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Wealth & Poverty Review “Ask a Capitalist” Q&A Recap

Last week I had a lot of fun hosting “Ask A Capitalist,” an hour-long question and answer session via Twitter. We had over 200 tweets sent in with the #AskACapitalist hashtag.

There were lots of good questions, but here were my favorites:

Some conservatives make a big mistake when treat economic matters as if they aren’t moral issues. My problems with Wallis involve his poor understanding of economic realities and his frequent failure to anticipate the effects of policies, not his claim that we apply moral categories to the federal budget. It’s a big mistake to object to Wallis’s claim with something like: “No. The budget is an economic and not a moral document.”

There are certainly pre-existing conditions that businesses need to function, and good government helps maintain them; but the government is way above its pay grade when it thinks it can hand pick and engineer business ventures in the private sector. Real wealth creation happens when businesses are free to take an idea to serve others and run with it. For more of my ideas on this, see my recent article at Investor’s Business Daily

Capitalism doesn’t create greed and it doesn’t need greed. Greed is universal, and is just as prevalent (if not more so) in communist societies as in capitalist societies. Economics and politics change eradicate the effects of fall. But we can have an economic system that at least partly channels even greed into more socially beneficial outcomes, by allowing consumers and producers to coordinate and cooperate their efforts for mutual benefit.

Thanks to everyone who tweeted in a question! See here for a complete transcription of the Q&A. Also, don’t forget to sign up for Indivisible Quarterly to receive an e-newsletter
and event announcements from the Center on Wealth, Poverty, & Morality. If you subcribe, you’ll be among the first to read my new article, The
Eight Worst but Most Popular Myths about Wealth, Poverty, and Free Enterprise.

Jay W. Richards

Senior Fellow at Discovery, Senior Research Fellow at Heritage Foundation
Jay W. Richards, Ph.D., is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, and the Executive Editor of The Stream. Richards is author or editor of more than a dozen books, including the New York Times bestsellers Infiltrated (2013) and Indivisible (2012); The Human Advantage; Money, Greed, and God, winner of a 2010 Templeton Enterprise Award; The Hobbit Party with Jonathan Witt; and Eat, Fast, Feast. His most recent book, with Douglas Axe and William Briggs, is The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic Into a Catastrophe.