What is a Capitalist?

What is a Capitalist?

What is a Capitalist? Jonathan Poland

A capitalist is an individual who supports or practices capitalism, which is an economic system based on the principles of economic freedom, private ownership, and the creation of wealth through the pursuit of profit. In the broadest sense, a capitalist is someone who believes that capitalism is a good and desirable system. In its most specific sense, a capitalist is someone who actively engages in capitalist activities, such as starting or investing in businesses, in order to generate wealth.

Capitalism is based on the idea that individuals have the right to own and control their own property, and to use that property to create wealth. Capitalists believe that this system allows for the most efficient and productive use of resources, and that it encourages innovation, creativity, and economic growth.

While capitalism has been successful in creating wealth and economic growth, it has also been criticized for its potential to create inequality and social injustice. Critics of capitalism argue that it is a system that primarily benefits the wealthy and powerful, and that it can lead to exploitation and oppression of the poor and marginalized. Despite these criticisms, capitalism remains the dominant economic system in many parts of the world.

Almost all countries currently employ some version of capitalism with a handful of exceptions such as North Korea. Countries such as Sweden are often mis-portrayed as socialist when in fact they are social market economies, a type of capitalism. Here are some common examples of capitalists.

Family Business

A family business that puts capital such as money, equipment, buildings and land to work to create value. For example, a farmer who puts land and equipment to work to create food. A farmer may also employ others.

Small Business

Individuals who put their own money into a business to generate value from capital and employ people. For example, a restaurant owner.

Freelancers

Small businesses that don’t have much capital such that they mostly offer their labor.

Entrepreneurs

Individuals who create new industries, business models, products, services or ways of doing things. This can be a self-funded small business or a startup that receives funding from venture capitalists.

Venture Capitalists

Investors that fund entrepreneurial ventures known as startups.

Creditors

Institutions such as banks and individuals that lend money to businesses without taking any ownership interest in the business.

Investors

Individuals who put their money to work in businesses that they may or may not control, direct or influence.

Owners

Individuals who own a large portion of a business such that they have accountability for it.

Board of Directors

The individuals who are accountable for a large business.

Executive Management

The individuals who are responsible for a large business.

Captains of Industry

Individuals who are very wealthy and active in an industry such that they have a large impact on society.

Monopolist

An individual who owns or controls a monopoly that has little or no real competition for their major products and services.

Crony Capitalist

A capitalist who influences a government in a way that benefits them personally. Politicians and government employees who engage in this can also be referred to as crony capitalists.

Good Business

A business that honestly pursues three goals: people, planet and profits as opposed to profits alone. This can be imposed on capitalists with regulations or markets for economic bads.

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