Is Greed Good The School of Hannah Stocking and Anwar Jibawi – Free Ebook

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.


NARRATOR: The School of Life
is sending

some of YouTube’s
most popular creators

on a series of field trips

to explore some philosophy’s
most intriguing ideas.

This time, good friends

Hannah Stocking
and Anwar Jibawi

two LA-based content creators

best known
for their comedy skits

and with a fan base

of 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 land

and the poor were poor
because they didn’t.

With no opportunities
to change their circumstances,

nobody questioned their place

or 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 urgent now than ever.

As a soaring population

consumes increasingly
scarce resources,

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 stalls

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 stall

is 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

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

exploits the workers,

by not paying them decently

or 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 say

that 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.

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?

-Yeah, is that cool. Thank you.

ANWAR: Let’s go.

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.


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 prefer

the 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 things

that 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?

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 generated

from this kind
of unnecessary expenditure

is what creates the wealth

which 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 competition

means 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.


NARRATOR: Part of the problem

is 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.


NARRATOR: Perhaps both sides

need 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
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