Think about what made you in a bad mood recently. Odds are that your problem came from another person or from money. Since you cannot interfere with other people behaviour directly but still want to live while maximizing happiness, let’s try to find why money creates problems. Our modern economic system came to life in the 1800s, by the time industrial revolution touched most industrialized countries. The major points about this new capitalism were the possibility to make profits, the private property and the market concurrency. In counterpart, these properties are not necessarily good for everybody and are often subject to polemics. Then again, they are the roots making the modern world go round but this is also why we should do our best to make this system works.
The main problem about capitalism resides in the research of profit. As Mark Obrinsky wrote in the very beginning of one of the most influential economic book ever published, Profit Theory and Capitalism :
« It has been recognized at least since Adam Smith that profits
are the driving force in a capitalist economy. There are no state
planners to issue directives concerning the productive use of the
state’s resources. »
Therefore, the capitalist can make what he wants with the resources he owns. Since people will want to make more profit with their resources, they will not necessarily try to make the best use of these resources for the benefit of the society. It is really from this point that capitalism cannot work as a global economy system. Capitalists will not try to reach the highest level of happiness for the rest of the population since it is their money and they can do whatever they want with it.
This makes room for the second point: private property. Since the capitalists own their resources they are not forced to share them with others. This is what really causes the social problems we know nowadays. As the German philosopher Karl Marx warned us in Capital :
« The mysterious character of the commodity-form consists therefore simply in the fact that the commodity reflects the social characteristics of men’s own labour as objective characteristics of the products of labour themselves, as the socio-natural properties of these things. Hence it also reflects the social relation of the producers to the sum total of labour as a social relation between objects… »
This brings us to the labour problem; as everybody cannot be an owner, workers will offer their service for a fee. Then again, this causes low-wage jobs, strikes/lock-out and even worse, death of innocent people. All these problems are caused by the impossibility of sharing everybody’s interests equally.
Indeed, without an equitable share of profit, both owners and workers can’t ever be seen on the same scale. As long as there will be private property, owners will not want to share their profits with the workers, though they are the ones who made the products. We can conclude this is because workers are seen as resources and not as people.
Finally, capitalism cannot be the best economic system even if it is instituted for more than 150 years. The problem resides in the basis of this economy and we will not be able to solve it without changing completely the system. There should not be private property and profits should be spared equally between every individual before we can assert maximization of happiness within the society. Therefore, this will not be possible until people stop caring about making always more money.
Obrinsky, Mark (1983). Profit Theory and Capitalism. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 1. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=4995059.
Marx, Karl (1886). Capital: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production. Pp. 164-165