The reflection should write what you think you improved on from this book(hyper-capitalism), what challenges there were for you from this book, and what could have been done better or differently to help you from this book get more out of the class .
In their book, “Hypercapitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values and How to Change Them,” Gonick and Kasser discuss hyper-capitalism and some of the social and economic structures that support the concept. Also, the authors analyze how the global economy has gradually evolved from capitalism to hyper-capitalism. Despite the challenges encountered in synthesizing the available data, information from the book has helped me better understand how vital advertisement is in hyper-capitalism, to distinguish capitalism from hyper-capitalism and the mechanisms of adversities that rise from the hyper-capitalist system.
Reading the book has helped me better comprehend how vital advertising is in a hyper-capitalist system. As observed by Gonick and Kasser (190), hyper-capitalism pushes its consumerist vision through advertisement. Notably, the book has aided my understanding that one of the fundamental philosophies in a hyper-capitalism system is that consumption is good, and consuming even further is much better. As such, the system drives this consumerist vision of “more consumption” through ads that trigger impulsive purchasing among consumers.
The book has also helped me develop a criterion for distinguishing between capitalism and hyper-capitalism. Initially, I thought that some form of capitalism would qualify as hyper-capitalism, as long as there existed intense globalization. However, information from the book has helped clarify that some levels of capitalism may not equal to hyper-capitalism. For instance, some countries are characterized by an intense global flow of goods, people, and services but have higher scores in terms of the rate at which laborers join unions. In such scenarios, although the nations may have some features of capitalism, their level of hyper-capitalism may be lower compared to their counterparts who have lower scores in terms of the number of employees that join labor unions.
Furthermore, the book has helped me better understand the mechanisms of adverse outcomes of hyper-capitalism in the real-world. As noted by Gonick and Kasser (190), one of the results of the hyper-capitalist system is extreme inequality. Notably, the mechanism of inequality in the system is based on several factors, among them the profit motive of entrepreneurs. For instance, given that majority of ventures in a hyper-capitalist system are profit-oriented, they may cut down labor costs by either retrenching employees or offering lower wages to reduce operational expenses and increase profits. Such a scenario, coupled with minimum government regulation, creates inequality as the employees earn less while the owners of corporations generate more profits from their operations.
While I have experienced significant improvement in the understanding of the concept of hyper-capitalist, some minor difficulties emerged while interacting with information in the book. Among the most significant challenges was the synthesis of data from the various chapters. Notably, the authors of the book mainly use characters to illustrate the concept in the majority of the chapters. While this style of writing made reading the material enjoyable and easy to relate the data to real-life scenarios, it created challenges of synthesizing the essential information that supported the concept under study.
In my view, few activities may have been incorporated in the course to help me get more out of the class, such as analyzing current real-life scenarios. Based on my assessment, the majority of the examples used in the book were outdated, as some case scenarios of hyper-capitalism were derived from past accounts. For example, the case scenario illustrating the regulation of advertisement of the system in the instance of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008 appeared to be outdated (Gonick and Kasser 104). In my view, holding classroom discussions on the most recent practical scenarios would have helped me get more out of the class.
Gonick, Larry, and Kasser, Tim. Hypercapitalism: The Modern Economy, Its Values and How to Change Them. The New Press, 2018.