Undoubtedly, capitalism is one of the greatest economic policies to have ever existed. It promotes competition, which stimulates economic growth and technological innovation. But, as with any applied theory, it sounds better on paper than it is, actually, in practice.
During the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, factories manifested harsh living conditions for workers, breeding injuries, disease, and even death. Over time, working conditions have gotten better, but the impetus of capitalism continues to drive long work hours and, often, mediocre pay. Employers operate by getting the most out of their employees while paying them as meagerly as possible--this is how companies maximize their profits and perpetuate their role in the competitive market.
The modern world thrives on the culture of capitalism, but it cannot go unchecked. Vast gaps of inequality have been made evident in America for quite a while, with the top one percent of citizens possessing almost more wealth than the other 99 percent combined. This is morally outrageous, and it will lead to inevitable complications and perhaps the collapse of society altogether.
So what can be done? I propose two methods: (a) demand fewer work hours, and (b) spend your money distributedly.
Demand Fewer Work Hours
On average, Americans go to work five days a week, working eight or more hours a day. When the work week is over, people spend their days off either recovering from work or catching up on errands. It hardly seems like there's enough time to engage in those enjoyable activities that make life worth living.
If people only worked four days a week or worked only 5-6 hours a day, without a significant pay cut, employees would not only be much happier, but they would be more enthusiastic about their work. This may even lead to increased productivity and a livelier workplace.
Employers often keep workers insecure. Workers believe that if they don't work themselves to death, their boss will find someone else who will. This can hardly be considered a humanitarian business model. It's up to workers to stand up against such oppression. If workers unite under a singular purpose, real change can happen.
Spend Your Money Distributedly
Some companies, like Walmart, McDonald's, and Starbucks possess vast amounts of wealth. Large, wealthy companies dominate the business market, and they make individual CEOs and investors very rich. Ultimately, it is the consumers who bring success to companies by continually spending their money at the same stores.
If people only shop at a few stores, and small business and rival companies cannot generate profit, then competition in the free market is lost. The solution is simple. If you can get the same product from a small business or failing company, then buy from them. It makes no sense to continue feeding money to companies with vast wealth. This only creates greater inequality and stymies competition in the market, halting economic growth--the very opposite of capitalism.
Normal citizens and consumers have a lot of power to change the course of capitalism in society, but realizing that power is the first step. When capitalism stops working for the many and only favors the few is when people must fight back. It's time to gain control of our jobs and take the economy back.