Promise of Capitalism

What exactly does capitalism offer us? On personal, political and economic levels, our authors have answered this question. Their topics may vary, but they all conclude that no economic system better allows for human flourishing.

The Miracle and Complexity of a Pencil by Joy Pullmann

The film emphasizes the complexity of our world—and not just the natural world, which itself is wondrous beyond thought—but of the socioeconomic world. It demonstrates how free economies depend on voluntary cooperation. It reminds me of the arrogance and disdain with which I approach even tiny objects and interactions like a pencil. “Oh, just a pencil,” I think.

A Tale of Two Koreas by Wesley Gant

The choice here is not between a world of prosperity for some and one of prosperity for all, as we are led to believe—that is an easy choice for anyone. We are faced with a more complex proposition: We must choose between unequal prosperity and shared poverty. When even the poorest among us live better than most of human civilization, the choice seems clear.

Speaking into the Silence: Conservatives and Poverty by Josh Good

For American productivity to again become a reality, we must connect humane, compassionate ideals with clear-headed fiscal prudence that affirms the image of God in all persons, the dignity of work, the reality of debt and the value of personal responsibility. This is the secret our founders knew—and it is also critical to the survival and flourishing of our free enterprise system, which has the power to lift millions out of poverty.

Arthur Brooks and Steve Forbes on the Morality of Free Markets

For the truly poor in this country we need two things. We need relief, and we need opportunity. If you want to guarantee relief to the most indigent members of society, you must have a functioning economy. You and I will be inconvenienced by a debt crisis in this country—which will come if we don’t change course—the poor will lose everything, and that’s catastrophic.

The Best Broken System by Chris Horst

In spite of its flaws, many of which are heinous, the increasingly connected global marketplace is undeniably the best broken system—and its positive impact on the lives of the poor far exceed any system we have seen in our world’s history. The problem with many of the sweeping condemnations of capitalism is that they castigate capitalism based on its villains rather than by its record.

Earned Success in the Free(lance) Market by Nicholas Freiling

Success is earned in the free market, not granted arbitrarily. Unfortunately, many seem to forget this fact and choose instead to blame the free market for economic inequality. Capitalism, they argue, leaves the masses in the dust of the super-rich and powerful. But in the course of their accusations, they wage war on the notion of earned success. They take for granted the idea of merit-based reward, and overthrow the principle undergirding their belief that good work deserves good reward.