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Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy Hardcover – May 22, 2012
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''I've been doing financial counseling and education for over two decades, and one thing that has always stood out to me is how much money is connected to every part of our lives, from relationships to politics to ministry. Money is never just about money; it's always just part of the issue. That's why I appreciate Father Robert Sirico's ministry. Sure, he talks about money, but he also shows how all of these different aspects of our lives interact with and impact each other.'' --Dave Ramsey, New York Times bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio show host
''I've been eagerly anticipating such a book from Father Sirico for a long time. The man has delivered magnificently. Defending the Free Market does more than the title suggests. It celebrates the miracle of freedom and points a lost generation back to the free and virtuous society.'' --Lawrence Kudlow, anchor of CNBC's The Kudlow Report
''Father Robert Sirico is a voice who must be heard. Defending the Free Market provides a solidly Christian perspective on capitalism and free markets--and makes the compelling case that we cannot possibly understand economics and how markets function without understanding the true nature of man.'' --Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship(R) and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview
''Every American concerned about our economy and the erosion of individual liberty should read Father Sirico's insightful and well-reasoned book. As he makes crystal clear, our prosperity will continue to be provided not by government but through the proven power of the economic and personal freedoms we enjoy within American free enterprise.'' --Rich DeVos, cofounder of Amway and chairman of the Orlando Magic --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Inside Flap
Socialism has been discredited. The totalitarian states of the twentieth century have collapsed. And we beneficiaries of the globalized world economy are grateful that we enjoy plentiful food, clothing, shelterand cheap electronics.
But can any moral person really be for capitalism?
Consumerism is an appalling spectacle, with Americans glutting themselves on all kinds of excess, while people in the developing world starve. The rich seem to be hogging far more than their share of the world’s resources. Free markets may be efficient, but are they fair? Aren’t there some thingslife-saving health care, for examplethat we can’t afford to leave to the vicissitudes of the market?
Now, in Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Father Robert Siricoa Catholic priest, former leftist associate of Jane Fonda, and now a longtime champion of the free marketanswers all these objections. Father Sirico shows how a free economynecessarily including private property, legally enforceable contracts, and prices and interest rates freely agreed to by willing parties to transactions (not set by government bureaucrats)is the best way to meet society’s material needs, from basic nutrition to sophisticated health care technology. Well-intentioned activists who seek to enlarge the state’s economic role are only killing the goose that laid the golden egg. The fact is, private enterprise in the free market has lifted millions out of dire povertyfar more people than state welfare or private charity have ever rescued from want.
But a free economy isn’t just by far the most efficient way of producing the largest amount of goods and services for the world’s population. Economic freedom is also an indispensable support to the other freedoms we prizesuch as freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The right to economic freedom doesn’t make things more important than peoplejust the reverse. It’s only if we have economic rights that we can effectively protect ourselves from government encroachment into the most private areas of our livesright down to our consciences.
As governments across the globe continue to act with unprecedented irresponsibilityburdening the creators of wealth with ever more regulation and borrowing colossal sums of money just as populations are set to decline precipitatelyour prosperity, our economic freedom, and our most basic rights are threatened. The comfortable lifestyles and plentiful goods we take for granted are at risk. But so is the liberty whose source is found in our inherent dignity as human beings, endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. Father Sirico sounds a timely warningand reveals the principles that must be the basis for the recovery of our freedoms.
Top Customer Reviews
A: Defending the Free Market by Father Robert Sirico
Through the erudite yet warm and understandable prose of Fr. Sirico's masterful work, Defending the Free Market, the reader is led to a better understanding of both the theoretical underpinnings and practical, contemporary application of economics and the free market. All of this is enveloped with the highest truths of God's vibrant and ongoing creative work and man's right relationship with his Creator. For anyone who desires a free and virtuous society, an end to poverty, and the expansion of human flourishing, Defending the Free Market is a must read. As a Christ-follower, entrepreneur, and free market patriot, I highly recommend this work. --Sandra(Sandie) Eggers, author, speaker, and Christian life coach.
The warmth of his book is seen in the telling of his own journey through the ideas of economics, compassion, and human flourishing. His personal stories are brief but reveal an understanding of how many people, including himself in early adulthood, wander into broken social ideals with altruistic intentions. By handling this personally he side steps mudslinging, over generalizations, and demeaning caricatures and instead offers an invitation to his opponents to think deeper about their causes and commitments. It is a book any Christ follower who is serious about living out a biblical worldview should read. It is also an excellent book to buy if you or a friend of yours disagrees with free markets but are open to respectful dialogue about the subject. A sceptic of free markets can read this without feeling attacked or demeaned.
The demeanor that Fr. Sirico adopts throughout the book is definitely a strength of his writing, however, the true power of the book is his ability to root his argument in foundational ideas. He anchors his argument for the primacy of free markets not in end results such as wealth creation, jobs, and human flourishing, though he will get to these. Instead he rightly roots his argument in the intrinsic dignity of the human person. Anthropology is at the root of most of our political and social disagreements. If biblical anthropology is correct then the uniqueness and the dignity of the individual will thrive when free to move virtuously in the marketplace with their labor, savings and expenditures.Read more ›
Daring though the argument is, especially for a Catholic priest, it is also one that is essential. For too many people (including business people), free market economic theory and policies are little more than a justification for greed. While not denying the excesses of capitalism and real sins of capitalists, Fr Sirico wisely doesn't allow sin to have the final word. Rather, and like St Augustine who inspired his own spiritual journey, he helps his reader see the goodness hidden beneath the distorting effects of moral failure.
Though irenic in tone, Sirico is unwilling to cede ground to those who imagine--wrongly in his view--that "socialism, liberalism, collectivism, and central planning" (p. 185) are morally superior and more effective in generating wealth. They aren't and however noble the intention they are come up morally and practically short because they neither anthropological sound nor effective in caring for the material needs of the human person. The latter is especially the case when we turn to the needs of the most vulnerable among us. It is the free market that best fits the truth of the human person.Read more ›
His new book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, is a perfect complement to the work that Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute has been doing as of late. Essentially, an impressive group of faith-oriented free market intellectuals are taking to the streets pleasing with those of us who believe in the superiority of capitalism to quit trying to make our case on utilitarian grounds, and rather to make the case for the moral superiority of an economics of freedom and responsibility. Sirico accomplishes this and then some with this 200-page little gem, and he uses his own personal testimony to tell the story. Father Sirico is a product of the 1960's left, and his conversion out of the radical socialism of the 1960's brought with it a conversion back to the faith of his childhood. Readers will be captivated by the manner in which these various moving parts are juxtaposed in Father Sirico's journey. At the end of the day, not only did God receive back a wayward son, and not only did Father Sirico find his calling in life, but all of us now are the beneficiaries of his journey, both in his testimony and in his message.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was an insightful and well written discourse on the value of the free market on society. I would say I agreed with about 90% of it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Fr. M. David
A really marvelous book. Easy to read for average folks. Makes big ideas of economics and politics understandable. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Isabelle
As someone who spent more than fifty years in the corporate and business world, I challenge Father Sirico's view of the economic and work day. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Raymond W Tapajna
Father Sirico explains very persuasively how the free market does the best job of creating prosperity. He opens some questions that I find quite challenging. Ex. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Thomas W. Watson
Excellent book. Simple to understand - must read for all econ students and anyone who want to get a general idea of how economics works. Read morePublished 9 months ago by mary salmond
Easily readable justification of the morality of working within the free market and also critiques the immorality of socialism.Published 10 months ago by Bruno Schettini
here are the answers to the age old liberal canard of "Jesus was a Socialist".Published 17 months ago by steven John Williams