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The Morality of Capitalism: What Your Professors Won't Tell You 1st Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0898031706
ISBN-10: 0898031702
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 129 pages
  • Publisher: Jameson Books; 1st edition (October 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898031702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898031706
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Just received this brief book from Atlas Economic Research Foundation and Students For Liberty along with a request to donate. The book is targeted at college age students to help combat the socialist bias in most university cultures. I thought I'd glance through the book quickly to make a decision if I'd follow up with a donation. I'd read half the essays in the book before I put it back down. Wisely, the publishers lead with an essay from the CEO of Whole Foods - certainly a company that most college students and many 'liberals' relate to. The essays in the book are well written (the Whole Foods essay is actually an invterview, not an essay) and concise with their thesis well articulated. The book explores ideas such as the difference between free-market capitalism and crony capitalism; the value of creative destruction; how capitalism and competition is about cooperation; etc.

My immediate reaction to the book is to buy dozens more to hand out to both like minded and opposite minded. I highly recommend this book as well as the organizations
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Format: Paperback
Capitalism takes the blame for a lot of things, particularly in the academy. It produces gross inequalities, perpetuates the status quo, values profits above people, leads to the survival of the fittest and cultural hegemony, etc. This collection of essays, geared toward college students and layreaders, is designed to address where these attributions about capitalism are wrong and, in fact, to show that the opposite of them is often true. Capitalism leads to an increase of wealth for all, cooperation, an upsetting of the status quo over time, etc. Below, I will list just some of the very good essays found in this book.

Section 1 - "The Virtues of Entrepreneurial Capitalism" - contains essays celebrating how capitalism creates incentives for people to create value for others. Economic historian Diedre McCloskey writes that we can trace the industrial revolution primarily to an improvement in how society values its entrepreneurs and creative market actors. David Boaz dispels the idea that capitalism is dog-eat-dog competition, but revolves around cooperation between traders. Tom Palmer relays his personal experience frequenting a for-profit and not-for-profit hospital, arguing that the profit motive - far from leading to duplicity and dis ingenuity, leads people to perform more effectively and honestly.

Section II - "Voluntary Interaction and Self-Interest" - contains essays celebrating capitalism's ability to channel people's self-interest into social benefits. (I gain most when I provide products and services that others value, etc.) Chinese economist Mao Yushi writes about the "paradox of morality" - the idea that society functions best and most cohesively when we all a bit self-interested.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This little book by Tom G. Palmer is a compilation of essays by authors from around the globe. Each one was a fascinating read. I recommend this book to everyone--particularly to those who want more information on how to articulate the benefits of capitalism for themselves as well as others. Today we are facing many challenges to free market capitalism--crushing regulations and confiscatory taxes, government dependency by crony capitalists and more and people who have decided that it is their right to demand others take care of them, and leaders who constantly tell us by their words and actions that "they know best." The messages in this book provide a rebuttal to all of these situations and misconceptions.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent book on why capitalism is the most moral process for the voluntary exchange of property, which leads to wealth creation throughout the economy. In general, the included essays deal with how free markets let people take control of their lives and improve their personal wellbeing, and as a result society is enriched. Moreover, the essays discuss how capitalism and philanthropy aren't moral opposites, but work together as part of our moral callings. In essence, capitalism means that strangers continuously help other strangers peacefully and efficiently acquire wealth without any central planning. Highly recommend this book to everyone.
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Format: Paperback
I finally got around to reading this book after a few years of owning it and I thought it was a good introduction to libertarianism, although by no means the final word on the matter. I'll walk through each chapter:

Introduction:Tom Palmer really gets the collection started on a good note. I was impressed with his knowledge of economics. I just purchased a copy of his "Realizing freedom" and will post a review of that once finished.

Interview with John Mackey: this one's a gem. Mackey has a much more mature ethical framework than Rand et al
.
Liberty and Dignity explain the modern world: there are many competing explanations of the so called industrial revolution, and this may not be the defining one, but it suffices for the purposes of this collection.

Competition and cooperation: outstanding. A must read for all those who complain about capitalism's competitive nature. Boaz explains that competition and cooperation can coexist.

For-profit medicine and the profit motive: interesting argument, but Palmer's evidence is anecdotal. I'd be interested in reading a more in-depth defense of for-profit medicine, but this one is too short.

The paradox of morality: Yushi eloquently demonstrates that pure altruism is inconsistent. I hasten to add, however, that the same argument can be made for pure egoism. Also this may be a strawman because I'm not aware of anyone (at least today) who argues for COMPLETE altruism. But insightful nonetheless.

The moral logic of equality and inequality in market society: seems a little non-winded, but some of the statistics on inequality are very telling and make up for it.
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