Is there a moral case for capitalism? Consumerism is an appalling spectacle. Free markets may be efficient, but are they fair? Aren’t there some things that we can’t afford to leave to the vicissitudes of the market?
Robert Sirico, a onetime leftist, shows how a free economy—including private property, legally enforceable contracts, and prices and interest rates freely agreed to by the parties to a transaction—is the best way to meet society’s material needs. In fact, the free market has lifted millions out of dire poverty—far more people than state welfare or private charity has ever rescued from want.
But efficiency isn’t its only virtue. Economic freedom is indispensable for the other freedoms we prize. And it’s not true that it makes things more important than people—just the reverse. Only if we have economic rights can we protect ourselves from government encroachment into the most private areas of our lives—including our consciences.
Defending the Free Market is a powerful vindication of capitalism and a timely warning for a generation flirting with disaster.
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About the Author
Table of Contents
Introduction The End of Freedom? 1
Chapter 1 A Leftist Undone 9
Chapter 2 Why You Can't Have Freedom without a Free Economy 25
Chapter 3 Want to Help the Poor? Start a Business 45
Chapter 4 Why the "Creative Destruction" of Capitalism Is More Creative than Destructive 65
Chapter 5 Why Greed Is Not Good-and Why You Can Get More of It with Socialism than with Capitalism 81
Chapter 6 The Idol of Equality 99
Chapter 7 Why Smart Charity Works-and Welfare Doesn't 115
Chapter 8 The Health of Nations: Why State-Sponsored Health Care Is Not Compassionate 133
Chapter 9 Caring for the Environment Doesn't Have to Mean Big Government 153
Chapter 10 A Theology for Economic Man 169