Monday, November 6, 2017

Capitalism and the Free Society, Part II

Richard Ebeling emails:

Dear Bob,

My new article on the website of the Future of Freedom Foundation is on, “Capitalism and the Free Society, Part II.”

In part II of this article, I turn to the issue of poverty, wealth, and income inequality. The free market society – “capitalism” – has been
the great engine for raising mankind from poverty, starting in Europe and North America, and now spreading to most of the rest of the world.

Modern industrial market- based society has also reduced the historical yawning gap between “the rich” and “the poor.” This dichotomy did exist in the world – in pre-capitalist society that was based on plunder and power by “the few” over “the many.” But all this has slowly but surely changed, especially, over the last two hundred years with the emergence in some places in the world of a greater recognition and respect for individual rights and liberty, freer markets, and more restrained government.

The standards and qualities of life in those far more market-oriented societies have amazingly been “equalized” in terms of the varieties, qualities and quantities of previously unimaginable types of goods to which all increasingly have access and ability to buy. Capitalism has created societies in which “wealth” and “poverty,” in the historical sense, increasingly have little meaning; now it is a matter of the degree of ease, comfort and enjoyment of the market’s horn-of-plenty that all are able to have.


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