Has capitalism failed?
Is it fundamentally greedy and immoral, enabling the rich to get richer? Are free markets Darwinian places where the most ruthless crush smaller competitors, where vital products and services are priced beyond the ability of many people to afford them?
Capitalism is the world's greatest economic success story. It is the most effective way to provide for the needs of people and foster the democratic and moral values of a free society. Yet the worst recession in decades has widely—and understandably—shaken people's faith in our system. Even before the current crisis, capitalism received a "bad rap" from a culture ambivalent about free markets and wealth creation. This crisis of confidence is preventing a full recognition of how we got into the mess we're in today—and why capitalism continues to be the best route to prosperity.
How Capitalism Will Save Us transcends labels such as "conservative" and "liberal" by showing how the economy really works. When free people in free markets have energy to solve problems and meet the needs and wants of others, they turn scarcity into abundance and develop the innovations that are the foremost drivers of economic growth. The freedom of democratic capitalism is, for example, what enabled Henry Ford to take a plaything of the rich—the car—and transform it into something affordable to working people.
In the capitalist system, economic growth doesn't mean more of the same—grinding out a few more widgets every year. It's about change to increase overall wealth and give more people the chance for a better life.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: How Capitalism Will Save Us|
|Release Date: 11-03-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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How Capitalism Will Save Us
"Is Capitalism Moral?"
The Rap eCapitalism is an amoral, dog-eat-dog system founded on greed and the survival of the fittest.
The Reality eCapitalism is the world's most humane economic system, promoting the democratic values of a free and open society: hard work, cooperation, generosity, charity, and devotion to the rule of law.
Is capitalism moral? The question has been debated since before the days of Karl Marx. But it has more relevance today than ever in the wake of the recent financial crisis and recession.
Capitalism's critics insist that evidence of its "immorality" is everywhere—from the collapse of Enron in the early 2000s to the "predatory lending" that helped bring on the subprime-mortgage meltdown and subsequent recession to investment adviser Bernard Madoff's mammoth $50 billion Ponzi scheme that wiped out personal and institutional fortunes around the globe. These and other events, they say, demonstrate that the free market is a winner-take-all jungle, a place where the most ferocious and dishonest triumph, where nice guys finish last, where greed rules and people get ahead by exploiting others.
No doubt there can be bad behavior in a capitalist system. There is bad behavior in any society. However, when viewed as a system, capitalism is more moral than any and all alternatives.
Capitalism has produced the world's highest standard of living by promoting the moral values of cooperation, democracy, and free choice. Nobel Prize–winning economist and noted free-market advocate Milton Friedman frequently made the point that capitalism's foremost historic contribution has been its moral influence.
As we started to discuss in the in...