitalists have any morality but egoism?

For Karl Marx capitalists have no morality but only rational decision regarding increase of the profits. Regarding the relationship between capitalists, profits, and workers, Marxís opinion is written in Caravale Marx and Modern Economic Analysis. No matter that for the worker the exchange between capital and labor, whose result is the price of labor, is a simple exchange; as far as the capitalist is concerned, it has to be a not- exchange. He has to obtain more value than he gives. Looked at from the capitalistsí side, the exchange is only apparent. [Caravale p.195] From this paragraph it is clear that the capitalist values capital more than labor. Moreover, since the additional work of a laborer gives more profits to the capitalist than the wage to the worker, the owner of the resources exploits workers.

What is economic morality? Conventional economists ignore morality and therefore the implication of any kind of morality on business transactions is ignored. For them human behavior is behavior only according to self interest, and economic morality is a rational selfish decision as a result of which money changes its owner. Consequently they will justify any behavior which leads to the economic growth. Although conventional economists will justify banking during mercantilism, they cannot answer the question whether Jewish bankers were sinners during mercantilism. Regarding the pure capitalism, social conditions of hungry population such as misery, aggravation, and suicides are ignored.

For me economic morality consists from both egoism and duty. According to this morality people make economic decisions. I consider that negative national characteristics of Jewish bankers are the result of the jealousness and shortsightedness of other people. The relative success of Jews such as Rothshild family is the result of the great importance of education and duty among Jews. During mercantilism Jews is the religious group. There are 613 laws which traditional Jews observe. Among many laws there are duties for Jews to study every day, to respect parents, to put interests of Jewish community above selfish impulses, and to give money for charity. Therefore, Jewish business activity is compatible with economic morality.

An increase of banking activity leads to the wealth of the nation. This activity gives money to the entrepreneurs whose innovations make more goods for people. People also benefit from the evolution of money (metal coins, paper money, checks, and electronic money) which happened with the help of the research in banking industry.

Capitalism may or may not be compatible with economic morality. There is no evidence that the Jewish bankers have no morality, and that banking activity is harmful for society. On the other hand, the hard exploitation of workers during pure capitalism is the evidence of diminishing value of morality and an increasing value of capitalistic profits.

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