Portal:Capitalism

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Portal:Capitalism

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Capitalism is an economic system and a mode of production in which trade, industries, and the means of production are largely or entirely privately owned. Such private firms and proprietorships are usually operated for profit, but may be operated as private nonprofit organizations. Central characteristics of capitalism include private property, capital accumulation, wage labour and, in some situations, fully competitive markets. In a capitalist economy, the parties to a transaction typically determine the prices at which assets, goods, and services are exchanged.

The degree of competition, role of intervention and regulation, and scope of state ownership varies across different models of capitalism. Economists, political economists, and historians have taken different perspectives in their analysis of capitalism and recognized various forms of it in practice. These include laissez-faire or free market capitalism, corporatism, crony capitalism, welfare capitalism, "third way" social democracy and state capitalism. Each model has employed varying degrees of dependency on free markets, public ownership, obstacles to free competition, and inclusion of state-sanctioned social policies.

The extent to which different markets are free, as well as the rules defining private property, is a matter of politics and policy. Many states have a mixed economy, which combines elements of both capitalism and centrally planned economies. Capitalism has existed under many forms of government, in many different times, places, and cultures. Following the demise of feudalism, mixed capitalist systems became dominant in the Western world and continue to spread.

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Norwich Market from Gentlemans Walk.jpg
Norwich Market (also known as Norwich Provision Market) is an outdoor market consisting of around 200 stalls in central Norwich, England. Founded in the latter part of the 11th century to supply Norman merchants and settlers moving to the area following the Norman conquest of England, it replaced an earlier market a short distance away. It has been in operation on the present site for over 900 years.

By the 14th century, Norwich was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in England, and Norwich Market was a major trading hub. Control of, and income from, the market was ceded by the monarchy to the city of Norwich in 1341, from which time it provided a significant source of income for the local council. Freed from royal control, the market was reorganised to benefit the city as much as possible. Norwich and the surrounding region were devastated by plague and famine in the latter half of the 14th century, with the population falling by over 50%. Following the plague years, Norwich came under the control of local merchants and the economy was rebuilt. In the early 15th century, a Guildhall was built next to the market to serve as a centre for local government and law enforcement. The largest surviving mediaeval civic building in Britain outside London, it remained the seat of local government until 1938 and in use as a law court until 1985.


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Bill Gates June 2015.jpg
William Henry "Bill" Gates III (born October 28, 1955) is an American business magnate, entrepreneur, philanthropist, investor, and programmer. In 1975, Gates and Paul Allen co-founded Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company. During his career at Microsoft, Gates held the positions of chairman, CEO and chief software architect, and was the largest individual shareholder until May 2014. Gates has authored and co-authored several books.

Starting in 1987, Gates was included in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people and was the wealthiest from 1995 to 2007, again in 2009, and has been since 2014. Between 2009 and 2014, his wealth doubled from US$40 billion to more than US$82 billion. Between 2013 and 2014, his wealth increased by US$15 billion. Gates is currently the wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of US$77.3 billion.

Gates is one of the best-known entrepreneurs of the personal computer revolution. Gates has been criticized for his business tactics, which have been considered anti-competitive, an opinion that has in some cases been upheld by numerous court rulings. Later in his career Gates pursued a number of philanthropic endeavors, donating large amounts of money to various charitable organizations and scientific research programs through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, established in 2000.

Gates stepped down as chief executive officer of Microsoft in January 2000. He remained as chairman and created the position of chief software architect for himself. In June 2006, Gates announced that he would be transitioning from full-time work at Microsoft to part-time work, and full-time work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


Selected quote

For good or evil, American labor has declared itself in as a silent partner in every business. With the acquiescence of the public and the government, workers ask for, and usually succeed in getting, some fraction of corporation profits. (The moral for the self-interested laborer is to apprentice himself to a profitable quasi-monopolistic industry which has plenty of gravy to share.)

Modern capitalist society seems so imbued with a feeling of guilt over the existing inequality of income that almost everyone believes in the desirability not only of higher wages, but of much higher wages. Consequently, the demands of workers are literally insatiable. An employer cannot buy them off at any price. All he can buy is a little time; but in a few months, the workers will be back for more.

The above remarks are stated as facts, without any expression of approval or viewing with alarm. It should be said, however, that there is nothing sacred about the traditional fraction of two-thirds of the national income going to wages and salaries. Moreover, with production growing over time, real wages can continue to rise without at all impairing the returns to property. But a reckless labor movement that forces up money wages too rapidly can certainly bring economic ruin upon itself and the economic system as a whole.

— Paul Samuelson (1915 – 2009)
Economics: The Original 1948 Edition

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  • September 25: Uber London to lose operator licence after September
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  • August 1: Anthony Scaramucci leaves role as US White House communications director after ten days
  • July 7: Volvo announces all new car models electric or hybrid from 2019
  • June 17: Amazon.com to acquire Whole Foods at US$42 per share
  • May 2: Several episodes of 'Orange is the New Black' released prematurely by hacker
  • April 14: Google blocks home device from responding to Burger King commercial

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