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Archive of posts published in the tag: capitalism

The Paradox of Capitalism

Walter Williams properly noted that socialism works if you know everybody’s name; in small family and tribal units.  It is poorly suited to the dispersed knowledge that is the glue of an integrated complex world.  Capitalism is efficient but contrary to our biological nature.  It is no surprise that the growth of tribalism in politics is accompanied by anti-capitalist rhetoric. Capitalism, like democracy, depends on values that may be contrary to human nature, while serving the betterment of mankind in our complex world.

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A Greater Display of Democracy

When activists complain of markets failing to serve our needs, they often are just unwilling to pay the market price and are seeking subsidies at someone else’s expense.  Progressives and socialists who insist on government control while speaking in terms of greater democracy are contradicting themselves; the market place properly regulated is the greatest display of democracy.

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A Want of Modesty

“To the contrary, it’s because they don’t believe politicians recalibrating the tax code in the name of the common good will bring about the moral economy. It’s because they don’t believe technicians redirecting capital investment will work, or that it can be had with no costs or unintended consequences. Above all, it’s because they believe that trusting Washington to give us a new and improved capitalism by repurposing private companies to serve the priorities of the government rather than those of their owners requires a faith far greater than any ever demanded by the Lord.”

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Unfettered Government is the Greater Threat

Capitalism works best when knowledge and power meet.  Government is power without knowledge; regulation strips power from knowledge. It is suspicious when the answer to unfettered capitalism which does not exist is  unfettered government which is the greater problem.  It is hard to conceive of distant parties with no skin in the game making wiser decisions than people who have to face the consequences of their choices.  The problem is political actors who want to dispense benefits without paying for them.

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Bastardizing Capitalism

Like all ideologies capitalism evolves with experience and adjusts to failures and social evolution.  It never achieves perfection, but its endurance indicates a strength that competing ideologies lack.  We can learn much from the ones that failed, though it seems every generation is cursed to try them again.  The ones that succeed are subject to be taken for granted.  It is the job of the educational institutions to transfer the understanding of our critical institutions, and their failure is crippling.

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Capitalism in Perspective

“The best case for capitalism is a case for markets as one crucial set of institutions in a free society deeply rooted in the West’s liberal and pre-liberal soil. It is crucial because at its best it protects every man’s right to the fruits of his labor, encourages virtues crucial to living free, and has proven unbeatably capable of improving everyone’s living standards. But it must remain rooted, because man does not live by bread alone, and because both the market and the larger society depend upon other formative institutions that help us all become better human beings and citizens.”

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A Culture of Capitalism

They likely do not recognize the legitimacy of individual ideas as property. For them it is not theft, it is a stark difference in political culture. Trump may think he is seeking simple economic fairness, but he is really asking for China to change its civic culture. This is a challenging reconciliation.

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The Prophet of an Irrational Faith

“How delicious that, as we approach the bicentenary of his birth, Karl Marx should have turned into the thing he loathed above all: the prophet of an irrational faith.”

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The Problem with Capitalism

The danger of excess regulation or central planning is not frustrating the natural organic order, but undermining the institutions that control our baser instincts.

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The Third Wave of Capitalism

Competition is both wasteful and efficient. Lots of ideas die, but the new ones that emerge more than make up for the loss. Central planning may restrict competitive ideas, but rarely leads to the emergence of great ideas because central planning is reacting to problems and needs that become obsolete before the ink is dry on the plan.

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Is Capitalism Natural?

By acknowledging human flaws and addressing them, conservatives permit human potential to flourish.  By seeking a non existent perfection socialists require central control and power that frustrates human potential and growth.

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Humble Capitalism- Observation on the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

Patience is a virtue and a vice for Americans.  We can be suckers for simplistic formulas, excess leverage, and delusions of certainty. Buffet and Munger avoid these traps.  Our obsession with finance distracts from the effective and efficient production of goods and services, engagement with the customer, and the patience and faith to adhere to sound principles.

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Little Platoons of Civil Society

Socialism and its cousin, Progressivism, are not the forward-thinking ideologies they pretend, but regressions to the natural tendencies of man.

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Clarifying Capitalism

From Andy Kessler in The Wall Street Journal, Quit Modifying Capitalism (paywall) State Sponsored Capitalism (China) Casino Capitalism (Bernie Sanders) Sustainable Capitalism (Al Gore) Patrimonial Capitalism (Piketty) Surveillance Capitalism ( new one for me-  Ivy League origin) Popular Capitalism Conscious Capitalism (John…

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New Concentrations of Capital

From The Disturbing New Facts About American Capitalism by Jason Zweig in The WSJ Modern capitalism is built on the idea that as companies get big, they become fat and happy, opening themselves up to lean and hungry competitors that can…

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The Great Progressive Fallacy

from Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek (highly recommended) , a quote from Robert Higgs: Nothing has done more to render modern economic theory a sterile and irrelevant exercise in autoeroticism than its practitioners’ obsession with mathematical, general-equilibrium models.  Not only…

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Capitalism vs Crapitalism

from How we ‘won’ in Vietnam, but are losing at home by Glenn Harlan Reynolds in USA Today So I guess we won that war after all. According to thePew Global Poll, 95% of people in Vietnam agree that most…

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Are People an Asset or a Liability?

Kevin Williamson writes Welcome to the Paradise of the Real in The National Review Online.  It is a bit long but quite worthy of the time to read it in its entirety. Excerpts: None of those problems facing the poor — and…

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Capitalism is Not Inevitable

Kevin Williamson writes Welcome to the Paradise of the Real in The National Review Online.  It is a bit long but quite worthy of the time to read it in its entirety. Excerpts: We treat the physical results of capitalism as though…

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Politics is a Footnote

Kevin Williamson writes Welcome to the Paradise of the Real in The National Review Online.  It is a bit long but quite worthy of the time to read it in its entirety. Excerpts: Politics is parasitic. Even at its best, it produces…

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