Capitalism is a hot button subject for the media and many politicians during this election year in the U.S. Conservatives firmly believe that it is this systems best attributes, freedom from excessive government regulation, individualism, incentive to build a legacy, tax incentives to encourage job creation and others, that has has allowed the country to be the most prosperous in the world. Those of a liberal bent on the other hand feel that it is the negative attributes of the same system, loose regulation, greed, many working for the benefit of a few and too much wealth control by a small percentage of the public that make this system a candidate for the scrap pile.

Irregardless of the which side of this debate you find yourself you might not have a clear understanding of exactly what the term Capitalism means. Actually I believe that the internet search engine is a perfect example of both the good and bad that this system offers. Lets look at both sides and see if you agree that these engines are indeed a good basic example of capitalism.

The Good:

  • Anyone can search the internet free of charge.
  • To make sure you find what you search for the engine companies companies must have lots of expensive servers and other technology. This means more jobs.
  • Many talented and educated personnel are necessary for the engines companies to operate properly. More high paying jobs.
  • To cover the cost of running an engine the owners offer paid advertising on the search pages. This provides income for the engine company and lots of good advertising for manufacturers.
  • The engines allow affiliates to place these same ads on their personal websites and pay them a percentage of the ad revenue. This allows many entrepreneurs to build a business and add jobs.
  • Low government interference.

The Bad:

  • Greed. As with any society there are those who would use the system to enrich themselves at the expense of others.
  • Fraud. Some with technical ability will find methods to cheat the system the system.
  • At the present strict regulation has not been enacted to govern these engines.
  • System creates more wealthy people which leaves the countries wealth unequally distributed.

Now I have no intention here to take sides. Any issue of both the positive or negative side of capitalism can lead to hours of debate. My only goal is to illustrate that search engines are actually a pretty good example of capitalism at work if only at a basic level. And if you should complain that it is not a perfect system I would urge you to consider the legal system of the United States. Are all guilty persons found guilty? Are all innocent people found innocent? Certainly not but as many have observed it is still the best legal system in the world.

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