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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little wordy, but an able defense of democratic capitalism in the context of current events
Little is left to the imagination as one glances at the title of this book. The cards are on the table for all to see. The book is about free-market, or democratic, capitalism and the authors take a rather positive view to the subject as you may have already guessed.

For those just beginning the foray into the wonderful world of economics, capitalism is often...
Published on February 3, 2010 by Amazon Customer

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Right in certain areas but wrong in others...
I purchased the book yesterday at one of my local book stores and started reading it last night. In most of the pages I found the authors point of view correct until page 82. Here are a few examples of where the authors feel it was necessary for the government to bail out the financial sector:

"had the government not stepped in, the impact on the world-wide...
Published on October 2, 2011 by Austrian at large


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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little wordy, but an able defense of democratic capitalism in the context of current events, February 3, 2010
This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
Little is left to the imagination as one glances at the title of this book. The cards are on the table for all to see. The book is about free-market, or democratic, capitalism and the authors take a rather positive view to the subject as you may have already guessed.

For those just beginning the foray into the wonderful world of economics, capitalism is often held in disdain, and particularly so in a crisis situation as we now see in the United States and, to a lesser degree, here in Canada. At such times as now, capitalism is involuntary enlisted by many to play the role of a scapegoat.

For example, as I brought this book to the bookstore counter for purchase, the salesclerk sounded a faux "hmmm" as if thoughtfully absorbing what I was about to purchase. She and I both knew, however, what she really meant: how odd to find a book defending capitalism. Never mind the fact that capitalism is the very reason she and I have meaningful jobs in the first place. It is common practice these days in the Western world to despise those very things - whether Judeo-Christian values, fossil fuels or, in this case, capitalism - that afford us enough creaturely freedom and comfort in order to despise them.

And so this book from Steve Forbes and Elizabeth Ames is very timely, representing as it does an able defence of capitalism at a time when its popularity levels are at rock bottom.

Weighing in at a hefty eight chapters and 300+ pages, Forbes and Ames summarize the "rap" against capitalism on a number of fronts (e.g., is capitalism moral?, is capitalism brutal?, aren't the rich getting richer at the expense of others?, isn't government needed to direct the economy?) with particular attention paid to the present economic crisis in the United States. The authors then respond in turn with what they believe to be the "reality." Each chapter is divided into sections via a Q and A exchange, which is helpful in navigating through the content of the respective chapter.

Forbes and Ames view government interventionism, not capitalism, as the chief culprit behind the present economic disaster, not to mention many disasters of the past. Using many concrete examples from past history and the present, they illustrate how this is so.

In some ways, How Capitalism Will Save Us, is not unlike Henry Hazlitt's classic, Economics in One Lesson. In examples too numerous to count, Forbes and Ames demonstrate that government involvement in the economy, while sometimes well intentioned, leads to all kinds of market distortion, mischief and, finally, economic disaster. This is because government looks only at the short term without regard for the long term, and sees only some groups of people - usually special interest groups - and not every group in the market. This aside, even if government were not political, its involvement in the market would still wreak havoc given that no group of people, no matter how intelligent, can manage an eco-system as complex as modern-day markets.

If you've made it this far in the review, it's clear that I'm quite sympathetic with the authors' position. (I do disagree with a few points the authors make.) For those who don't believe in free-market economics, this book will cause you considerable pain since there's a good chance you'll disagree with something on just about every page in the book. For those, however, who are free-market proponents, or at least willing to listen to this side of the debate, the book will prove to be an able defence of democratic capitalism, an apologetic nicely set in the context of current events. You'll learn about the difference between greed and self-interest, the difference between out-sourcing and churn, and many other helpful distinctions.

Apart from ideological differences that readers will have with the book, my only other caveat is the book length. It is a bit verbose, which lends itself to some repetition. But the motivated reader will labor on through notwithstanding this small hurdle.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift--Smart, Easy to Read take on the Economy!, November 28, 2009
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This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
I have found a great holiday gift for my friends --I was given this book for my birthday and loved it! Steves book was a really interesting and insightful take on today's economy. This book was clear and easy to read which was a great surprise as you can rarely get past the first page of most books on the economy and business today. I own my own small business and Steve helped me to understand the most relevant issues at play in today's economy while offering smart, innovative ideas on how we fix this mess. I am going to buy this book for many of my friends as we are all in disbelief as to what happened with this economy and with our business and this gives me hope--FINALLY!
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41 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a Beacon of Hope in a Financial Storm., November 10, 2009
This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
Steve Forbes had the courage and fiscal smarts to explain, in clear and understandable language, exactly how capitalism will guide us though our current financial storm in this fantastic Book!
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope the Congress and Administration read this book, November 22, 2009
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This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
Hopefully the President and Congress will spend the Thanksgiving Holiday reading this book. As usual Steve Forbes's insight and direction for the economy are right on point. They should take time from the healthcare debate and read this prescription for the economy which will improve our economic health long term for all Americans. This is a must read for anyone serious about the economy and our economic future.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lesson in Economics, December 9, 2009
This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
Capitalism has been vilified by narrow-minded people for generations, especially when there's some economic strife going on (like now). However, the system may not be perfect, but it's the best one we've got; and if our governments could resist the temptation to meddle with it (usually a bad idea), we'd be a lot better off.

Certainly, the economic meltdown which hit us hard in late 2008, was as close to a depression as we've seen since The Great Depression; and many books of doom and gloom have surfaced, lamenting "the failure of capitalism" as the root of the problem. Six months ago, I read and reviewed Judge Posner's book on the subject, and was lit up like a Christmas tree for not going along with his opinion ("It was only a nasty recession"). I suppose all the doom and gloomers out there don't like to hear an optimistic voice, telling them we're not all heading to the poor house. These are the same people who think the government should be controlling the economy; sorry, but "Stimulis Packages" only cause more long-term devastation that they're worth.

It's with great pleasure that I read Steve Forbes' wonderful book, which very pragmatically informs us that capitalism is alive and well; and it's the system that will keep us afloat. Forbes has a great deal of support in his opinion; recent books that I've read & reviewed tell it like it is: The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism, Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics & Economics Does Not Lie: A Defense of the Free Market in a Time of Crisis, among others.

Capitalism is the best system we've got, and it operates best when governments have sense enough to stay out of the way. Steve Forbes does an excellent job of letting us all know that the solution to our economic woes is as simple as allowing the free enterprise system to do its thing. It makes perfect sense; let's hope the political power brokers understand this.
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27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Capitalism defeats Government take-overs, November 20, 2009
This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
True Capitalism utilizes the concepts of God and Country; free-market economy; individual freedom with free-will and free-choice; man's freedom to create, invent, and engineer to produce ever better products and services. Together, these aspects of our Constitutional Republic allowed creation of the greatest nation ever known to mankind. Unleash capitalism without government theft and watch America again provide an exceptionally high standard of living.
Government take-overs; government over-regulation; government over taxation; government redistribution of wealth i.e. stealing from the 'Doers' and giving the Doers wealth to those uninclined to work provided the non-doers relinquish their freedom and vote for those who become their masters; government-controlled insurance; government-controlled agriculture; etc and et al brought America (and every socialist-type government on Earth) to near destruction.
Do you really need an international government entity to tell you what job you may perform? Do you need an in-bed-with-government labor union to extract blackmail dues in exchange for a job? Do you need a Food Czar to tell you what foods you are permitted to eat? What car you may drive? What curriculum a government-group demands your child be taught?
As Isaiah notes, (paraphrasing) "Awake, America. Your freedom diminishes. Awake O sleeper, arise from your death sleep and claim the freedom with which your Creator endowed you."
Do not allow lust-for-power-and-wealth men and women in government to regulate your lives.
Capitalism brought America to greatness. Demand that Capitalism be allowed to provide citizens once again with the highest standard of living on earth.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great distillation of the current crisis from an objective, economic point of view, February 8, 2010
By 
cdavis211 (Glendale, AZ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
I read this on my Kindle and it is one of the books that I plan to leave on the device indefinitely. It is an excellent breakdown of the current economic climate, how we got here and where to go from here. It does not make the case, as someone else suggested, that the government is solely to blame for the housing bubble bursting and the recession that followed. In fact, it takes to task the decades long business and government practices that created the perfect storm and resulted in the deep recession we have experienced. This book was started well prior to the financial meltdown and is not intended as a polemic.

Yes, it holds to account Wall Street firms, the last several administrations, Fed policy, activists, politicians and irresponsible home-buyers as they all joined in to build the 'house of cards' but more importantly, it addresses many long-standing misperceptions and misconceptions about the nature and history of business in America and abroad. It addresses these issues directly in both a broad, fundamental sense all the way down to the specifics. Forbes is a hugely successful business man, entrepreneur, economist and political activist. Ames has served in Congress and has a long background in economics. They both know their stuff and are both Republicans. I mention the latter because they both come from a small-government, pro-business viewpoint that some on the Left might find difficult to accept. There are many conservatives, however that will need to keep their minds open because this book does not attempt to paper over the significant mistakes made by Republican administrations that directly contributed to the collapse.

Read this with an open mind and you will gain clarity on the idea that the freer markets are, the better the result. And that for all its good intentions, government interference almost always plays a distorting, and usually destructive role that invariably causes that very thing it seeks to prevent.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Capitalism Will Save Us, December 28, 2009
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This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
It is little understood how free market capitalism has not only improved our standard of living, but has pulled countless millions of people out of poverty.

This book, written by Steve Forbes, clearly addresses many of the misconceptions of free market capitalism, how government intervention in mant ways leads to unintended consequences, and how free markets are the best answer in today's economy.

The book was so informative and enjoyable to read, I could not put it down. I have given copies to friends and relatives.

I recommend that this book be required reading in college economic classes, since it clearly illustrates how the Real World operates.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars capitalism wins over government-run, December 19, 2009
By 
photondn (Arizona, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy (Hardcover)
Steve Forbes' How Capitalism Will Save Us is a book about how free markets, not government-run markets, will help the economy emerge from the recession and towards prosperity.

It's a good sized book - about 320 pages. It was pretty good book. Forbes makes a good case about capitalism.
The highlights are the following

- My take away from the book was to keep goods and services inexpensive.
- In a free market, both consumer and supplier benefit; it is not a zero sum game where only one person benefits and the other does not.
- Regarding health care, currently there is hardly any free market at the consumer level.
- In socialism, the smartest minds are incapable of charting the destinies of millions of people.
- Innovation mainly comes from the free market, not from government, because government officials want to keep their jobs by playing it safe.
- Whenever there is an economic calamity, government is somehow involved.
- Capitalism is moral.
- taxation shifts money away from the free-market towards the government sector, preventing the growth in innovation and preventing job creation in the public sector.
- The economic growth in the Clinton years was not due to the income tax increase but due to the cuts in the capital gains tax.
- makes the distinction between income and capital gains taxes and why both should remain distinct.

The strongest point I thought was with regards to health care. The book and I came towards a similar observation: there is no retail sector in health care and because of a lack of a retail sector, health care costs are out of control. Currently, much of the health care costs are paid for by third-parties sheltering patients from the actual costs. There is no competition at the retail level. The government and employers are the ones competing. With few players competing, there is less potential to drive down costs. I was surprised that Forbes also saw the lack of competition in the consumer level.

For the doom-and-gloom investors, Forbes does not believe in the magnitude of the trade deficit. Also, Forbes is not a believer in mark-to-market. Also, he hardly mentions anything about consumer debt.

If you're on the fence between capitalism and government-run markets, this book may compel you to lean towards free markets. If you're already a believer in free markets, this book would solidify your beliefs. It's a good book. I liked it. A must-read if you want to understand the dynamics of free markets.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Right in certain areas but wrong in others..., October 2, 2011
I purchased the book yesterday at one of my local book stores and started reading it last night. In most of the pages I found the authors point of view correct until page 82. Here are a few examples of where the authors feel it was necessary for the government to bail out the financial sector:

"had the government not stepped in, the impact on the world-wide economy, on billions of people, would have been
cataclysmic."
Really? It would have been the end of the world as we know. Why? What are your reason? Yes, it would have been bad for individuals and companies in the financial sector, but the whole world.

"without banks and other credit providers you don't have an economy."
Seriously, the sentence is pure nonsense. The U.S. economy is not just financial. What about manufacturing, sales, marketing, mining, agriculture, etc..

"Had Congress allowed the panic to continue and major financial institutions like AIG and others to go
under, we would have suffered not just a serious recession but a worldwide depression of untold magnitude."
What does "untold magnitude" mean? Is the author trying to say that they can't measure it, or are they trying to scare the reader into thinking that the government made the right choice by saving the failing financial institutions?

This is only short review of the book, and I plan on reading the rest of it. As for the authors, why is it that they feel that the free market is the best way to handle the economy, except when it comes to the financial sector. Why does it need special help, compared to the rest of the market? There is a double standard being applied by the authors, and I think they feel that its all right for the rest of the economy to accept the moral hazard, but not the financial sector. The bailout the financial sector by the government was corporate welfare, no matter how the authors try to spin it.
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