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The Virtues of Capitalism: A Moral Case for Free Markets Paperback – May 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


Hill and Rae shrewdly reveal the positive effects of religious and political traditions on economic performance.  Even in the midst of the Great Recession, the authors show that capitalism in the United States is shaped by biblical values, and leaves man economically more and morally better than  a mere "e;naked individual who was the sum of his individual appetites."e; Like Adam Smith before them, Hill and Rae rightly return  moral sentiment to what makes for  the wealth of nations. This vital message  couldn't come at a more propitious moment -- as a needed guide to Americans as we begin to work our way back to a morally founded prosperity.
-Tony Blankley, columnist, The Washington Times

Freedom flourishes when individuals can succeed and see their entrepreneurial dreams turn into reality. Capitalism deserves the credit. The Virtues of Capitalism’s examination of the importance of this foundation of the free market is a unique approach. The authors make a biblical and moral correlation, while explaining and discrediting recent attacks against a free society. Fans and skeptics alike will find a compelling read.
-U.S. Congressman John Shadegg, Arizona

Now, more than ever, the ‘moral case for free markets’ needs to be heard loudly and clearly. Not only do our broader liberties hinge on economic freedom, but our non-negotiable duty to help the poor depends on a robust market economy understood within a moral framework. With The Virtues of Capitalism, Austin Hill and Scott Rae have made a compelling and compassionate case.
The Rev. Robert A. Sirico, president and co-founder of The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, and author of The Entrepreneurial Vocation

Capitalism has taken a beating in the popular press over the past few years, and that’s a shame. Done right, capitalism captures the spirit of America by rewarding the diligent for their hard work and challenging the lazy to work harder. The Virtues of Capitalism takes an honest look at the system, celebrating its strengths and spotlighting its weaknesses. This should be required reading in every college in the country!
Dave Ramsey, host of “The Dave Ramsey Show” and bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover 
Everyone knows that free markets are more efficient than command-and-control economies where the government runs everything. But Austin Hill and Scott Rae make the important and persuasive case that capitalism is also more fair, more decent, more moral than any system that hands control to bureaucrats and politicians. They have made a valuable contribution to the most significant contemporary debates.
Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk show host and author of The 5 Big Lies About American Business

Now that our Great Recession has given new hope to those who would toss out the engine of economic progress, The Virtues of Capitalism is especially timely. Hill and Rae readably and persuasively show how biblical wisdom and human experience both support free markets. Professors, students, and general readers looking for an alternative to propaganda should buy and read this book.
-Dr. Marvin Olasky, provost of The King’s College, New York City, and editor-in-chief of World magazine

Austin Hill and Dr. Scott Rae follow in the footsteps of some of history’s most profound philosophers in drawing the essential connection between freedom and that which is objectively good. From Adam Smith to Frederic Bastiat to Ludwig von Mises to Milton Friedman, some of our greatest minds have reached the inevitable conclusion that capitalism -- for all its perceived faults -- is our most morally correct and virtuous form of social organization. I applaud Austin and Scott for reinterpreting that truth for a new age and a new generation.
-Governor Butch Otter, Idaho 

A fascinating read about the moral and ethical implications of our economic systems. Drawing a clear distinction between self interest and 'greed,' The Virtues Of Capitalism takes us to the very heart of who we are and the nature of our worldly pursuits.
-Geoff Currier, talk show host, 680 CJOB Radio, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Every community -- indeed every country -- needs creative business people who work hard and follow the rules. Whether it's the inventor, small business operator, franchisee, or corporate executive, we're all reliant on the willingness of business professionals to take risks with their time, talents, and money so as to create better products and services and, thus, employment opportunities that benefit the entire community. In The Virtues Of Capitalism, Austin Hill and Scott Rae have explained why our economic system must provide an environment of respect for worthy business people, and encourage this kind of creativity and healthy risk-taking. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of our economy, and our country.
-Matt McMahon, Outback Steakhouse Restaurants

For its people to truly to be free and prosperous, every society requires an economic system that both cares for and empowers its weakest members, while respecting its wealth creators. President Ronald Reagan made the political case for that structure. In The Virtues of Capitalism, Austin Hill and Scott Rae provide the moral basis for such a society.
-Hugh Hallman, JD; mayor of Tempe, Arizona, and co-founder of the Kazak-American Free University in Kazahkstan

As expected, Austin Hill and Scott Rae knock it out of the park. The Virtues Of Capitalism is an overdue contribution to the great debate of our time and reminds us of what our country ought to look like. Hill and Rae are second to none in laying out the case for capitalism, individualism, and in the final analysis, for America itself.
-Chris Plante, talk show host, 630 WMAL Radio, Washington, D.C.

Part history, part economics, part philosophy, and part contemporary events, The Virtues of Capitalism forces one to think deeply about both economics and personal values.
-Dr. Richard Rawls, Associate Professor Of History
Georgia Gwinnett College

About the Author

SCOTT RAE, Ph.D., is professor of Christian ethics and chair of the philosophy of religion and ethics department at Talbot School of Theology. He's written six books, including Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics and Beyond Integrity: a Judeo-Christian Approach to Business Ethics.

AUSTIN HILL is an emerging American voice on talk radio and in national publications such as U.S. News & World Report and Townhall.Com. Focused on addressing culture-defining questions, Hill has an M.A. in the philosophy of religion and ethics from Biola University.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Northfield Publishing; New Edition edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802484565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802484567
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tim H. on June 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Capitalism's reputation has taken a beating in light of the recent financial crisis. According to politicians and pundits from both sides of the spectrum, capitalism is to blame. Not so, say Austin Hill and Scott Rae, who argue in their book that capitalism is our best bet. In fact, according to Hill and Rae, capitalism "remains the preferred economic system, even the necessary economic system, for any society that upholds a true sense of human rights."

Hill and Rae approach economics from a distinctly Christian perspective, showing capitalism to be both consistent with and supported by the Bible's teachings. Contrary to some, the sharing of goods as described in Acts does not advocate socialism. The sharing of goods was voluntary, as opposed to forced. Moreover, the authors show that economics itself is deeply intertwined with moral issues. Economic conditions can act as a powerful motivator either to encourage or discourage virtuous conduct. "[B]e honest and ask yourself: Is it ever more difficult to be the kind of spouse or parent that one aspires to be, when the economy is slow and personal finances are scares? ... [W]hen finances are plentiful, can the enjoyment of material goods enable a person to avoid or neglect other important areas of their relationships? And a final question... can economics impact one's relationship with their God."

Several misconceptions about capitalism are also dealt with. These include myths such as "The rich get richer at the expense of the poor," "Capitalism is based on greed," and "Capitalism leads to overconsumption and materialism.
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This book is an outstanding presentation of arguments in favor of the free market system from a Biblical and moral perspective. Capitalism, the much maligned economic system, is attacked from many sides, often from a moral or religious perspective. The authors provide excellent counterarguments showing it to be not only compatible with a Biblical worldview, but the most compatible system. The bottom line is that capitalism should be judged by available alternative systems, not by an ideal system that does not exist in real life. That is unfortunately what many so often do. The book is not exhaustive, but is a good starting point in a defense of the free market system. One of the takeaways in the book is that the free market provides the best opportunity to elevate the truly needy out of poverty. It really is a must read for Christians to get a better understanding of economic issues. I hope the authors eventually develop this topic even further.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Orville B. Jenkins VINE VOICE on December 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
The title of this volume intrigued me, especially the phrase "Moral Case." I was afraid this would be another simplistic attempt to baptize historical cultural capitalism with a Civil-Religion form of American popular cultural Christianity. But the title skews our expectation. This book is not an apologia for religious economics, but rather a balanced look at what has happened in the US and reasons why it has happened.

I discovered this was a responsible, thoughtful, measured discussion taking into account several viewpoints, critically and constructively. These authors discuss openly the excesses and the moral problems of doctrinaire capitalism, and propose a refined, responsible market system that will encourage entrepreneurship, creativity and competition while maintaining moral integrity and benefit for the common good. They look at historical economies and societies, and especially provide a good analysis of the biblical foundations for a just society in which the poor and powerless are cared for and protected.

Modern urban Americans will benefit from the good analysis they provide of the ancient agricultural and tribal society providing the context of the Hebrew moral culture reflected in the practical Torah laws guiding Israel. This discussion will be an instructive source for pastors and church leaders. Hill and Rae do not write as theologians sacralizing secular economics. They do not write as politicians soliciting the support of uncritical religious patriots.

They analyze religious streams in politics and economics as well as economic or political doctrine involved. They reference social philosophy and the theories underlying the development of the American experiment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TooM on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hill and Rae have written an excellent, concise overview of Capitalism. They not only lay out a positive case for Capitalism but answer the contemporary and popular criticisms of it, e.g., "it's all about greed" and "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." The book has many positives, including up-to-date illustrations and examples, philosophical and theological analysis, and accessibility to a wide audience (both the acamadecian and the non-acamadecian). This book is highly recommended for undergraduate college courses that deal with the philosophy of politics, worldview, and even intro to philosophy. Also, those in the Christian church would highly benefit from reading this text; one could easily use it for a study in the church, which is desperately needed.
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