Cronyism Undermines the Beneficial Role of Business in Society

Cronyism Undermines Capitalism and Free Markets by Sam Patterson –
The role that business plays in society is straightforward – businesses produce goods and services that people consider beneficial. If a business can do that while wisely using resources, it makes a profit. Successful businesses benefit society by producing goods or services which improve people’s lives, and are then rewarded with profit. Those profits enable businesses to innovate or offer more goods and services, further improving people’s lives. Businesses must cater to the needs of society or they will find that they are not rewarded with profit and may well no longer exist.

At least, that’s how it works in a free market. There is another path for businesses to make profit other than providing valuable products. It’s called cronyism. Cronyism occurs when a business colludes with government officials to create unfair legislation and/or regulations which give them benefits they could not have otherwise obtained voluntarily. [Read more…]

Five Myths About Free Enterprise

Free Enterprise Free-Markets Ethical Capitalism by Arthur Brooks –
The 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be a battle of two economic philosophies. One favors a greater redistributive and regulatory role for the government; the other prioritizes the values of free enterprise, including private property, individual liberty and limited government. Given the economic hardships the United States has endured in recent years, it is tempting to conclude that free markets are no longer best for us — but that would misread our history, and buy into myths about the impact of free enterprise.

1. Free enterprise hurts the poor.
The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011 and plenty of politicians would have us believe that the free-market system is a contest between the ultra-rich and everyone else (the “99 percent”). But in fact, there never has been a greater force for helping the poor than free enterprise. [Read more…]

Message to an Entrepreneur: You’re a Chump

4/28/2010 – Mike Whalen – Washington Times –
Major policy changes can have long-term cultural implications. Major changes can impact behavior almost immediately, but the real cultural implications are a result of the often subtle changes in individual attitudes. With the Obama administration, I believe we will see such cultural changes.

I am an entrepreneur. I started with a little 100-seat restaurant almost 32 years ago. My wife and I, along with many good people, built our company the old-fashioned American way. We worked night and day, lived very frugally for a long time, put almost everything back into the company, borrowed more and more money backed by personal guarantees, hired more people and built more buildings. [Read more…]

Profit Over Principles

Townhall.com | by Cal Thomas | 3/2/2010
When Toyota President Akio Toyoda testified last week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, an attitude was exposed that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) correctly characterized as fostering a “cutthroat corporate” environment that placed costs ahead of quality and safety. Such a priority would have been anathema to Toyoda’s grandfather, Kiichiro Toyoda, who founded the company and turned it into an automotive juggernaut thanks to a business philosophy created by an American named W. Edwards Deming.

Deming believed in a business model that puts product quality and company relationships between workers and management first, favoring continual and systematic improvements of staff and of work processes. His philosophy dominated Toyota for more than 50 years. Quality products followed. Profit was the inevitable result. [Read more…]

The Market, School of Virtue

Acton Institute | by Stephen Grabill | Nov. 4, 2009

Does the market inspire people to greater practical virtue, or does it eviscerate what little virtue any of us have?

Far from draining moral goodness out of us—as many think—the free market serves as a “school of the practical virtues.” Rather than elevating greed and self-sufficiency, the market fosters interdependence and cooperation. Its rewards do not go to those who are the most isolated, self-absorbed, or cut off from society, but to those who sustain mutually prosperous relationships with others. [Read more…]

Capitalism: A True Love Story

Forbes.com | by Steve Forbes | October 19, 2009

How is wealth created? Seemingly a strange question for Forbes readers, but the question is hardly an academic one in the wake of the credit crisis and ensuing global recession. It has profound political implications that will affect our economic future.

Clearly, a sizable portion of the assets created in recent years turned out to be “make believe,” the result of an unsustainable, ephemeral bubble in housing and the churning out of increasingly exotic, ultimately toxic financial instruments. It’s one thing for folks and institutions that hold suspect paper to lose out, but it’s quite another when the process that created the stuff ends up undermining the global financial system and battering the lives of hundreds of millions of other people. [Read more…]

In Defense of Capitalism

Capitalism Freedom Private PropertyFrontPage Magazine | by Vasko Kohlmayer | Sep. 18, 2009

“Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil… you have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people,” concludes Michael Moore in his latest documentary Capitalism: A Love Story.

Moore’s fulmination is neither surprising nor atypical in this era when capitalism finds itself under all-out assault. Having become something of a derogatory term, capitalism gets faulted for almost every societal problem and ill. Blamed for exploitation, poverty, fraud, alienation, crime, racism and nearly everything else, capitalism is increasingly cast as the great villain of our time. [Read more…]

The New ROE: Return On Ethics

Forbes | by Sharon Allen | July 21, 2009

With everyone’s current focus on the economy, you might assume I’m talking about that traditional financial metric, return on equity. But the ROE I advocate is different. It’s return on ethics. This ROE is really more mindset than measure, an approach to encouraging the highest standard of business behavior. It’s based on the premise that ethical decision-making can lead to strong performance and competitive advantage, while unethical decision-making leads to very different outcomes. [Read more…]

Orthodox Christianity And Capitalism: Are They Compatible?


AFR – The Illumined Heart | Kevin Allen | Apr 17, 2009

Writer, attorney, and university professor Chris Banescu discusses the economic, moral and spiritual issues surrounding the “capitalist” economic model and whether it serves the best interests of Christians living the life of the Beatitudes, in this interview with Kevin Allen host of The Illumined Heart podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

Orthodox Christianity And Capitalism: Are They Compatible? – 4/17/09 [audio:http://audio.ancientfaith.com/illuminedheart/ih_2009-04-17_pc.mp3|titles=Orthodox Christianity And Capitalism Are They Compatible?|artists=Chris Banescu]

[Read more…]

Is Rand Relevant?

The Wall Street Journal | by Yaron Brook | Mar. 14, 2009

Ayn Rand died more than a quarter of a century ago, yet her name appears regularly in discussions of our current economic turmoil. …her magnum opus, “Atlas Shrugged,” is selling at a faster rate today than at any time during its 51-year history.

There’s a reason. In “Atlas,” Rand tells the story of the U.S. economy crumbling under the weight of crushing government interventions and regulations. Meanwhile, blaming greed and the free market, Washington responds with more controls that only deepen the crisis. Sound familiar? [Read more…]

The Nanny State in Space

SpaceShipOne spacecraft
SpaceShipOne spacecraft

No sooner had SpaceShipOne safely landed in the Mojave Desert, making history as the first privately-funded manned space vehicle, than government officials rekindled their desire to regulate this nascent private industry. Such concern for the safety of future space travelers is commendable but somewhat disingenuous, given Congress’ rather poor record of oversight in maintaining the safety of NASA’s Space Shuttle program.

On Monday, October 4th, 2004, piloted by a civilian, SpaceShipOne reached space for the second time in two weeks. As reward for such a remarkable feat Mojave Aerospace Ventures, a private company headed by aeronautic legend Burt Rutan and funded by billionaire Paul Allen, will receive the $10 million Ansari X-Prize.

The revolutionary SpaceShipOne project was started by Burt Rutan partially in response to the challenge setup by the X-Prize. The prize was created to reward the first privately funded team that sent a three-person spacecraft into space on two different flights within a two-week period. With approximately $30 million in funds Rutan and his group were able to achieve this amazing goal in a relatively short amount of time and claim the award. [Read more…]