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Wealth and Poverty (ICS Series in Self-Governance) Paperback – June 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: ICS Press; 2nd edition (June 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558152407
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558152403
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Every person in a market economy has to be other-directed.
"johnthirdearl"
The book ends with the obligatory note of hopeful optimism citing a need for faith with some philosophy of Charles Pierce.
Gderf
Bought it again to refresh my memory and to read the parts I didn't finish 30 years ago.
Larry Foster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
During the Reagan Revolution this modest, simply stated summary became the "little red book" for those who ascribe to the approach to economics that the fountain of progress, on all fronts, resides in the principal that money is best left in the hands of the entrepreneur, the individual citizen, who will ferret out opportunity in the most obscure and untapped parts of the economy; as opposed to those who ascribe to the Keynesian approach of taxation and redistribution of wealth. Unfortunately, the tag, supply side, was given to Gilder's insight. In reality Gilder describes a demand side approach to economics in which the individual becomes the bird dog, finding and investing in the new and often unknown demands that society needs to advance, as opposed to the demand stimulus coming from the unimaginative, and atavistic bureaucrats of the central government.
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72 of 86 people found the following review helpful By "johnthirdearl" on November 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
At some point in the last 15 years, the meaning of three key terms changed: "need" now means wanting someone else's money; "greed" means wanting to keep your own; and "compassion" is when a politician wants to arrange the transfer. You're actually accused of "lacking compassion" if you object to this kind of redistribution. According to George Gilder's marvelous "Wealth and Poverty," this so-called "compassion" is nothing but a very misleading, pious moral high ground.

One of the chief critiques of capitalism over the years by socialists, liberals, clergymen, and--most notably--the poor has not been of its practical achievements, but rather the perception of its moral character. Most of them have got the idea that the source of wealth comes from sinful, anti-Judeo-Christian avarice. Wealth, they often assert, comes from "taking," and therefore the way to combat poverty is to "take" it back and redistribute it. But as Gilder explains, the essence of capitalism is "giving."
Capitalists "give" of themselves without a predetermined return. That is to say, they make investments without a predetermined return; and a gift is not something given necessarily without any return. It's perfectly consistent with the Bible, in which you often gave alms in the hope of some form of return; perhaps a blessing. It's risking your life to create comething without any assurance of return. (Liberals confuse this with gambling, which is a zero-sum game. That's why it's not "risking." Capitalists are giving of "themselves" without a predetermined return. Not just putting down some money and making no effort and having no moral engagement in the activities they're pursuing.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By dmstaffieri@compuserve.com on December 5, 1998
Format: Paperback
I read this book some years ago. I have always considered it to be a definitive book on the subject of supply side economics. Mr. Guilder makes the salient point that capitalism starts with giving. Socialist take note. Every high school student should have read this book, prior to graduation. I am buying the book today for my high school aged daughter.
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54 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Eugene A Jewett on August 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book which most of us, who read books like this, read 20 years ago should be reread again today. The prescience and accuracy of its viewpoints are worth prolonged cogitation for members on either side of the aisle. Perhaps it could be recommended reading along with the cliff notes of Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations"? Okay, at least for Graduate students in the social sciences?
Gilder points out that we have been misled by popular economics as it relates to how we increase wealth and curtail poverty. He then introduces the concept of Supply-Side Economics to the general reader. He fulminates about how misguided policy has undermined the true source of wealth that is to be found in such nonmaterial forces as creativity, technological adventure, and the motivation to strike out for new territory in economic enterprise. He talks about how the blunting of incentives and the efforts to redistribute the wealth, in a just fashion, only serve to keep the poor in poverty. He contrasts this with his description of the true capitalist as one who invests energy and money today for a return he may or may not receive in the future. Is this not the model for describing the difference between children and adults? Is it not a model for delayed gratification one which most of the world eschews? They instead opt for a metaphorical traffic jam at the waterhole of natural resources with the alpha chimp and his cohorts ripping off the biggest piece.
When Gilder talks about the LEFT getting it exactly backwards it reminds me of what Balint Vazsonyi writes about in his book "America's 30 Years War: Who's winning?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Larry Foster on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read most of this book back in 1980 when Ronald Reagan was running for President and found it very interesting. Bought it again to refresh my memory and to read the parts I didn't finish 30 years ago. It makes many excellent points about historic social behaviors and USA ethnicity, whether you believe in supply side economics or not. Highly recommended for anyone.
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