Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The moral case for capitalism

At the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research James R. Otteson, joint professor of philosophy and economics, and chair of the Philosophy Department, at Yeshiva University in New York, writes on An Audacious Promise: The Moral Case for Capitalism. Otteson end this essay by saying,
Capitalism is not perfect. But no system created by human beings is, or ever will be, perfect. The most we can hope for is continuing gradual improvement. To this end, we must honestly examine the prospects of the available systems of political economy. The benefits of the free-enterprise society are enormous and unprecedented; they have meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of millions of people and have afforded a dignity to populations that are otherwise forgotten. We should wish to extend these benefits rather than to curtail them.

It would be all too easy for us, among the wealthiest people who have ever lived, in one of the richest places on earth, to disdain the institutions that have enabled us to escape the strictures of poverty and disrespect that have plagued humanity for the vast majority of its existence. Our crime today, however, would lie not in our inequalities but rather in our refusal to uphold the institutions that give humanity the only hope it has ever known of rising out of its natural state of destitution. The great and precious blessings of freedom and prosperity that we Americans have enjoyed, and that some, but not enough, others around the world have also experienced, deserve nothing less.
Capitalism may not be perfect, but it is better than any alternative that has been tried.

No comments: