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Toward a Truly Free Market: A Distributist Perspective on the Role of Government, Taxes, Health Care, Deficits, and More (Culture of Enterprise) Paperback – July 10, 2011
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About the Author
John C. Médaille is the author of The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace and an instructor at the University of Dallas. He writes and lectures frequently on economics. Médaille has more than thirty years’ experience in management at large corporations and as a small businessman, and he served five terms as a city councilman in his hometown of Irving, Texas.
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Top Customer Reviews
Medaille states that money is NOT a commodity, and does not have to be based on a commodity. I think this is historically inaccurate. He correctly states that fractional reserve banking enables bankers to create money (in the form of credit) out of nothing, and lend it at interest. Rather than just abolishing this practice as fraudulent, and establishing a free banking system with a commodity backed money, he advocates that the government just print money and lend it without interest for capital projects. As long as the increase in money supply keeps pace with the increase in production, inflation will be minor. This is not a power I would want in government. Even if prices don't rise, malinvestment will still occur due to wrong saving/consumption signals. Better to have private banknotes, with government ensuring value and prosecuting fraud. (eg. One dollar= 1/32 ounce of gold/silver/etc.) This will ensure that prices reflect a real savings/consumption ratio.
He also believes that all (or most) taxation should be a 100% tax on ground rents.
In this he follows Henry George. However, a tax that appropriates all ground rent would drive the capital value of land to zero, and not produce any revenue. The separation of the value of ground rent from the capital improvements would be extremely difficult to calculate. He also ignores the fact that landlords produce a useful function of allocating land to the most efficient user. Keeping land idle produces no revenue!Read more ›
Distributist economic theory begins with a deceptively simple premise: if citizens are nominally free, but lack the means of living independently, that freedom is an illusion. Systems which concentrate land, labor, and money in a scant few bureaucrats’ hands rip life’s means from citizens’ control, moving power up the political pyramid. Importantly, every “mainstream” economic system does this; capitalism and socialism make taxpayers choose which servitude system we prefer.
Médaille spends his first hundred pages examining dominant economic theories, explaining what leading thinkers systemically overlook. Political leaders pitch today’s post-collapse economic debate as between capitalism and socialism (they misuse that latter term). But Médaille insists both strip ordinary workers of agency. “Socialism,” Médaille writes, “forms sort of a natural terminus for a capitalistic system, as the interests of the state bureaucrats and the corporate bureaucrats tend to converge.”
If your undergraduate economics course resembled mine, you spent countless hours graphing the supply-demand arc or mimicking the NYSE with monopoly money.Read more ›
However, there were more than a handful of off-the-cuff recommendations that weren't very well thought out. He rightfully recommended taxing "economic rent" and getting rid of a model that pits capital against labor, but he doesn't fully explain how it would be sufficient, nor does he explore the differences in mobility between capital and labor and how that relationship affects business. The real world isn't as simple as he tried to make it.
In the end, if he wasn't completely successful in illustrating alternative solutions (even if they were a breath a fresh air), he certainly opened the door to understand why our current models are broken. He certainly gave me--someone with little education in economics--a fundamental grasp on these heavy-handed topics as I engage conservatives and liberals alike.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Medaille not only shows the weakness which is inherent in the Capitalist system, he offers remedies which are already making a difference in many lives in various parts of the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by E. A. Hara
A really excellent book! Médaille makes a great argument for a better political economic system.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I do not have much time to devote to this book so I will keep it brief and make my points in no particular order. Please note that many readers will like what Mr. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Vangel Vesovski
So, Thomas Piketty has created a firestorm of debate over income inequality. But the flaw of
capitalism was foreseen a century ago by GK Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Read more
Fascinating introduction to a unique synthesis of G.K. Chesterton, Henry George, Karl Polanyi, and MMT (Modern Monetary Theory). Read morePublished on May 12, 2014 by B. Belschner
I really enjoyed this book. It contained insightful criticism of the US economy and went over several just as insightful ways to make it better.Published on March 18, 2014 by Dmitri Garlic
"Toward a Truly Free Market" is a book expounding Distributism, an economic theory associated with G K Chesterton and Hilarie Belloc, and more generally with Catholicism. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Ashtar Command
Highly down to earth! In answering fundamental questions concerning the purpose and place of economic thought, John Medaille presents a compelling explanation and defense of... Read morePublished on February 9, 2014 by Settler