Why are so many opposed to private property and free exchange -- capitalism, in other words -- in favor of large-scale government interventionism? Lack of knowledge, or ignorance, is one answer, but there is another.
Posts published in “Capitalism”
Next week author and scholar C. Bradley Thompson will appear in Wichita for a public lecture.
In recent years, the ideas and principles of capitalism have taken a beating. The election of President Barack Obama in 2008 was a blow to the freedom that capitalism is built on, although President George W. Bush had done a fair job trampling on the principles of capitalism.
Locally, it was a bad year for capitalism and economic freedom in the Kansas Legislature. The Wichita Eagle editorial board seems to have the disparagement of capitalism as its primary goal, as it promotes government action at the expense of economic freedom and individual liberty at every opportunity.
Here’s a message from AFP-Kansas and the Flint Hills Center for Public Policy. Please join Americans for Prosperity-Kansas and the Flint Hills Center for Public…
This is an excellent article by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. An excerpt:
I'm convinced that Mises was right: the most important step economists or economic institutions can take is in the direction of public education in economic logic.
There is another important factor here. The state thrives on an economically ignorant public. This is the only way it can get away with blaming inflation or recession on consumers, or claiming that the government's fiscal problems are due to our paying too little in taxes. It is economic ignorance that permits the regulatory agencies to claim that they are protecting us as versus denying us choice. It is only by keeping us all in the dark that it can continue to start war after war -- violating rights abroad and smashing liberties at home -- in the name of spreading freedom.
There is only one force that can put an end to the successes of the state, and that is an economically and morally informed public. Otherwise, the state can continue to spread its malicious and destructive policies.
The full article is here: Everything You Love You Owe to Capitalism.
An outstanding feature of the open market is the businessman, whose success or failure depends entirely on his ability to "focus on consumer needs" and so combine existing and potential factors of production to serve consumers most efficiently. The only constructive role government can play under the free market method of overcoming poverty is to see that the participation of individuals is strictly voluntary--that none is permitted to steal from or cheat or enslave another. In the free and open society, the organized force of government is to be used only if necessary to protect the lives and property of peaceful individuals. In other words, the proper function of government is to protect against robbery rather than practice it.
— Paul L. Poirot
The problem with most third world countries, Mr. De Soto tells us, is not that there is no capital, it's that the capital is dead. Dead in the sense that it can't be used to its full economic potential. It can't be mortgaged, it can't be divided into shares, and it simply can't be used in the same way we make productive use of our assets in the West.