Category Archives: Private Enterprise

Fairness and Equality: The Not-So-New New Bone of Contention

Not fair!  How many times did we hear, or say, that when we were children and someone thought they were not being treated fairly, whatever that meant to them?  We are hearing it again, from grown-ups—well, I think they are grown-ups.  We hear it from the Occupy Wall Street crowd (what is left of them), from Wal-Mart workers, from fast food workers, from ideological liberals in general, from many others, and recently from Pope Francis and President Obama himself.  They… Continue Reading ››

Mr. Obama and Pope Francis: who would’ve thought they’d agree on economics? Or do they?

Pope Francis recently released his Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, which condemns “unfettered capitalism, “(as labeled by the press).  Pope Francis seemingly condemns something that never has been, nor does anyone seriously call for:  a laissez faire market devoid of morals or any constraining laws.  Indeed, the rule of law and morality are necessary for healthy functioning markets, since the foundation of markets (private property and the freedom to exchange) requires trust and enforcement of contracts.  An extended quote will fairly… Continue Reading ››

Is There a Christian Defense of Markets?: Book Review

In their new book, published by Crossway in 2013, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution, the authors Wayne Grudem and Barry Asmus tackle the issue of whether one can make a distinctively Christian defense of markets and economic growth.  The book involves a unique combination of authors and perspectives.  Grudem is a well-known and respected evangelical theologian while Asmus is a widely traveled and popular economist.  Together they have made what is a very rare (though hopefully not for long)… Continue Reading ››

Is Classical Liberalism an Impulse Idea or a Long Term Ideal?

I have heard much talk in the last few months to the effect that market advocates, conservatives (in the American sense) or classical liberals (to use a broader sense) have failed to make their case.  They have not “sold” their ideas well, to use a marketing analogy.  Alberto-Benegas Lynch has addressed this issue in an interesting article in the October issue of Freeman, 2013 (see  October).  Lynch begins with the thesis is that there is a fundamental distinction between… Continue Reading ››

Book Reviews and Such

Last time I wrote about what I was reading, I said I would next read a new book entitled Anti-Capitalism by Simon Tormey.  I changed my mind and have waded into the second of a projected four volume work (maybe six) by Deidre McCloskey.  The first was Bourgeois Virtues and was the beginning of a detailed historical and moral-ethical defense of markets.  This volume is entitled Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World.  Most of this volume is taken up with… Continue Reading ››

Government Tyranny and Economic Life

There was an interesting article here by Peter Gumbel earlier this week on what France is doing in the face of high unemployment.  Before you read, remember this is France, since the nineteenth century, one of the most socialist (small “c”) nations in Europe, allowing for brief intervals of sanity.  It appears that Parisian officlals–the only ones that really count–have determined which stores in Paris can remain open past a certain time in the evening and which must close early.  Why,… Continue Reading ››

Could it be? Even Climate alarmists concede the Earth isn’t likely to get so hot?

That’s likely to be the result in the U.N.’s upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) “fifth assessment report,” if this sneak preview reported in the WSJ is true.  Indeed, the benefits of global warming could be greater than the harm: Therefore, the new report is effectively saying (based on the middle of the range of the IPCC’s emissions scenarios) that there is a better than 50-50 chance that by 2083, the benefits of climate change will still outweigh the… Continue Reading ››

Capitalist Virtues: An Oxymoron?

I am in the middle of reading a couple of really interesting and controversial books on capitalism.  One is Deidre McCloskey’s The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for An Age of Commerce.  University of Chicago Press, 2006.  This is a big book on big subject, a grand sweep type of book with high ambition.  McCloskey is currently a professor in (yes) economics, history, English and communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She was at one time a staunch Chicago School economist,… Continue Reading ››

Private Enterprise and Unconventional Natural Oil and Gas Production

I came across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. More on Fracking and the Poor reminds us that it is private initiative and activity that is the source of economic growth in the US economy. The concluding paragraph reads in part: “It’s a classic American story of innovation, human ingenuity, risk-taking and capital investment, not subsidies or the 47 federal job-training programs. The irony Washington will never appreciate is that fracking has done more for the less… Continue Reading ››