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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) Hardcover

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Product Details

  • Series: Culture of Enterprise
  • Hardcover: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st Edition edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935191810
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935191810
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,257,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
I highly recommend this book but only if you're ready to have your world rocked.
DE Fan
Toward a Truly Free Market offers an excellent survey on the role of government, taxes, and regulation in the lives of Americans.
Midwest Book Review
It is written in a readable and non-technical manner that makes it hard to put down.
Philip Dinanzio

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Philip Dinanzio on August 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one you have to read to learn about the Distributive solution to modern economic problems. My previous readings on this subject consisted merely of attacks on the present system, rather than a exposition of solutions in the modern economy. That being said, I do have a few areas of disagreement:

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!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan M. Mccormack on August 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding work clearly laying out a system that neither relies on the almighty state to solve problems, nor lets giant corporations take over. It favors local economies,small businesses, and empowering communities to solve their own problems. Instead of having the state take over all property (socialism) or have a situation where only the top 5% actually own anything (present day capitalism) it puts the family in the center and supports using the market not just to make money, but to distribute ownership, property, and social goods more evenly. Of course there'd still be rich and poor. Sometimes called the ownership solution, in England Red Toryism, it is most commonly associated with Catholic social teaching called Distributism, altho one needn't be Catholic or even Christian to be a distributist. Odd it hasn't been more wide spread, especially on, say, the Colbert Report; Stephen being Catholic. Actually I believe face book has a Get-distributism-on-Colbert page to spread the word. No heavy jargon, clear, realistic solutions, down to earth, a real eye opener! Lets face it - our system ain't working, its time to try something else. Highly recommended.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cookiebasher on November 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, I was impressed by the author's ability to put very complicated ideas into simple terms. Without diving into moral arguments, he illustrated why Big Business and Big Government have an interdependent relationship and explained the practical dysfunction of a boom-bust business cycle. Insofar as he was able to illustrate that, he was successful in presenting the need for subsidiarity and solidarity: essential components of Distributism.

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.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Young on June 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
One thing that has frustrated me in the past about some books on Distributism and other alternate economic theories is their endless review of historical figures of whom I have never heard, and also endless reference to Catholic social teaching. Well, I am not 100 years old and I'm not Catholic either -- so tell me why I should care about Distributism?

This is where Medaille solidly hits the nail on the head. He explains Distributism in clear and easily understood terms from the ground up. He explains why Distributism would lead to truly free markets in a fashion where finance capitalism does not. He further expands on the details of how distributism works, its history (without sounding like a member of some secret club) and more.

I am not sure I personally agree with everything written in this book, but my agreement or disagreement is not the issue for me. What is important is whether or not the author explains his thesis clearly, supports it well and most importantly makes it relevant to me. He does, and he does so in a way that shows him to be an excellent teacher.

I like this book. The author does a great job. Many of the ideas are, I believe, very worthwhile and they are expressed in a fashion the makes sense even to people who weren't hanging around Catholic or Fabian Socialist circles back before my father was born. He makes a convincing case as to why Distributist solutions would be applicable and even effective today, and how Distributism may be an idea whose time has come.

I do not care where you come from economically. You could be a fan of Ludwig von Mises, Keynes, or Marx and unless you are one of those people who only reads material that supports what he already believes, you WILL find seriously thought provoking material in this book.

If you are someone who is willing to think outside of the left-right paradigm and consider new ideas, I highly recommend this book and believe you'll be glad you read it.
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