We are halfway through with the introduction of the four socio-economic groups the players will take control over in our game. So, this time, let us continue with the player who probably will be the richest throughout the game- the capitalist.
Many people equate capitalism with the market mechanism. Yet, this assumption is erroneous as commerce, i.e. the exchange of goods and service on the market, has existed long before capitalism. The significant feature of capitalism is, as the name implies, capital, or more precisely, capital accumulation. Based on this dynamic, private individuals set up enterprises and use a fraction of their wealth (or lend financial capital from wealthy investors) to acquire capital goods or the so-called means of production: Machinery, facilities, and other materials which might be required for the production of a certain good or service. Additionally, they allocate a certain amount of their money to pay their human capital in the form of wages. Once the produced good or service generates profit, the capitalist accumulates the returns and invests the increased wealth into further operations. If repeated over and over again, this process can generate huge amounts of money, which explains why capitalists are the richest people on earth and, therefore, belong to the highest socioeconomic group. So, let us find out how the capitalist plays out on the board.
In short, the main tasks of the capitalist on the board can be summed up in six words: Company creation, market acquisition, capital accumulation. Firstly, the capitalist can build and sell companies. Once the capitalist created a company and set its wages (which might be restricted due to tight labor regulations), the company will attract workers. Once the company is fully stuffed, the production of goods and services such as food, education, health, luxurious items, and political influence (take, for example, a TV station) will commence. In the next step, the capitalist needs to sell produced goods or services and he/she can do so both domestically and internationally, but needs to pay attention to many factors. While, for example, domestically he/she has to keep a close eye on the state as the working and middle class will gladly engage with it if it offers lower prices on certain services, the creation of trade agreements might boost sales on the foreign market. Additionally, the workers in his/her company might be dissatisfied with the wage level and find ways to sabotage the production process, for example through a strike. Therefore, the capitalist also turns to the political sphere and will propose bills and use his/her influence to pass them. These bills will usually encompass policies which will get obstacles out of the way which would hinder the profit-making process of the capitalist: For example, high taxes, tight labor regulations and a strong welfare state in both education and health are not in the interest of the capitalist as, on the one hand, he/she loses capital which is urgently needed for investments and, on the other, loses his/her consumers to the state. The key, therefore, is to cleverly allocate the resources in the economy as well as in the political sphere.
In this article, we shed light on the capitalist´ peculiarities and main actions. Let us conclude our introduction in part four with the last player- the state!