Monday, July 16, 2012

Rehabilitating Capitalism

A book review in the Economist, looking at books by Allan Meltzer and Luigi Zingales.

Capitalism’s core defence, Mr Meltzer argues, is that it is the only system that leads to freedom and economic growth. It is less good at ensuring virtue or stability; failure is an inherent part. Indeed the author’s observation that “capitalism without failure is like religion without sin. It doesn’t work well,” has already been widely circulated. However, the sins attributed to capitalism—corruption, fraud and greed, to name but three—are not only pervasive in systems where the state controls production, but far more damaging and far less likely to be rectified.
Zingales argues capitalism is not the same as pro-business cronyism:

When government favours the private sector, Mr Zingales argues, it is all too often by being “pro-business” rather than “pro-market”, meaning that favourable conditions are provided to particular institutions rather than to institutions broadly.

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