I have a new article on the Future of Freedom Foundation (FFF) website on, “Entrepreneurship, the Market Economy, and Human Betterment.”
This article is based on my talk at the College of the Bahamas in Nassau on October 20, 2016, in which I argue that the central factor in man’s increasing escape from poverty around the world, with rising prosperity and general betterment, has been the institutions of the market economy – individual freedom, private property, open competition, and constitutionally limited government.
What this institutional order has set free is the creative capability of the innovative and risk-taking entrepreneur, who serves as the central actor in the social system of division of labor. Yet, the enterprising entrepreneur, the businessman, is the target of criticism and popular denigration at the hands of too many intellectuals, members of the mass media, and political demagogues and power-lusters.
Nothing, I suggest is a more honorable calling in society than being the enterprising entrepreneur who, under the “rules” of the marketplace must cultivate, and demonstrate the qualities of honesty, modesty, tolerance, and integrity, as well as discipline and foresight.
But there is a justifiable basis of criticizing some in the business community, and that is those who gain or maintain their revenues and market shares not through free and open competition, but by favors and privileges from the government at the expense of consumers and potential rivals at home or from abroad – what goes by the name, “crony capitalism.”
But to paint the reality and reasonableness of rightly understood and practiced free market capitalism and market-oriented entrepreneurship with the “crony” color is to misrepresent and undermine the economic system that has given mankind the greatest degree of individual choice and freedom, and rising prosperity.