American Elephants


A Few Necessary Words About Capitalism by The Elephant's Child

From Roger Kimball:

Here is the bottom line: Capitalism is the greatest engine for the production of wealth the ingenuity of man has ever invented. Are you interested in helping the poor? Embrace capitalism.  Do you want to help clean up the environment? Embrace capitalism. Are you interested in obliterating the scourge of malnutrition or some ghastly African disease, or illiteracy or [fill in your personal do-good desiderations here] yep, embrace capitalism. The global poverty rate, … has been cut in half in the last 20 years. Think about that. Then think about that. Then think about the sorrowful history of our species up to about 1830. How much progress against widespread — really nearly total poverty had been there from the beginning of time until then — until capitalism started to take off? Not much.

6/12/2004



An “Oldie” Worth Remembering by The Elephant's Child

As long as I’m doing Constitutions and what people believe, here is an oldie but goodie, with the late Milton Friedman explaining the most basic facts of Capitalism to Phil Donahue, who, of course, doesn’t get it at all. Always worth a refresher on what is important.

I particularly like John Steele Gordon’s  An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, which beautifully describes how Capitalism and a free people who can act on their ideas and dreams have brought forth a powerful and wealthy nation that is the envy of the world.



Business is Demanding to be Regulated. Bad Idea. by The Elephant's Child

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We seem to have entered an age where business executives assume that it is acceptable to do politics with their business. Businesses have, of course, long favored policies that help them to do business, and supported whatever politicians established the policy. That’s perfectly natural. But suddenly we have private-sector businesses entering the political fray, using their corporate budgets to silence free speech, sign on to very contentious political issues without the slightest awareness that there is a large mass of customers who may be offended.

“The reason that capitalism has managed to create real economic growth of 1.5% annually, and a 19-fold  increase in living standards over —the last two centuries — is because when people treat the marketers and inventors  as having some dignity and liberty, innovation takes hold.” (Those words are from economist Dierdre McCloskey). The reason why innovation has created and is continuing to develop computer connectivity, artificial intelligence and all that can lead to— is because business has been free of government control. There are many countries where such freedom does not exist, and government tells business what to produce and how and when, where and with whom.  Perhaps these executives were too busy with technology to study a little history: perhaps The Gulag Archipelago, or maybe Milton Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom.

Milton Friedman, in his 1962 classic, presented his view of the proper role of competitive capitalism — the organization of economic activity through private enterprise operating in a free market — as both a device for achieving economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom.

Economic freedom is not going to work when some businesses chose to boycott other businesses for political reasons. They are dealing with the public, their customers, who can choose to boycott too, and are doing so.



A Little History That We Need To Keep In Mind by The Elephant's Child

I posted part of this a couple of years ago, but I keep thinking that it’s  really important for us all to remember, and today things seem to go in one ear mind and out the other.

On January 20, 2009, the day President Obama was inaugurated and saved the nation from the clutches of runaway capitalism, the national debt was $10,626,877,048,913. 08. Obama, acting more responsibly than any Wall Street villain, increased that by $6,000,000,000,000. If Barack Obama paid the debt back at a dollar a second it will only take him 126,750 presidential terms to “finish the job” and put us back on solid fiscal ground, Assuming the debt didn’t grow in the meantime.
…………………………………………David Harsanyi, The Federalist

Today I am pledging to cut the deficit we inherited in half by the end of my first term in office. This will not be easy. It will require us to make difficult decisions and face challenges we have long neglected. But I refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay—and that means taking responsibility right now, in this Administration for getting our spending under control.
…………………………………………
Barack Obama:  2/23/09
……………………………………..….Fiscal Responsibility Summit

Here’s the bottom line: Capitalism is the greatest engine for the production of wealth the ingenuity of man has ever invented. Are you interested in helping the poor? Embrace capitalism. Do you want to help clean up the environment? Embrace capitalism. Are you interested in obliterating the scourge of malnutrition in some ghastly African disease, or illiteracy, embrace capitalism. The global poverty rate, Kevin reminds us, has been cut in half in the last 20 years. Think about that. Then think about that. Then think about the sorrowful history of our species up to about 1830. How much progress against widespread—really, near total—poverty had been there from the beginning of time until then—until, that is capitalism started to take off? Not much.
………………………………………..Roger Kimball: 6/12/2014
………………………………………..on Kevin Williamson’s
………………………………………..Catholics Against Capitalism

 




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