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A Capitalist Manifesto: Understanding the Market Economy and Defending Liberty Paperback – November 6, 2012
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"The best sign of deep knowledge is simplicity. Gary Wolfram, a master of the discipline of economics, shows that mastery here in explaining the basic truths of the discipline. They rival the law of gravity in their certainty, and they provide a guide as true as the North Star."
--Larry P. Arnn, President of Hillsdale College
“Understanding the one and only economic system that respects individual rights and produces abundance is a critical challenge for our time. The stakes are high. If we teach the truth about capitalism, the rewards will be reckoned in terms of enriched and lengthened lives, reinvigoration of culture, and restoration of liberties. Gary Wolfram has given us a great addition to the literature of freedom and free markets!"
– Lawrence W. Reed, President, Foundation for Economic Education.
"I had thought until recently that the debate between capitalism and socialism was over, with socialism permanently buried. But I learned from the Obama administration that this hopeful vision was erroneous. Given this fragile state, it is valuable to teach our students more about the wonders of capitalism, and this book helps to fulfill that mission in a clear and engaging manner."
--Robert Barro, Stanford University Hoover Institution and National Bureau of Economic Research
"A clear and concise explanation of how markets work. Makes a strong case for why economic liberty is so important for human prosperity."
--Dan Mitchell, Cato Institute
About the Author
Gary Wolfram is the William E. Simon Professor in Economics and Public Policy at Hillsdale College. He is also president of the Hillsdale Policy Group, a consulting firm specializing in taxation and policy analysis.
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Top Customer Reviews
In March, I attended a 2 day seminar put on by Hilldale College. One of the three featured speakers was Gary Wolfram. I was unfamiliar with him before the seminar. He was entertaining, articulate and insightful. Economics has never really been an area of interest for me. But since the quality of our lives are so tied to our livelihood, and since more and more of our economy is controlled by the government, I bought this book.
If you do read this book, be prepared to review some of the basic economic lectures you had in college. Demand, supply and pricing are the stuff of economics. At first, I was a bit bored with the book. But as I continued on, Wolfram began to paint a picture of the economy from an historical perspective. He incorporates writings of many of the economic thinkers and philosophers of the past 300 years.
In the simplest terms, as we permit government to control more and more of the economy, we reduce incentive for risk taking and capital formation. Even our basic urges for charity become corrupted in a way that we depend on Big Brother to care for the needs of the less fortunate.
There are large disparities in the free market system. There are always rich and poor. But in even case, the poor in free market systems live at a standard far above the poor in centralized economies. In other words, the most good can be achieved by the most people when there are fewer barriers to upward movement.
Each chapter is written in a short, concise manner and this book is a breeze to read through. There are many perils in the writing as well. I plan to come back to some of the chapters over and over to deepen my understanding of what the heck is happening to me, my money, my government and the economy.
I do recommend this book for those interested in economics, liberty, the Keynsian economic theory, Friedrich Hayek, etc.
A Capitalist Manifesto is clear, engaging, and compelling in its narrative concerning how people engage in trade, make decisions, and ultimately create their society and the economy that keeps it viable.
The author's style is reflective of his style when lecturing in the classroom: He entertains and humanizes ideas usually considered dry, overly complex, or downright boring. He proceeds in a logical fashion, progressing from basic concepts (with a chapter title that sounds like the lead-in to a bad joke: "Two Economists on a Bus") to more complex notions like Equilibrium and Profit, to consideration of the contrasts between Markets and Socialism, Individual Liberty, and the importance of Freedom to Economic progress. He then provides historical perspective and describes Economic thinking in light of the events of the Twentieth Century.
This book will prove useful to newcomers to the ideas of Economics as well as those who have long studied the subject.
Strongly recommended, and worth every penny!
I read Wolfram's book in anticipation of the Hillsdale College Economics 101 course I will be taking this fall. In relatively simple language the author added a depth to my dusty knowledge.
The most shocking concept in the book is that inflation is caused by the government increasing the money supply. The next time the government releases figures on the rate of inflation, I will remember that it was the government itself that caused that inflation.
If you want to learn more about this subject, and about many other subjects, in the context of a Freshman survey course, this book is for you.