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Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets Are Moral and Big Government Isn't Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030795157X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307951571
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Q&A with the Author
What made you decide to write Freedom Manifesto?
The widespread “conventional wisdom” has long been that free markets are amoral, uncaring and driven by “greed”—while Big Government is a force for compassion and fairness. This insidious, deep-seeded belief is the opposite of reality. Not only has it kept people from seeing the moral virtues of democratic capitalism, but it also intimidates supporters and keeps them from standing up for economic freedom.

Why do you say that free markets are moral?
Free markets create abundance. Opening up any economy unleashes human ingenuity and enterprise. Allowing more competition and opportunity for profit means greater investment in job-creating enterprises and innovation. You end up with lower prices, more available goods and services, more jobs and growth. People’s real world needs are met. The most vibrant sectors of our economy—such and technology, food and clothing—are those that are the most free. Or compare communist North Korea with South Korea and its market economy. Which society offers the greatest fairness?

Why is this book important to read right now?
Our book deals with the fundamental question at the heart of the 2012 presidential election: What kind of nation do we want to be? Are we a country founded on the values of freedom and limited government as envisioned by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? Or do we want to become a European-style social welfare state?

Several books have recently explored why free enterprise is moral. What makes this book different?
Freedom Manifesto places the moral differences between economic freedom and Big Government in exceptionally stark relief, showing the real choices facing us today. For example, do Americans want Apple or Solyndra?—a society that provides the chance for anyone to get ahead or one based on cronyism that keeps out true innovators and newcomers? Do they want Silicon Valley or Detroit?—a creative innovation economy like our technology sector, or one mired in rigidity, like our over-regulated health care industry?

Wouldn’t society descend into chaos without government to provide guidance? Why do you say “Big Government” is immoral?
Government is essential to the functioning of free markets because it establishes rules of the road and creates a stable environment where transactions take place according to the impartial rule of law. But Big Government is different from reasonable government. It directs people’s activities and imposes constraints on personal choice and individual freedom. It is about favoritism and paybacks to powerful political constituencies. Big Government also divides society, with various interest groups jockeying for political favors.

In a free market, you don’t have to please powerful politicians to advance. Newcomers can rise and upend established players. There is greater mobility and more prosperity for all. The markets of a free economy promote cooperation and democracy. If that’s not a fair and humane society, what is?

About the Author

STEVE FORBES is chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Media and an internationally respected author­ity in the worlds of economics, fi­nance, and corporate leadership. He campaigned twice for the Republi­can nomination for the presidency. His previous books include the Wall Street Journal best­seller How Capitalism Will Save Us, the New York Times bestseller Power Ambition Glory, Flat Tax Revolution, and A New Birth of Freedom.

ELIZABETH AMES coauthored How Capitalism Will Save Us with Steve Forbes. She is the founder of BOLDE Communications, which advises corporate and individual cli­ents on communications strategies. Her journalism and commentary have appeared in a wide range of publications.

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Customer Reviews

At least sample this book.
J. Kleiner
If you want to understand the fundamental basis for the debate around these topics, rooted in history and facts vs polarizing language, read this book.
John
Economics can be a dry topic but this book is entertaining and easy to read.
Steven Winheim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
A powerful presentation is delivered through a historical debate, based on research and information on the issues that may change America if not confronted and resolved. Do we wish to continue with the values and standards provided by the 'Declaration Of Independence?' What kind of nation do we want to be, because now is the time to make a crucial decision, before election day? Is the Big Government guilty of greed and corruption? Will Americans vote for freedom or Big Government? Worse yet, will we become a social welfare state? Will this country be controlled by a socialist democracy? This remarkable book is concise, powerful throughout, and offers new insight through historic debate and political issues. Highly Recommended for all American citizens, prior to voting!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This should be required reading in schools across the country. Warning, though, hide all of the sharp knives before starting to read. At times you may be tempted to gouge out your eyes or something. I hope lots of people read this bookand take its lessons to heart before it is too late. Smart man. Great book. At one time I thought Steve Forbes was kind of geeky and stupid. I was the stupid one. He understands economics and our country. God bless him as he tries to save us from becoming like failing Europe
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By spirestar on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Freedom Manifesto is one of the most crucial reads anyone interested in economics or politics should pick up. It takes the old debate of free markets vs govt intervention and turns it on its head by undermining the foundation of the "Government Intervention" crowd's belief system. Those who oppose free market principles often do so because they claim the free market is morally inferior, that it harms the weak and the poor in order to line the pockets of the strong and rich.

Forbes systematically dismantles this idea by repeatedly hammering at it with this one fact: true "free markets" winnow out immoral and unethical practices by providing better alternatives. Certainly, as Forbes states, there are the Madoffs of the world -- but there are evil, greedy men in all economic systems, and that is why the law (government) exists. This book is not preaching NO government regulation -- it espouses limited, intelligent government regulation.

The reason I feel this book is so important is that we are facing an election for America's future. It is an undeniable fact that President Obama has added more regulation in his four years than any president (GW Bush was actually the worst before him -- he doesn't get a pass, either). We have seen almost limitless amounts of taxpayer money poured down the black hole of green energy; we've had the US government bailing out GM, giving them an extremely unethical tax break while trying to bribe consumers with a $7,500 "credit" paid for with other taxpayers' money to purchase GM's Volt; we have seen healthcare taken over by government in the name of lowering costs only to have the costs sky-rocket by the same amount per family they were supposed to be cut. Whatever it is you wish to call the system we have now, it is not a "free market".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pescador on January 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the best treatment I have had the pleasure of reading in understanding why Free Enterprise is such an important part of the American Experience. The Liberal left is going to have a real challenge with this book but if you want to really see what made America great, this book will help you see the truth.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Michael Maus on November 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very well written and given our problems with run away entitlement programs needs to be studied by those that want an ever expanding government. Smaller government results in more wealth for all. We have reached the point in the USA of spending $60K per family in poverty. How is that working out? This book provides the rationale for a more reasonable approach.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By UTEX on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Steve Forbs' book should be required reading prior to the election--for both the voters and the candidates. This is a well written case contrasting capitalism with democratic socialism.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bun on September 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book explains why big government, however "well meaning" will destroy our freedom under the guise of helping us solve all our problems. It points out the arrogance of those who believe they can manipulate the complexities of our economic system. It can't be done. Furthermore, the unintended consequences are stealing our freedom and wrecking our future. Anyone who seriously wants to be a well informed voter should read this book and decide for themselves whether we take the road to socialism or the road to free enterprise in the next election.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John on September 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Freedom Manifesto offers a powerful debate on why big government stifles opportunity for each American to succeed and achieve a better life in this country - this book also sheds light on what this country must do to seize the opportunities for greater growth and stability as a global economic powerhouse in the months and years ahead.

We are facing a critical crossroad in America that will come to a head in November. With our economy stagnating, how do we achieve the turnaround to fuel small business owners and not just grow jobs, but bring them back to this country? How do we ensure that Americans receive the necessary healthcare while maintaining choice vs. mandates from the government?

If you want to understand the fundamental basis for the debate around these topics, rooted in history and facts vs polarizing language, read this book. It's enlightening and empowering, offering a powerful lesson on why we should all be proud to live in America, even in challenging times where we feel like we have lost our way.

As Mr. Forbes' masterfully discusses, government has a purpose and place - but big government is not just truly un-American, it hurts Americans and our future potential and prosperity.
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