Capitalism often takes a beating in the press and even in the pulpit. It is blamed for everything from corruption and greed to polluting the environment. In a new book called Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem, economist Jay W. Richards explains why eight prevailing myths about the evils of capitalism are just plain untrue.
The author describes his own ideological transformation from a college freshman with a “vaguely Christian… infatuation with Marxism” to a fully convinced capitalist. As a result of this background and his sincerely held biblical values, Richards is able to take a sympathetic tone with readers who may share his past patterns of fuzzy and uninformed thinking. He examines both Scripture and economic arguments to make a compelling case for the rule of law, property rights, and free market economics using laymen’s language and contemporary examples.
Richards refutes the fallacy that wealth is not created, but only transferred. Many people assume that all of the available wealth in the world is like a cherry pie, and if some people get thick slices, others must settle for thin slivers. This conception of wealth ignores the greatest resource for wealth creation: human ingenuity. The human mind devised a way to use silica, a readily available and inexpensive resource, to make computer chips and fiber-optic cables to carry information around the globe. Computer-related innovations alone have generated previously unimaginable work opportunities and considerable wealth for millions of people. He debunks the misconception that trade requires a winner and a loser, and disputes the notion that the heart of capitalism is greed.
Anyone searching for clarity about how capitalism squares with ethical mores will find this book helpful.
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