Like Neo from ‘The Matrix,’ some of you Pandas might sense that there’s just something deeply wrong with the world. You might not be able to put your finger on it, but some online groups like the ‘Late Stage Capitalism’ subreddit, with over 624k members (ironically called ‘consumers’) document what’s wrong with capitalism and highlight some of its hypocrisy.

Below, you’ll find some spot-on, insightful, and even funny memes about capitalism from the online community. Upvote the ones you agree with, share your personal thoughts about the weaknesses of capitalism in the comment section, and let us know how you’d go about improving things, dear Pandas. What economic alternative from the many, many theoretical ones do you think is the best for everyone?

The term itself, late capitalism, is a catchall phrase that refers to all the inequalities and absurdities of contemporary capitalist society. From inequality to the continuously shrinking middle class.

Finance writer and financial independence expert Rick Orford spoke to Bored Panda about the pros and cons of capitalism, socialism, the link between greed and financial crises, as well as about inequality. Rick was very open that extremes—any extremes, whether we're talking about dieting or capitalism—will always be problematic. "And with that, there will always be folks on either side who scream that their ideas are better." You'll find our full interview with Rick, as well as with another expert from the world of finance who explained the importance of accountability, below, dear Pandas.

#1

Jesus

Jesus

adeeez Report

Giulia
Community Member
4 months ago

i'm not even religious but this is legit, like if you believe that jesus is god's son etc, then you should actually know who the fuc* he was and more importantly what he was saying, and SURPRISE! it's not even close with what conservative americans think it is.

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#2

True

True

Arriveria Report

Coleonema
Community Member
4 months ago

You should stop trying to ban abortion because it "kills kids", and should be trying to help those kids who had everything taken from them

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#3

Upvote If You Would Never Donate Money To Kylie Jenner

Upvote If You Would Never Donate Money To Kylie Jenner

reddit.com Report

Hans
Community Member
4 months ago

Ok...go fund someone who has more than enough or this cancer patient who cannot pay his bills...such a hard decision to make...

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According to Rick, extreme capitalism and excessive greed both thrive when a large enough part of the population is willing to take the risks. "Remember though, greed is widely accepted to be the reason for the two largest financial crises in the last century; namely 1929 and 2008. It also creates the income inequality that’s largely seen in the United States. Indeed, while everyone, in theory, has an equal opportunity to flourish, the scales seem to tip to those with the most money," he explained to Bored Panda.

However, Rick points out that capitalism in and of itself isn't dangerous to society. "It allows folks like you and me to succeed by creating or investing in businesses. Indeed, one looking to borrow money from the banks today won’t have to pay much for the loan. As such, it encourages growth. However, extreme capitalism creates a scenario where greed overtakes reason, and it risks the financial system," financial expert Rick said.

#4

Put The Blame Where It Belongs

Put The Blame Where It Belongs

RelevantSwimmer Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
4 months ago

A citizen gets a fine for littering because he accidentally loses a tissue, a company that discharges 100,000 liters of toxic waste water into the sewer gets a hefty reprimand.

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#5

Important Truth

Important Truth

Demonic_Cucumber Report

Michael Beswick
Community Member
4 months ago

Aren't all but native Americans immigrants!?

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#6

Someone Explain This To Me

Someone Explain This To Me

MisterT12 Report

Some Cool Guy
Community Member
4 months ago

F**k Nestle

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At the other end of the scale, we'll find modern socialism or social democracy as it's sometimes known. The way that this system works is by taxing citizens more than capitalistic countries. "However, in return, citizens are given services such as free and (easily) accessible healthcare, child care, social welfare, etc. Conversely, highly capitalistic societies charge for these services, making it incredibly challenging for the poor," Rick noted.

Rick added that capitalism, theoretically, gives everyone the ability to flourish. And even the titans of industry that pretty much everyone knows today aren't always raking in the cash: they've also undertaken big risks and losses before making a profit.

#7

The Economy Is Booming. Jobs Everywhere!

The Economy Is Booming. Jobs Everywhere!

astiesan Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
4 months ago

LOL.

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#8

All You Need To Know About American Healthcare

All You Need To Know About American Healthcare

DudelyMore Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
4 months ago

And that's illegal because it's unfair competition with the pharmaceutical industry who are stuck with their legal drugs.

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#9

Walmart Welfare

Walmart Welfare

User0989 Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
4 months ago

Modern slavery.

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"Today, the news is largely distributed by some of the largest American corporations: Google, Facebook, and Twitter," Rick said, drawing attention to the fact that social media sites have the potential to shift people's thinking and even influence elections. "Think Brexit or the 2016 American Presidential election."

What helped these companies flourish is capitalism. However, just the same, capitalism is what helps ordinary people open up a business or sell their products. "And those with the best quality, price, customer service, or combination (of at least two) often do well. Increasingly, however, those who are willing to spend more at the beginning are seeing both extreme gains and losses. Famously, Amazon and Tesla, for example, have spent hundreds of millions of investor’s dollars before ever making a cent," financial independence writer Rick told Bored Panda.

#10

When Making Money Is The Only Moral Compass

When Making Money Is The Only Moral Compass

mrkl3en Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
4 months ago

Merica! Land of the free, home of social and financial inequality.

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#11

Ooooo Facts

Ooooo Facts

proeu Report

Hooked
Community Member
4 months ago

Not what this is about but : Wow, nice handwriting !

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#12

Greed

Greed

Muckl3t Report

Montana
Community Member
4 months ago

Just come down, cruel Jeff. Nobody belives you, except the rest of the 1%.

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Meanwhile, a banking expert and independent investor who preferred to stay anonymous due to the sensitive nature of his work, told Bored Panda that capitalism disproportionately rewards individual incentive and punishes the lack of it. Especially when compared to socialism.

"As someone acquires more capital, it—on average—becomes exponentially easier to acquire even more of it, which adds to extreme wealth inequality," he said. "It really bothers me when trillions in pension funds are wiped out only for a couple of bankers to get slapped on the wrist. Making sure that the costs of financial crises are borne by financial institutions that manufactured them (even if unintentionally), as opposed to transferring the burden to other members of society, would increase accountability."

#13

Socialism Not Socialism

Socialism Not Socialism

QuidYossarian Report

Marianne
Community Member
4 months ago

That's exactly the point: Many US citizens think that a welfare system is automatically socialism.

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#14

The "Radical" Idea Of Universal Healthcare

The "Radical" Idea Of Universal Healthcare

whateverloll Report

Hans
Community Member
4 months ago

Do it!

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#15

Beyoncé, The Idol Of Bourgeois Liberal Feminists, Pays 64 Cents/Hour To Female Workers Who Make Clothes Of Her Brand Ivypark In Sweatshops In Sri Lanka While Preaching Female Empowerment.

Beyoncé, The Idol Of Bourgeois Liberal Feminists, Pays 64 Cents/Hour To Female Workers Who Make Clothes Of Her Brand Ivypark In Sweatshops In Sri Lanka While Preaching Female Empowerment.

shy_monster_1312 Report

Olof T
Community Member
4 months ago

I've thought about this. One day the descendants of Sri Lankan slaves will demand that statues of Beyonce is taken down. The same way that descendants of slaves in USA demand that statues of Slave owners in the USA is taken down.

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In the expert's opinion, free markets are responsible for standards of living that are "unparalleled in human history," and he personally believes that it's the best system. However, he's an advocate of capitalism with "effective social programs," not pure capitalism. "Honing in on how social the capitalism should be is the path with most future rewards," he shared.

The expert also added that a lack of proper education about communism leads some individuals to have an unrealistic and even romantic understanding of such regimes. What's more, he believes that such beliefs are further propagated by "the belief that unlimited compassion is a virtue" and by certain university professors who have worked hard all their lives on research that isn't valued much by the market and other people. He said there's an easy way to figure out where you stand: "Ask yourself—do you really want to help the poor, or do you simply hate people richer than you?"

#16

The Simpsons Did It

The Simpsons Did It

GermanNihilists Report

Az
Community Member
4 months ago

Good pay in Sector 7B

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#17

Meanwhile

Meanwhile

acidwar1337 Report

Scagsy
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

They keep us squabbling over crumbs to divert attention away from their greed.

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#18

A Copy Of The Bill We Got When Our Daughter Was Born In Canada

A Copy Of The Bill We Got When Our Daughter Was Born In Canada

reddit.com Report

Vetus Vespertilio
Community Member
4 months ago

Canadian here as well. What an amazing coincidence! That’s exactly what we paid when my husband had a massive heart attack, went to hospital by ambulance, spent 5 days in intensive care, then was flown 300 kilometres by medical air ambulance to a larger cardiac centre, had a quintuple bypass, spent 5 days in that intensive care, and then came home to recuperate with the cardiologist calling us 3 times a week to check his recovery, and then spent 12 weeks in a formal cardiac rehab program including consults with a dietician and a behavioural therapist.

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Some of the main criticisms that academics throw capitalism’s way include the accusations that it’s exploitative, alienates people, it’s unsustainable, and deepens economic inequality.

What’s more, critics point out that capitalism essentially turns people into commodities and slowly erodes away human rights while also putting a large emphasis on expansionism and warfare. By this point, these criticisms sound almost like a stereotype of capitalism. One that everyone knows but something that’s more akin to a caricature.

Like all things in life, however, things aren’t always so black and white. There’s plenty of nuances even when talking about capitalism which people seem to have a Marmite-like relationship with (i.e. they either hate it with the fiery passion of a hundred burning suns or they think it’s the best thing since sliced bread).

#19

Lets Ask The Real Question

Lets Ask The Real Question

FLX_NewYork Report

FatRabbit
Community Member
4 months ago

This astonishes me. In the UK the current £9.35 per item ($13). Thats the maximum you'd pay for each item on your prescription. However, if you have a life dependent condition like type 1 diabetes then a) your insulin is free and b) everything else on your prescription is also free because we don't want you to get ill and make your diabetes unstable and cost the NHS more money. Free insulin/$750 insulin. Why are people so opposed to nationalised healthcare in the USA?!

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#20

Maybe He Should Just Stop Being Poor!

Maybe He Should Just Stop Being Poor!

LadySniper Report

Shelp
Community Member
4 months ago

I never understood how the teachers in the US can be so underpaid. That's not only sad — it's also extremely wrong

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#21

No Words Describe This

No Words Describe This

reddit.com Report

Louise B
Community Member
4 months ago (edited)

Disgusting. Wow money talks. If you can afford the best barrister you're going home. If you can't ...grey trackies for you.

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While there are some theoretical alternatives to capitalism, far from every one of them is practical or even attractive. For instance, anarchism might sound attractive on paper, but actually abolishing the State and potentially even private ownership would lead to outright chaos. And it’s well worth pondering whether this sort of system could survive for long.

A more practical alternative could be a very soft form of socialism where public ownership would replace private ownership in some form and give workers greater rights and input in how the economy is planned out. However, one of the biggest fears there is that this sort of system might, in turn, evolve into communism. And history shows us that this is something that many countries who lived under such a regime would want to avoid repeating.

Anyone who’s opened up a history book knows that communism has led to the deaths of around 100 million people worldwide in a century. To put it bluntly, if history is anything to go by, it’s not a valid alternative to capitalism, no matter how exploitative the latter might be.

#22

How True

How True

Redditer_F23 Report

Pungent Sauce
Community Member
4 months ago

Actually a couple people got arrested, and a very old man went to jail. Not “nothing”, but yes, very little.

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#23

Hits A Little Too Close To Home

Hits A Little Too Close To Home

JustJesus Report

Raven Sheridan
Community Member
4 months ago

Boom! Mic drop. Let's celebrate with some vodka!

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#24

Just Got My Bill From The Hospital... Being Charged $426 For This $8 Can Of Pain Relieving Spray.

Just Got My Bill From The Hospital... Being Charged $426 For This $8 Can Of Pain Relieving Spray.

reddit.com Report

Az
Community Member
4 months ago

Criminal

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So what else are we left with? Economic democracy could potentially be the answer. It’s a model where firms are democratically controlled by their employees. Meanwhile, a network of public banks takes charge of investments that affect the entire society. In other words, it’s a way to extend people’s democratic rights to more areas of their lives. In a way, it’s a point between capitalism and socialism without truly being either.

#25

The Evil Of Bezos

The Evil Of Bezos

SavageHuxley Report

Az
Community Member
4 months ago

Sociopath

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#26

Climate Change Meets Mass Incarceration

Climate Change Meets Mass Incarceration

_BLUBBY_ Report

Nat Hedley
Community Member
4 months ago

That's... that's not the right way to hold a chainsaw. But yes, that whole deal majorly blows.

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#27

Cool

Cool

reddit.com Report

Julie C Rose
Community Member
4 months ago

Every so often I think about the fact that before that article and the resultant backlash, I (a New Zealander) didn’t know what Applebee’s was. I now know that it’s a chain of restaurants that has bad food. Was that the PR Applebee’s was hoping for?

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But what do you think, Pandas? Do the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to capitalism? What alternative to capitalism could work out the best? Should we aim to completely reorganize the system? Or should we focus on keeping the current one while making small changes that would improve things for everyone?

#28

Remember: The Royal Wedding Cost £32 Million, Nearly All On Security. Last Year 71 People Burned To Death In The Grenfell Fire In London, UK Because Tory Govt Refused To Spend £5,000 On Fireproof Cladding And £200,000 On A Sprinkler System.

Remember: The Royal Wedding Cost £32 Million, Nearly All On Security. Last Year 71 People Burned To Death In The Grenfell Fire In London, UK Because Tory Govt Refused To Spend £5,000 On Fireproof Cladding And £200,000 On A Sprinkler System.

reddit.com Report

El Dee
Community Member
4 months ago

There's an inquiry into it now but the government made sure its terms were so narrow that no one will be blamed and nothing will be done. They have already reneged on their promises to help victims and prevent future fires..

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#29

Accurate

Accurate

spenkur Report

Olof T
Community Member
4 months ago

A corrupt political system giving subsidizes and tax relief to major companies is not capitalism. Making higher education in-affordable and hinder social advancement is not capitalism. It's a feudal system. Democratic capitalism is the best system we ever had. Now we no longer have real democracy or real capitalism.

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#30

Reminder That Corporations Only Care About Diversity When It Benefits Them

Reminder That Corporations Only Care About Diversity When It Benefits Them

Ollamh-Folamh Report

Some Cool Guy
Community Member
4 months ago

That's incredible and so sad

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Note: this post originally had 98 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.