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How Capitalism Impacts Our World: A Poem


Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

The ghost town of Union Level, Virginia

The ghost town of Union Level, Virginia

The Significance of Capitalism

For many reasons capitalism has become the dominant economic system in most of the world. In this economic system, private individuals or corporations own and engage in the exchange of wealth which pertains to the distribution, production, and investment in goods. Many economists also extend this definition to include services as well. This is an important aspect of capitalism. However, capitalism occurs in different forms.

The poem below was inspired by our constantly changing economic reality. America has all of the below capitalist activities occurring within her borders. Yet, capitalism has proven to be a flexible economic system; change may be inevitable. But man will always be the same.


Three Types of Capitalistic Endeavors

  • Mom and Pop Capitalism – In this form of capitalism, families or one person may own a shop, a farm, or business. They are responsible for making profits and handling any liabilities associated with the business.
  • Corporations – Corporations come in many forms. The purpose of the corporation is to reduce the legal liabilities of one person. Corporations usually have a “board of directors” that helps manage the business. Stocks may be issued to the public and the corporation is responsible to the shareholders, goods, and services it may provide. A corporation operates mainly in one nation.
  • Multinational corporations – Like above, the same principles apply, but multinationals have a global reach in their business dealings. They may have headquarters for several different continental areas; they dominate, in many ways, the global economy. They employ thousands of people, and their enormous financial engines for nations where they do business.
The town of Autryville, North Carolina

The town of Autryville, North Carolina

One Life in a Capitalist Society

He dripped ice cream tears,

Upon a stool once the world,

Once the planet,

Swallowed in an exchange.

Moved away from main,

Taken away from the suburbs,

Shops sold to future,

Stock gold to butcher.

They were shattered to pieces,

Splattered upon self-indulgence,

Rectifying nothing,

That still was something.

Everything normalized

Between the concrete and dirt,

Profits profess to no one,

Where the company left them alone.

The town of Franklinton, North Carolina

The town of Franklinton, North Carolina

A loan to Pay of flesh,

Devoured by clocked time—

Hours eaten away

Buying more debt.

Morbid the tunes

Spilling from exhausted engines,

Trailers pulling people along

To factory doom.

He saw his son,

Mechanic where ice cream flowed,

Making prosperity engines

Drink pavement to garage.

Booming interstate

Banging bricks and tar

Upon the empty spaces.

Between places and inside faces

Words gagging the drums

Of businesses beating hearts

Submitting to paychecks.

The town of Candor, North Carolina

The town of Candor, North Carolina

Mom and Pop broken,

Sold the farm for bread,

Made somewhere in the Midwest

And Washington, D.C.

Or overseas behind

Expensive china

Under boards meeting

Aces creating while erasing.

History border blurred

Into global oblivion,

Obscuring the common man,

Replaced with robots.

He viewed his grandson,

Video phone images cold,

Plastic hugging pixels,

Baby tech crying scrambled.

Just confused ghosts

Haunt streets abandoned

Howling spirits on sidewalks

Temper their passage to county cemetery.

Capitalism impacts every town in some way.

Capitalism impacts every town in some way.

Books About Capitalism

Throughout the centuries, capitalism has evolved and writers have written extensively about it. Initially, the economic system was dominated by single-person or family businesses. Later came bigger companies and the age of the "robber baron." Capitalism reached across the American continent and Europe, eventually leading to national corporations. Now, capitalism is dominated by huge multinational businesses. Indeed, capitalism has provided expansive material for creative minds along with goods and services.

Without question, the interaction between mankind and economic systems has inspired literature and countless volumes of research. Most nonfictional or fictional works pertaining to capitalism either portray the economic system as productive or as a source of problems for societies. Philosophers, such as Karl Marx (1818-1883), saw capitalism as a destabilizing and dangerous economic force. But others, such as Adam Smith (1723-1790), praised the power of the “invisible hand” of free markets. Below I’ve provided some books about capitalism, but there are many novels, films, plays, and poems on the topic. Research and find what you enjoy:

  1. A., Branden, N., Greenspan, A., & Hessen, R. (2013). Capitalism: The unknown ideal. New York: Signet.
  2. Unger, D. (1991). The Turkey war. New York: Ballantine Books.
  3. Younkins, E. W. (2014). Exploring capitalist fiction: Business through literature and film. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.


Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 17, 2019:

Some scholars suggest the joint stock company may be the greatest achievement of capitalism. These companies dominate the global trade today. However, governments must keep sound regulations in place to keep these giant businesses from ruining the well-being of citizens. Every country on Earth monitor capitalistic endeavors to some degree. Thanks for visiting.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 17, 2019:

The word capital comes from Latin. This word means “head.” It usually referred to cattle, but we use capitalism to discuss many things of value. The book, The Wealth of Nations, provided guidelines for setting up the system we see today in the majority of the world. Thanks for reading.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on November 17, 2018:

Tim, beautifully written and wise. People must be a priority not the wealthy few. Enjoyed your wonderful imagery and metaphor. Excellent topic to explore.

Tim Truzy on January 17, 2018:

I wrote this poem after recalling the classic play by Arthur Miller, "Death of a Salesman." My poem chronicles the life of an individual as he watched his world change, based on the demands of business. Although all business isn't bad, and most of it has proven beneficial to us--some businesses can destroy human beings perceptions of being alive. Businesses need checks and balances.

To such an extent, democracy and capitalism are rather strange partners. The needs of business don't always coincide with the needs of democracy.

But again, businesses change, and our perceptions of what business brings to society changes as well. We could not have won W.W.II without our industries, or reached the moon either. Businesses played a part in pushing for the end of segregation, too.

Likewise, injuries, deaths, and other travesties have been caused by hazardous practices by businesses.

It's up to us how we want our businesses to prosper. It's up to us to determine how much regulation (if any) we want on our industries. This may change - it's never a permanent state of existence in the business and individual relationship.

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