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Wealth & Poverty Review Growth Without Virtue

The coronavirus reveals an economy that has lost its moral foundations. Originally published at American Mind

The coronavirus has stopped our society in its tracks. Businesses are closed, daily routines are on hold, and families are huddled together indoors. With the headlines screaming catastrophe — death, depression, and despair — the partisans have retreated to their familiar corners. The socialist Left is hoping to permanently expand the domain of the state, and the libertarian Right is hoping to engineer a quick bailout and return to the “free market.”

But the Marxists and the libertarians — rehashing the dead binaries of the 20th century — are both wrong. Their tired theoretical frameworks do little to explain our current economic crisis, and are even less useful in providing a solution.

Marx, Smith, and the Virus

The Marxist critique of capitalism has always maintained that the bourgeois, the landlord, and the corporation are hoarding the wealth of nations. But within a week of the first coronavirus shutdowns, the great banks signaled the need for trillions in liquidity, the great corporations sent their lobbyists to negotiate federal bailouts, and the great mass of small businesses — with an average cash buffer of 27 days — began to fall like dominoes.

Continue Reading at American Mind

Christopher Rufo

Former Director, Center on Wealth & Poverty
Christopher Rufo is former director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth & Poverty. He has directed four documentaries for PBS, Netflix, and international television, including his latest film, America Lost, that tells the story of three "forgotten American cities.” Christopher is currently a contributing editor of City Journal, where he covers poverty, homelessness, addiction, crime, and other afflictions. Christopher is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University, Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow, and has appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, HLN, and FOX News.