Is Greed Good? | The School of Hannah Stocking and Anwar Jibawi


You work for me. We’re gonna make
a lot of money today. We’re gonna make you
some money today. If you guys don’t, you’re fired. [THEME MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: The School of Life
is sending
some ofYouTube’s
most popular creators
on a series of field tripsto explore some philosophy’s
most intriguing ideas.
This time, good friendsHannah Stocking
and Anwar Jibawi
two LA-based content creatorsbest known
for their comedy skits
and with a fan baseof over ten million
subscribers between them,
asked, “If capitalism
has reached
the end of the road,and, if it’s broken, what kind
of system might replace it?”
Anwar, what do you know
about capitalism? Capitalism, well,
here’s the thing. Capitalism is um… NARRATOR:A 60-second guide
to capitalism.
For thousands of years,
the rich were rich
because they owned landand the poor were poor
because they didn’t.
With no opportunities
to change their circumstances,
nobody questioned their placeor hatched elaborate schemes
to get rich quick.
But, in the 1500s,
a scientific and technological
revolution swept
through Europe.
Over the next 500 years,fortunes were made
from a new capitalist system,
based on the spiraling profits
that could be reaped
from an ever growing cycle
of production and consumption.
But capitalism also created
a new moral choice,
because as the wealth
of the few grew,
so, too, did the suffering
of the poor,
as they labored
in the new factories in cities
they flocked to
looking for work.
We could either be rich
or virtuous.
Profit relied
on exploiting workers
and selling people
things they didn’t need.
While being thrifty and honest
meant a life of poverty.
The choice between profit
and purpose
is more urgentnowthan ever.As a soaring populationconsumes increasingly
scarce resources,
provoking
a striking new question.
Could the future of capitalism
look a lot like socialism?
We asked Hannah and Anwar
to investigate
some of the pluses and minuses
of capitalism and socialism,
by running rival cake stallsaccording
to the principles of each
at the Grand Central Market
at downtown Los Angeles.
Hannah’s stall is driven
by key capitalist principles,
an overwhelming concern
for profit,
prioritizing the needs
of consumers
over those of the workers,and clever marketing
to stimulate desire.
HANNAH: If somebody’s
gonna buy a cupcake, they’re gonna want edible
sparkles and gold flakes on it. And deliciousness. Anybody want some cupcakes,
five dollars only. NARRATOR:Anwar’s cake stallis governed
by key socialist principles.
Because profit seems
to rest upon exploitation,
the only goal is to break even,prioritizing the needs
of the workers
over those of consumers,providing customers
with only the basics.
Our cupcakes are three dollars. ANWAR: Cool. Agreed? -ANWAR: Cool. Awesome.
-Works for me. NARRATOR:A long standing
argument
between capitalism
and socialism
hangs on a heated disagreement
over three key concepts.
Profit, competition
and happiness.
In capitalism,
people use their money
to start businesses,
or lend their money to others
expecting to make
a return on it.
Socialists say
that the search for profit
inevitably
exploits the workers,
by not paying them decentlyor by making them
work too hard.
We’re gonna make you
some money today. You guys don’t, you’re fired. You gotta work hard enough
to get rewarded. Why do you think
parents give you chores and then money
at the end of the day? You have to work for the money. That makes sense.
But there’s a limit. We’re not trying
to rip anyone off. What if we don’t sell? Don’t worry,
you’ll still get paid. Yeah. NARRATOR:But capitalists saythat in the drive
to make money,
they become focused
on customer satisfaction,
in a way
that socialists rarely are.
We have four flavors.
All of them are $5 each.
Five bucks?
That’s so much money. -It’s probably the best
cupcake you’ll ever have.
-Okay. NARRATOR:This is the paradox
that capitalism’s earliest
analyst, Adam Smith,
called the invisible hand
of the market,
whereby capitalism forces
the most selfish people
to think about
the needs of others.
Not because they’re kind,but in order
to drive up profits.
Out of selfishness, business
will be super-attentive
and, in a way,
kind to customers.
Thank you guys, so much,
for your business. NARRATOR:In a deep sense,
greed is good,
or at least it may do good.Capitalists believe that humans
are lazy, risk-averse creatures
who naturally take
the easy road,
and won’t invent
or invest unless forced to
by the threat of someone else
grabbing their profits.
We’re gonna go
get something to eat. Can you watch
my stand, please? -What?
-Yeah, is that cool. Thank you. ANWAR: Let’s go. NARRATOR:
A so-called free market
is essential
because only competition
creates an incentive
for people to innovate
and make their products
and services better.
HANNAH: People are just
naturally drawn to ours, which is gold, balloons,
signs, boys yelling. And over there… NARRATOR:Socialists will say
that the free market
leads to further
exploitation of workers
as firms
undercut each other on price
by pushing down wages
and conditions.
Arman, I don’t know if I could afford
to keep you here any longer, so we’re gonna need
to send you home early. You want me to go home,
right now? HANNAH: Right now. Yeah. NARRATOR:Socialists preferthe opposite
of the free market.
A monopoly:
one cake stand for everyone.
Which is the very thing
that capitalists say
leads to stagnation
and the failure
to provide value for customers.
My workers obviously love me
way more than they loved you. Yeah. You’re a popular boss, but you’re not gonna be popular
when you run out of business. NARRATOR:Socialists argue
that profit relies
on selling people thingsthat they desire
but don’t need.
Things like exotic fruits,
expensive wines and cupcakes.
Socialists prefer
a simple economy
based on needs, not desires.We’ve got red velvet,
chocolate, double chocolate. -Guys, you want some cupcakes?
-[GIRLS SCREAMING] She’s profiting off
everyone here. ANWAR: And she’s ripping
everyone off. NARRATOR:Capitalists would say
that in a basic economy,
where people only buy
what they really need,
most businesses
would quickly go bust
and tax revenues
would collapse.
Everyone would suffer,
especially the most vulnerable.
Capitalists don’t think
we desperately
need
fancy cupcakes.
But the surplus generatedfrom this kind
of unnecessary expenditure
is what creates the wealthwhich pays for things
like schools
and old people’s homes.
It seems we face a choice.A free market economy
driven by profit,
which strives to please
customers but exploits workers,
or the workers who do well
can be richly rewarded…
So, here’s your wages
and here’s your bonus. Thank you so much, boss. Thank you for making me money. NARRATOR:…or a tightly
controlled economy
focused on satisfying
basic needs,
where workers
are put ahead of customers,
but where a lack of competitionmeans that there’s never
enough profit
to escape from poverty
or innovate properly.
-This is for you.
-Thank you. -This is for you.
-Thank you. This is for me. Cheers. WOMAN: Cheers. [LAUGHS] NARRATOR:Part of the problemis that the capitalism
versus socialism debate
is often presented
as an “either-or.”
I think both are good
in their own ways. I just think that if we get
little parts from each system, there’s a good way of finding,
like, a middle ground, you know. Think you’re onto
something, Anwar. Yeah. NARRATOR:Perhaps both sidesneed to steal each other’s
best lines.
From socialism,
capitalism should steal…
And from capitalism,
socialism should steal…
What else might each side
learn from the other?
Tell us in the comments below.I hope you guys
enjoyed watching this film. Make sure to subscribe
toThe School of Lifechannel. All you got to do is click
the button right here. Right over here. Click it. Click. Click it, now! -And like it. And comment it.
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