Instigator / Con

W-o-f tournament: Laissez-Faire capitalism is more efficient than social democracy


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics

After 4 votes and with 4 points ahead, the winner is...

Greyparrot's avatar
4 debates / 20 votes
Barney's avatar
50 debates / 1,279 votes
whiteflame's avatar
27 debates / 194 votes
Best.Korea's avatar
264 debates / 59 votes
Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
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Contender / Pro

This is part of weaver of fates tournament and the following definition is to prevent boring semantics.

Efficiency definition- preventing the wasteful use of resources.

Round 1

Laissez-Faire capitalism- An economic system where the government doesn't interfere in the free market. [1]

social democracy- A political system that aims to create a balance between socialist and capitalist principles. [1]


The definition for efficient is given in the debates description and it essentially means which system is less wasteful. I want to keep this debate on topic so we should make it clear here, this is not about whether a Laissez-Faire approach is superior to the social democratic approach or promotes more prosperity. This merely is about how efficient a system is, meaning less wasteful. 

Hidden Hand

The hidden hand theory of economics is one that suggests that the economic forces of individual buyers and sellers is the most efficient way to allocate resources. [1] I will be arguing that this theory not work because of imperfect information available to buyers and sellers but the results of applying hidden hand theory like those in the Laissez Faire system promote, actually cause a lot of failures that result in waste that a social democratic system could intervene to prevent. Failures that result in more waste due to monopolization of resources, making them less available to those who need them, wasting environmental resources due to lack of regulations, and lack of access to resources for certain communities. (example: food deserts in marginalized communities). These are all problems that social democrats could at least mitigate because they don't oppose economic interventionism. 


Standard oil is an example of monopolization brought about by run away capitalism, through ruthless business practices the company ended up owning 90% of all United States oil refineries. [1] 

This resulted in the company dropping prices to squeeze out the small businesses competing with them, so they could raise their prices to ridiculous levels. This did a few things. it made oil less accessible to those in poor and rural communities, and less affordable. This also resulted in their being zero incentive for innovation in the oil industry as the only major player had no real competition. So not only was it more wasteful because it didn't accomplish the goal of getting resources where they were needed, but it was wasteful of natural resources because it stifled technological development that could eventually lead to more environmentally friendly alternatives to oil as well as oil extraction methods. 

It did end up in 1911 that the Sherman anti-trust act broke up this monopoly. [1] So thank God there were no Laissez-Faire government at the type otherwise the mess would have never gotten sorted out,

Tragedy of the Commons

Imagine if you had organized a child's birthday party and invited 100 children. You also bought enough birthday cake so every child could get exactly one slice. If you run the birthday party like a Laissez Faire system and just tell the kids to grab a cake whenever they feel like, well a lot of kids are going without that delicious chocolate cake. Now a democratic socialist would see the weakness of this makeshift free market and assign a parent to hand out a slice of cake to each child and tell the children to form a line. This might not be as fun for the people who most benefited in the Laissez-Faire system, but it ensures that no child goes without cake and everyone has a good time. This is called the tragedy of the unmanaged commons.

Now in a Laissez -Faire system you can now imagine the cake as the ocean, or the land or the oil underneath the land or the animals that occupy the land or even the air we breath. A laissez-Faire system  Here are some examples of the tragedy of the commons in real life that have occurred because of too few economic interventions.

1. overfishing - Scientists for years were warning about the overfishing of Bluefin Tuna in The Atlantic. This has caused the resource to not be sustainable long term and for sushi and Sashimi prices to sky rocket. 

In the Northwest Atlantic, cod fishing led to a collapse of the fish population. Several communities and people reliant on the cod fishing industry are not either much more poor or without jobs or businesses as a result of the collapse. Again this is another resource that could have been less wasted with more regulations to prevent over fishing.

2. deforestation- deforestation occurs when there are too many trees being removed to build businesses that don't contribute much to the community or because we are over using wood. Often it is a result of merely creating more cattle farms instead of using our current resources more efficiently. [2]

3. over grazing-  Over grazing occurs when too many herds consume the plant life in an area without giving it adequate time to recover. This could have permanent effects on the system preventing the resource from being preserved (wasted) for future generations to use.[3]

4.air pollution- Air pollution is a waste of the resource known as breathable air. In 1952 a smog event from coal plant caused 4000 people to die in London. People are of course another natural resource that has the ability to be wasted. [4] smog can also cause a wide variety of negative health effects on people, animals and vegetation.[1]

Food Deserts- food deserts are considered a form of environmental racism by many because of a lack of good healthy food for marginalized communities.[5] It's caused because it isn't profitable for some businesses to operate in certain areas, a problem not solvable without economic interventionism such as subsidies for businesses to operate in food deserts. this inherently a waste of resources because it means healthy food is not getting to where it needs to be. This is a blindness of capitalism and why social democrats who believe in a market economy still would like the maneuverability to make up for the few weaknesses of a market economy.


While the examples I have used of why we need market interventionism as proposed by social democrats are very real interventions being used in some locations and the failures of capitalism I mention are also real, pro will have to lean on some ivory tower form of idealism and it should be kept in mind by judges when weighing arguments built on ivory tower thinking, vs arguments made by examples of real world experiences. 


1. Chat GPT3
Round 2

I wish pro well and hope he is able to return to this debate in good health and mind. I will extend the arguments from the first round so he has a chance to respond to them. I wish to also give him the opportunity to defend some more common criticisms of the free market. Some commonly brought up, and some less common, all of which can be corrected by social democratic societies. 

Planned obsolescence

"Planned obsolescence is when companies intentionally design products with a limited lifespan to encourage consumers to buy new ones" [1]

There are many examples of companies engaging in planned obsolescence to increase profits.

1. Smartphones and laptops have been created with intentionally difficult batteries to replace.[2]
2. Iphone has admitted to updates causing the phones to slow down so people are forced to buy a new one.[3]
3. Printer companies have intentionally made software updates to make old printers obsolete.[4]
4. Companies have used worse materials than necessary so items break down faster.[5]

These people are profit driven which causes all these old devices to be wasted long before it is necessary to do so. 

Unnecessary products created by the free market

UFO insurance is just one example of useless products wasting people's personal resources, but other examples exist. [6] capitalists will sell anything and create fictional campaigns to make useless stuff useful.

Take diamonds for example. A useless rock that can cost as high as millions of dollars to go on a ring so a woman can feel special and a man can feel unworthy if he doesn't have the ability to obtain it. 

A marketing campaign is what made people think of it as a useful item, not tradition or anything like that. 

"So, how do they get more people to buy big diamonds in a bad economy? They needed to figure out a way to link diamonds with something emotional. And because diamonds weren't worth much inherently, they also had to keep people from ever reselling them. What was emotional, socially valuable, and eternal? Love and marriage. Bingo." [7]

These useless campaigns have been created for other things. Making people aware of cellulite so even skinny women can feel fat and buy up diamond products. No ody gave a shit about febreeze waging chemical warfare on their nose and lungs until a marketing campaign said a room doesn't feel clean until it's been febreeze. 

Which brings me to my next point.

Ad space

Ad space is a valuable resource, too often wasted. It can be used to discourage kids from smoking crack or let drug addicts know where they can find helpful resources to kick their habit.

They can be used to boost public morale so people don't see their neighbors as enemies just because they prefer the shitty political candidate over the more sensible one we would choose.

T.v. time during commercials for shows like law and Order SVU could actually have well placed ads available for showing rape victims where they can seek help both to get justice and to start repairing the mental damage done by victimization. That is free market interference that can't happen with a Laissez Faire system.


Corporations are motivated by money and shareholder interwat not public interest. It's why healthcare costs are out of control and why doctors try to push useless surgeries like breast enlargement. We don't need doctors running ads that make people feel physically inferior and having them resort to unnecessary procedures.

By doing something like universal healthcare, we would cut out the middle man profiteer who is looking to have premiums as high as possible while the coverage does as little as possible, and instead put some public control over these things so less money is wasted on useless insurance middleman. 


Capitalism creates waste. Laissez-Faire capitalism is the most ineffecient form of capitalism because it removes the people's ability to make up for any inefficiencies it creates. Social democrats take advantage of all of the positive things related to a market economy, without mindlessly handing over all control of the birthday cake to the fat kids who like bullying. 


1. Chat GPT3 4-2-23
Round 3
All of my arguments have been dropped and my opponent hasn't made any positive arguments. I urge the voters to vote communist. Vote me.