June 7, 2021

Besides “capitalism,” the two concepts perhaps most reviled by left-leaning intellectuals are “neoliberalism” and “supply-side economics.” These intellectuals harbor an odd antagonism, because each concept is associated with greater freedom, prosperity, and security. As such, one might suspect that the antagonists yearn for something other than these human values.

But what’s not to like about capitalism? It’s the social system that codifies individual rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness, the system in which property is owned and controlled privately. Capitalism was made possible by the Enlightenment, by the 18th century respect for reason in all fields – in science, politics, economics, the arts. In just a couple of centuries it revolutionized and modernized our material world; for the nations that embraced it, capitalism improved their health, increased their wealth, and extended their lifespans.

We no longer have a pure capitalist system, of course. The ideal form was best practiced in America between the Civil War and WWI. But whenever social systems have been closer to capitalism’s pure form (e.g., Hong Kong), they have performed wonders; systems farthest from capitalism, we all know (or should) have produced horrors.

Why does capitalism perform wonders? Why is it so efficient, practical, productive, and life-enhancing? Because it is the optimal habitat for humanity. It provides individuals the freedom to think, act, and pursue their self-interest. Some of capitalism’s foes are nihilists, of course, eager to terminate (not merely “redistribute”) its opulence; but many more foes disdain its ethical code of rational egoism, a disdain felt alike by secular socialists and religious conservatives (who otherwise pose as rivals). Many also hate inequalities in income, wealth, and social status, even though in freer nations that mostly reflects the diversity of developed talents and life choices.

What about “neoliberalism?” It means “new liberty” and refers to the post-WWII spread of pro-capitalist ideas from the likes of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Robert Nozick, James Buchanan, and others. Liberty had not been as defended since before WWI.

The nearby exhibit – “A Timeline of Neoliberalism” – depicts key works in moral theory, politics, and economics that appeared over five decades and inspired party platforms, campaigns, and elections. The successful, multi-year governance of political leaders like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Brian Mulroney would not have been possible without the fuel of neoliberal ideas. Nor would there have been pressure placed on the Soviet Union and its East European colonies; when they too relented, it could be said without hyperbole (as Thatcher put it) that neoliberals “won the Cold War without firing a single shot.” Even successors to the neoliberals in rival parties dared not change policy much. In the 1990s Bill Clinton first beat the Reagan successor (GHW Bush) who had pledged “no new taxes” (before raising them), then, before a Republican-controlled Congress, declared “the era of big government is over.” Soon thereafter, Clinton signed a law to “end welfare as we know it.” In Britain in 1995, Labor Party leader Tony Blair demanded a recission of the nationalization plank (in place since 1918) and with other neoliberal acts served as Prime Minister (1997-2007).

Amid the rise of neoliberalism and the fall of the U.S.S.R., Marxism and Keynesianism were in disrepute and retreat. Ideologues and control freaks in each camp detested the spread of neoliberalism; still today they use the term as an epithet, preferring a return to the old despotism.

What about “supply-side economics?” It was developed primarily by economists Robert Mundell (Nobel prize winner, 1999) and Arthur Laffer (famous for the Laffer curve, which showed the disincentive effects of high marginal tax rates and called for material cuts). Their work was popularized by Jude Wanniski (The Way the World Works, 1978) and Bob Bartley (in charge of the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, 1972-2002). Supply-side doctrines were applied with great success by practitioners including Congressman Jack Kemp, Treasury economists Paul Craig Roberts (The Supply-Side Revolution, 1984) and Bruce Bartlett – and, of course, America’s 40th President – in the form of “Reaganomics.” It is true (and sad) that few supply-siders were willing to shrink the morally suspect welfare state, but neither were their critics (who demanded a still larger version). Besides, their failure to get shrinkage does not negate their valid principles, one of which is that the real burden on the economy is government spending, not how it is financed.

Just as many intellectuals and politicians despised neoliberalism, they despised supply-side economics, deriding it as “voodoo economics” and “trickle-down economics.” Even Reagan budget director David Stockman, a brief convert, tried to appease critics by claiming it was a “trojan horse” to provide “giveaways to the rich.” Despite foes’ smears, supply-side economics was neither untrue nor untried; it was a healthy revival of the sound doctrines and policies explicated by Jean-Baptiste Say (1767-1832), Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), and Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950). The trio’s pro-capitalist ideas and policies were dismissed and distorted (albeit never refuted) under the onslaught of Marxian-Keynesian dogmas during the brutal first half of the 20th century.

The essence of supply-side economics is not, as critics claim, that “tax cuts will balance the budget.” It’s not even a minor principle but, rather, a “straw man” argument which no supply-sider ever advanced. Budget balance (or imbalance) is determined as much by public spending as by tax revenues; if the former is excessive, no amount of tax reform can ensure budget balance. Moreover, the uniqueness of the supply-side approach to taxation is to focus on tax rates and how they affect incentives to produce, earn income, save, and invest. Unlike most other models, this one makes the reasonable assumption that people are self-interested, don’t pay taxes out of duty, and dislike paying their hard-earned income to corrupt and fiscally profligate governments.

Supply-side fiscal theory contends that if tax rates are too high (confiscatory, punitive) they can depress the tax base and thus tax revenues. If so, a cut in rates can increase output and income as well as the tax base (hence tax revenues). This is common sense, basic economics; it is price theory (microeconomics) applied to the economy (macroeconomics) and to public finance. It is the essence of the Laffer curve, which has been verified empirically in dozens of cases worldwide since the 1970s. It is precisely the much-reviled supply-side revolution that fueled the case for material cuts in top marginal tax rates in major nations since the early 1980s (Figure One) – and those cuts also, predictably, fueled a revival in economic growth rates in those nations.

Another major myth about supply-side economics is that it pertains only to taxes or to the maximization of government revenues. As did Say, Bastiat, and Schumpeter, supply-siders today rightly extoll entrepreneurship, profit-seeking, and prosperity. They know that wealth creation requires the rule of law, the protection of all aspects of private property rights, sound (gold-based) money, low and flat tax (and tariff) rates, free trade, efficient infrastructure, and national defense. For supply-siders, the real burden on any economy is government spending, not how it’s funded. Unlike demand-siders (whether Keynesian or Monetarist), they stress supply, production, and wealth creation; they recognize that supply is the only source of real demand, that demand is not akin to consumption (the using up of wealth), that government spending per se creates neither supply nor demand, that aggregate supply and aggregate demand are never “out of balance” or in need of a government corrective, since they’re the same thing viewed from different angles.  

Figures One and Two illustrate the dramatic decline on top marginal tax rates resulting from the supply-side revolution of the 1980s and 1990s. The U.S. federal government’s top marginal tax rate on personal income (Figure One) was cut from 70% in 1980 to 50% by 1983, then further to a low of 28% in 1986 (a rate that lasted for only five years, until the Bush tax hikes). Notice how tax rates likewise were cut in Britain, Germany, France, and Japan. This was a global revolution. Yet rates have been raised again in the opening decades of this century. The top U.S. rate is now 40%.

Top corporate tax rates also were cut dramatically due to the supply-side revolution (Figure Two). In 1984 top marginal rates averaged 42% in OECD nations; by 1999 the average was 32%; today it is 22%. Germany’s top rate was 55% in 1980; by 1999 it was 40%; today it is 14%. The top U.S. rate for large “C-corporations” was cut from 46% in 1980 to 35% in 1986 and remained there, above the OECD average, until the Trump rate cut (to 21%) beginning in late 2017. In the U.S., the top tax rate for smaller, pass-through business entities (“S-corporations”) was equivalent to the top personal rate, which was cut from 70% in 1980 to 28% in 1986; this tax-rate differential inspired faster growth in small-to-midsize businesses in the U.S. relative to larger firms.

A crucial aspect of the supply-side revolution was pro-capitalism and anti-cronyism. A main goal was to simplify the tax code, with fewer brackets and fewer special exemptions, deductions, and credits. Private sector activity would shift from tax avoidance to wealth creation. The idea was to lower tax rates while widening and increasing the tax base (i.e., taxable income). That meant a much lower negative impact on total tax revenues. Moreover, less onerous tax rates and fewer tax favors radically reduced the motivation to lobby for special tax breaks (i.e., far less cronyism).

The supply-side revolution – being pro-capitalist, pro-entrepreneur, pro-profit, pro-growth, and pro-prosperity – understandably has faced many counterrevolutionaries in the early decades of this century. Top marginal tax rates on personal income have been increased, although not back to pre-1980 confiscatory levels; pressure is building to further raise top rates, and politicians who endorse the idea have been gaining traction and getting elected. The reactionaries also have been busy reintroducing tax favoritism, eliciting more lobbying, campaign contributions, and cronyism.

We have heard a lot in recent decades about capitalism allegedly degenerating into “cronyism” or “plutocracy” (rule by the rich). But cronyism has nothing to do with capitalism. The only way to get money out of politics is to get politics out of money making. That is a uniquely supply-side prescription, but it is the last thing in the world any Marxist, Keynesian, or welfare-state fan wishes to see. It is ludicrous when foes of supply-side policy claim that it “favors the rich,” for these foes are the same people who, by seeking to punish the rich, insidiously seek their favors.

Tax policy aside, there has also been a boom in government spending this century, which supply-siders interpret as a burden (not a “stimulus”) for the economy. There also has been greater regulation, stemming from 9/11 (PATRIOT ACT), the accounting scandals of the early 2000s (Sarbanes-Oxley Act), the financial crises of 2008-09 (the Dodd-Frank Act), and the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020-21. Finally, there have been sharp policy turns away from free trade.

Back in 2012, fearful of a Romney-Ryan victory and a mere preservation of supply-side policies, two analysts at the left-leaning Center for American Progress issued a report titled “The Failure of Supply-Side Economics.” They included a half dozen graphs allegedly showing that “supply-side doesn’t work.” They showed no such thing. They cherry-picked data, conveniently altered time periods, and posited irrelevancies. Their shoddy work was yet another in a long train of similarly bogus “studies” that have appeared since the beginning of Reaganomics in the early 1980s.

Let us review the relevant empirics, both fully and fairly. Table One summarizes and contrasts U.S. economic-financial performance in 1980-2000 versus 2000-2020. Whereas the last two decades of the 20th century were animated by globalism and supply-side neoliberalism, the first two decades of the 21st century have been animated by nationalism and demand-side neofascism.

The extent of the differential performance should be astonishing to those unaware of the facts but honest enough to learn them. Tragically, America has shifted from prosperity to austerity in a single generation. Real GDP growth was 3.4% per annum in 1980-2000, twice the rate of 2000-2020. Industrial production over the last two decades has been a mere 1/6th of the previous annual rate. Real private fixed investment expanded by 4.8% per annum in 1980-2000, more than double the rate since then. Growth in civilian employment this century has been a mere quarter of what it was in 1980-2000.

What about the dollar and money? The dollar appreciated at a compounded annual rate of 1.1% in 1980-2000 but depreciated at that same rate in 2000-2020. In real terms (ounces of gold), the dollar appreciated 3.9% per annum in 1980-2000 but has been devalued 9.2% per annum since then. The money supply has increased 15% per annum so far this century, triple its rate of increase in 1980-2000. To what end? For what purpose? Obviously, the production of money isn’t the production of real wealth. As more money has been issued, more has been demanded (hoarded). That hardly depicts a robust, future-oriented, risk-taking, entrepreneurial economy.

What about real gains on financial assets? The S&P 500 returned 11.7% per annum in the supply-side decades of 1980-2000, more than double what it has delivered since then (5.3% per annum). U.S. T-Bonds returned 8.1% per annum in 1980-2000, likewise double their return since (3.6% per annum). Prices of key commodities like crude oil, gold, and food declined in 1980-2000, but have since increased. With robust growth in output and jobs in 1980-2000 came less costly living.

What about U.S. public finances? The supply-side policy mix is ridiculed most, perhaps, for its alleged fiscal profligacy. But Table One reveals how federal spending has increased far more in 2000-2020 (6.9% per annum) than it did amid supply-side dominance in 1980-2000 (5.6% per annum). Recent profligacy hasn’t done very much to “stimulate” the economy, has it? But surely federal tax revenues stagnated amid all the tax cutting of 1980-2000? No, they grew by 7.0% per annum, more than twice their growth rate so far this century. Whereas in 1980-2000 revenue growth outpaced spending growth, the reverse has occurred in 2000-2020, with spending growth outpacing revenue growth. The result: a relatively faster rise in the national debt this century. The turn of the last century recorded four straight years (1998-2001) of budget surpluses. So much for fiscally “reckless” supply-side policies. The U.S has registered not a single surplus since 2001.

The near-phobic disdain for supply-side economics and neoliberalism this century is part of a new wave of anti-capitalist sentiment. We have seen this movie before. It is a horror film. The true friends of rationality, liberty, and prosperity should wake up, stand proudly, and contend boldly.

本文最初發表於 AIER.org,經同意轉載。

Richard M. Salsman Ph.D.
About the author:
Richard M. Salsman Ph.D.

Dr. Richard M. Salsman is a professor of political economy at Duke University, founder and president of InterMarket Forecasting, Inc., a senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, and senior scholar at The Atlas Society. In the 1980s and 1990s he was a banker at the Bank of New York and Citibank and an economist at Wainwright Economics, Inc. Dr. Salsman has authored five books: Breaking the Banks: Central Banking Problems and Free Banking Solutions (1990), The Collapse of Deposit Insurance and the Case for Abolition (1993), Gold and Liberty (1995), The Political Economy of Public Debt: Three Centuries of Theory and Evidence (2017), and Where Have all the Capitalists Gone?: Essays in Moral Political Economy (2021). He is also author of a dozen chapters and scores of articles. His work has appeared in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, Reason Papers, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Sun, Forbes, the Economist, the Financial Post, the Intellectual Activist, and The Objective Standard. He speaks frequently before pro-liberty student groups, including Students for Liberty (SFL), Young Americans for Liberty(YAL), Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), and the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

Salsman博士在鮑登學院獲得法律和經濟學學士學位(1981年),在紐約大學獲得經濟學碩士學位(1988年),在杜克大學獲得政治經濟學博士學位(2012年)。他的個人網站可以在 https://richardsalsman.com/ 找到。

Salsman博士每月為The Atlas Society舉辦一次道德與市場網路研討會,探索倫理,政治,經濟和 市場 之間的交叉點。您還可以在這裡找到Salsman的Instagram 收購 摘錄,每個月都可以在我們的 Instagram 上找到!


租房銷售國家更腐敗,更不富裕 - AIER,2022年5月13日

近幾十年來,在政治經濟學領域,一個重要而有價值的重點被放在“尋租”上,“尋租”被定義為壓力集團遊說(並獲得)特殊恩惠(給予自己)和不利(強加給競爭對手或敵人)。但尋租只是政治偏袒的需求方;不太被強調的供應方——稱之為 租房銷售——才是真正的煽動者。只有國家才有能力創造零和政治恩惠、不贊成和親信。任人唯親不是資本主義的品牌,而是混合系統的癥狀;對社會經濟結果產生重大影響的干預主義國家積極邀請受影響最大、最負擔得起的人(富人和有權勢的人)進行遊說。但偏袒的根本問題不在於賄賂的需求者,而在於勒索的供應商。“裙帶資本主義”是一個公然的矛盾,是將反資本主義政策的結果歸咎於資本主義的詭計。

北約擴張是俄烏戰爭的煽動者——會所,2022 年 3 月 16 日

在這個90分鐘的音頻採訪中,薩爾斯曼博士討論了1)為什麼國家自身利益應該指導美國的外交政策(但不是),2)為什麼北約長達數十年的向東向俄羅斯邊境擴張(並暗示它可能會增加烏克蘭)助長了俄烏衝突和當前的戰爭,3)雷根 - 布希如何英勇地(和平地)贏得了冷戰, 4)本世紀的民主黨總統(柯林頓,歐巴馬,拜登)如何/為什麼拒絕培養冷戰後的和平,一直是北約的推動者,對俄羅斯無理地好戰,並破壞了美國的國家實力和安全,5)為什麼烏克蘭不自由和腐敗,不是真正的美國盟友(或北約成員國),與美國國家安全無關, 並且不值得美國任何形式的官方支援,以及 6)為什麼今天兩黨幾乎無處不在的對更廣泛戰爭的支援,由MMIC(軍事 - 媒體 - 工業 - 復合體)大力推動,既魯莽又不祥。

烏克蘭:事實不能為普京開脫,但他們確實譴責北約 —— 資本主義標準,2022 年 3 月 14 日


代價高昂但蓄意的美國工作力短缺 -- AIER,2021 年 9 月 28 日

一年多來,由於 Covid 恐懼症和封鎖,美國遭受了各種類型和程度的工作力短缺,在這種情況下,潛在僱主要求的工作力數量超過了潛在雇員提供的數量。這不是偶然或暫時的。失業既是強制性的(通過關閉“非必要”企業),也是補貼(提供利潤豐厚和延長的“失業救濟金”)。這使得許多企業難以吸引和僱用足夠數量、品質、可靠性和可負擔性的工作力。物質或長期的盈餘和短缺反映的不是“市場失靈”,而是政府未能讓市場清理。為什麼連那些應該更瞭解的人都不清楚呢?這不是因為他們不懂基本的經濟學;許多人在意識形態上是反資本主義的,這使他們對僱主有偏見;他們引導馬克思,錯誤地認為資本家通過少付工人工資和向顧客收取過高的費用來獲利。

從快速增長到無增長再到去增長 ——AIER,2021年8月4日

長期的日益繁榮是通過短期的持續經濟增長實現的;繁榮是一個更廣泛的概念,不僅意味著更多的產出,而且意味著買家重視的產出品質。繁榮帶來更高的生活水平,我們享受更好的健康,更長的壽命和更大的幸福。不幸的是,美國的實證測量表明,其經濟增長率正在減速,這不是一個暫時的問題;這種情況已經發生了幾十年;可悲的是,很少有領導人認識到這一嚴峻趨勢;很少有人能解釋它;有些人甚至更喜歡它。下一步可能是推動「去增長」 ,即經濟產出的連續收縮。多年來,緩慢增長偏好被正常化,這也可能發生在去增長偏好中。今天的去增長追隨者是少數,但幾十年前增長緩慢的粉絲也是少數。

當理性消失時,暴力就進來 了—— 《資本主義》雜誌,2021年1月13日

在上周特朗普煽動的右翼襲擊美國國會大廈之後,每一「一方」都正確地指責對方虛偽,沒有「實踐他們所宣揚的」,沒有「言出必行」。。去年夏天,左翼人士試圖為自己在波特蘭、西雅圖、明尼阿波利斯和其他地方的暴力辯護(作為“和平抗議”),但現在譴責國會大廈的右翼暴力。為什麼虛偽,一種惡習,現在如此普遍? 它的對立面是正直的美德,這在當今很少見,因為幾十年來大學一直在灌輸哲學實用主義,這種學說不提倡“實用性”,而是通過堅持固定和有效的原則是不可能的(因此是可有可無的),意見是可以操縱的來破壞它。對於實用主義者來說,“感知是現實”,“現實是可以談判的”。 代替現實,他們更喜歡“虛擬實境”,而不是正義,“社會正義”。它們體現了所有虛假和虛假的東西。作為行動指南的,剩下的只是等級機會主義、權宜之計、“激進分子的規則”,無論什麼“有效”——贏得爭論、推進事業或制定法律——至少目前(直到......它無法工作)。是什麼解釋了今天的兩黨暴力?缺乏理性(和客觀性)。(字面意思)沒有理由,但有一個解釋:當理性消失時,說服與和平集會抗議也消失了。剩下的是情感主義和暴力。

拜登對股東的蔑視是法西斯主義 —— 《資本主義標準》,2020年12月16日


薩西經濟學的基本真理及其當代相關性—— 經濟教育基金會,2020年7月1日

讓-巴蒂斯特·薩伊(Jean-Baptiste Say,1767-1832)是憲法限制國家的有原則的捍衛者,甚至比他的許多古典自由主義同時代人更加堅定。他以經濟學第一原理「薩伊定律」而聞名,他應該被認為是資本主義最一致和最有力的代表之一,比這個詞被創造(由它的反對者在 1850 年代)早幾十年。 幾十年來,我研究了相當多的政治經濟學,認為薩伊的《 政治經濟學論文 》(1803)是該領域有史以來最好的著作,不僅超過了當代著作,而且超過了亞當·斯密的《 國富論 》(1776)和路德維希·馮·米塞斯的《 人類行動:經濟學論文 》(1949)。

財政貨幣“刺激”令人沮喪 -- 希爾,2020年5月26日



不可分割原則的要點是提醒我們,各種自由是一起上升或下降的,即使有各種滯後,即使一些自由在一段時間內似乎在上升,而另一些自由則在下降;無論自由朝哪個方向移動,最終它們都趨於吻合。自由不可分割的原則反映了這樣一個事實,即人類是身心、精神和物質、意識和存在的結合;該原則意味著人類必須選擇行使他們的理性 - 他們獨有的能力 - 來把握現實,以合乎道德的方式生活,並盡其所能地蓬勃發展。這個原則體現在一個更為人所知的原則中,即我們擁有個人權利——生命、自由、財產和追求幸福的權利——政府的唯一和正當目的是成為我們自衛權的代理人,在憲法上維護、保護和捍衛我們的權利,而不是削減或取消它們。如果一個民族想要維護自由,他們必須在所有領域為維護自由而鬥爭,而不僅僅是他們最常生活或最受青睞的領域——不是在一個領域,也不是在某個領域,而是在另一些領域,也不是在一個領域或一些領域,而不是在一個或一些領域以犧牲其他人為代價。

三方治理:正確決策的指南 ——AIER,2020年4月14日

當我們聽到「政府」這個詞時,我們大多數人都會想到政治——國家、政權、國會大廈、機構、官僚機構、行政部門和政治家。我們稱他們為“官員”,假定他們擁有獨特的、崇高的和權威的地位。 但這只是我們生活中的一種治理方式;這三種類型是公共治理、私人治理和個人治理。我最好將每一個都設想為一個控制範圍,但三者必須適當平衡,以優化權利和自由的保護。最近的不祥趨勢是公共(政治)治理對個人和私人治理領域的持續入侵。

自由的東西和不自由的人 -- AIER,2019年6月30日

今天的政客們大聲而神聖地斷言,許多東西——食物、住房、醫療保健、工作、兒童保育、更清潔、更安全的環境、交通、學校教育、公用事業,甚至大學——都應該“免費”或公共補貼。沒有人問為什麼這種說法是有效的。 它們是憑信心盲目接受還是僅僅憑直覺(感覺)來肯定?這聽起來不科學。 難道不應該所有關鍵主張都通過邏輯和證據的檢驗嗎?為什麼免費贈品聲稱對這麼多人來說「聽起來不錯」? 事實上,他們是卑鄙的,甚至是無情的,因為不自由,因此從根本上來說是不人道的。在自由的資本主義憲政制度中,法律面前人人平等,而不是歧視性的法律待遇;沒有理由將一個群體置於另一個群體之上,包括消費者對生產者的特權(反之亦然)。 每個個人(或協會)都必須有自由選擇和行動,而不必訴諸於騷擾或搶劫。 免費贈品的政治競選和政策制定方式公然迎合了欺騙,並通過擴大政府的規模、範圍和權力,也將搶劫制度化。

我們也應該慶祝財富的多樣性 -- AIER,2018年12月26日


為了阻止槍支屠殺,聯邦政府必須停止解除無辜者的武裝 -- 福布斯,2012年8月12日


保護主義是相互受虐狂 —— 資本主義標準,2018年7月24日



今天是安·蘭德(Ayn Rand,1905-1982)的《 阿特拉斯聳聳肩 》(1957)出版60周年,安·蘭德(Ayn Rand,1905-1982)是一位暢銷小說家兼哲學家,頌揚理性、理性的自我利益、個人主義、資本主義和美國主義。很少有這麼舊的書能繼續暢銷,即使是精裝本,許多投資者和首席執行官長期以來一直稱讚它的主題和洞察力。在 1990 年代為國會圖書館和月度圖書俱樂部進行的一項調查中,受訪者認為 阿特拉斯聳聳肩 是僅次於聖經的第二本書,因為它對他們的生活產生了重大影響。 社會主義者拒絕蘭德是可以理解的,因為她拒絕他們關於資本主義是剝削性的或容易崩潰的說法;然而,保守派對她持謹慎態度,因為她否認資本主義依靠宗教。她的主要貢獻是表明資本主義不僅是經濟上富有生產力的制度,而且是道德正義的制度。 它獎勵誠實、正直、獨立和富有成效的人;然而,它使那些選擇不人道的人邊緣化,它懲罰了惡毒和不人道的人。無論一個人是親資本主義者、親社會主義者,還是兩者之間的冷漠,這本書都值得一讀——她的其他作品也值得一讀,包括《 源頭》( 1943年)、《 自私的美德:利己主義的新概念 》(1964年)和 《資本主義:未知的理想 》(1966年)。

特朗普和共和黨縱容壟斷醫學 —— 資本主義標準,2017年7月20日

共和黨和特朗普總統通過拒絕「廢除和取代」歐巴馬醫改而厚顏無恥地違背了他們的競選承諾,現在聲稱他們將廢除它,看看會發生什麼。不要指望那個。從根本上說,他們並不真正介意奧巴馬醫改及其導致的“單一付款人”系統(政府藥品壟斷)。儘管這很可惡,但他們在哲學上接受它,所以他們也在政治上接受它。特朗普和大多數共和黨人寬恕歐巴馬醫改中潛伏的社會主義原則。也許他們甚至意識到它將繼續侵蝕該系統的更好方面,並導致“單一付款人系統”(政府對藥物的壟斷) - 奧巴馬[和特朗普]一直表示他們想要。今天,大多數美國選民似乎也不反對這種壟斷。幾十年後,當他們意識到獲得健康保險並不能保證獲得醫療保健(特別是在社會化醫療下,這會降低品質,可負擔性和可及性)時,他們可能會反對它。但到那時,恢復那些使美國醫學如此偉大的更自由的因素為時已晚。

不平等之辯論:不考慮掙錢的毫無意義 -- 福布斯,2012年2月1日

而不是辯論我們這個動蕩時代真正具有重大意義的問題——即政府的適當規模和範圍是什麼?(答案:更小),我們應該有更多的資本主義還是更多的社團主義?(答案:資本主義)——相反,政治媒體正在辯論所謂的“不平等”之惡。他們無恥的嫉妒最近猖獗,但對不平等的關注對保守派和左派來說都是方便的。 奧巴馬接受了一種錯誤的“公平”理論,這種理論拒絕了常識性的、基於功績的正義概念,美國老年人可能會認為這種概念是“沙漠”,在這種概念中,正義意味著我們應該得到(或贏得)我們在生活中得到的東西,如果我們是自由選擇的話。合法地,有“分配正義”,獎勵良好的或生產性的行為,以及“報應正義”,懲罰邪惡或破壞性行為。

資本主義不是社團主義或任人唯親 -- 福布斯,2011年12月7日

資本主義是人類歷史上最偉大的社會經濟制度,因為它是如此道德,如此富有成效——這兩個特徵對人類的生存和繁榮至關重要。它是道德的,因為它奉行並培養理性和自我利益——“開明的貪婪”,如果你願意的話——如果我們要追求和獲得生命和愛情、健康和財富、冒險和靈感,我們都必須有意識地採用和實踐這兩種關鍵美德。它不僅產生物質經濟上的豐富,而且產生藝術和娛樂中的美學價值。但究竟什麼是資本主義?當我們看到它或擁有它時,或者當我們沒有或沒有時,我們如何知道它? 資本主義最偉大的知識分子領袖安·蘭德(Ayn Rand,1905-1982)曾將其定義為“一種基於承認個人權利的社會制度,包括財產權,其中所有財產都是私有的。這種對真正權利(而不是強迫他人得到我們想要的東西的“權利”)的承認至關重要,它具有獨特的道德基礎。事實上,資本主義是權利、自由、文明、和平和非犧牲性繁榮的體系;不是政府制度不公正地偏袒資本家而犧牲他人的利益。它提供了一個公平的法律競爭環境,以及作為低調裁判(而不是武斷的規則制定者或分數改變者)為我們服務的官員。可以肯定的是,資本主義也意味著野心、才能、收入或財富的不平等,因為這就是個人(和公司)的真實情況;它們是獨一無二的,而不是平等主義者聲稱的克隆或可互換的部分。

聖經與福利國家 -- 福布斯,2011年4月28日

許多人想知道為什麼華盛頓似乎永遠陷入僵局,哪些政策可以治癒過度支出,預算赤字和債務。我們被告知,問題的根源是“兩極分化的政治”,“極端分子”控制著辯論,排除了只有兩黨團結才能提供的解決方案。 事實上,在許多問題上,雙方完全同意——建立在共同宗教信仰的堅實基礎上。 簡而言之,沒有太大的變化,因為雙方都同意很多,尤其是在道德上“做正確的事”意味著什麼。它沒有被廣泛報導,但大多數民主黨人和共和黨人,無論是左派還是右派,在政治上都非常虔誠,因此傾向於支持現代福利國家。即使不是所有的政治家都對此有如此強烈的感覺,他們也懷疑選民這樣做(正確地)。因此,即使是限制政府支出的小提議也會引起指責,即支援者冷酷無情,無情,不慈善,非基督徒 - 這些指控對大多數人來說都是正確的,因為聖經長期以來一直使他們接受福利國家。

資本家都去哪兒了? —— 福布斯,2010年12月5日

柏林牆倒塌(1989年)和蘇聯解體(1991年)后,幾乎每個人都承認資本主義是社會主義的歷史“勝利者”。然而,近年來,主要反映社會主義前提的干預主義政策捲土重來,而資本主義則被指責為導致2007-2009年金融危機和全球經濟衰退的原因。是什麼解釋了世界對資本主義估計的這種看似突然的轉變?畢竟,無論是資本主義還是社會主義的非政治經濟體系,都是一個廣泛而持久的現象,在邏輯上不能被解釋為一個十年是有益的,卻在下一個十年是破壞性的。那麼資本家都去哪兒了呢?奇怪的是,今天的“社會主義者”意味著將社會主義的政治經濟制度作為道德理想的宣導者,而“資本家”意味著華爾街金融家,風險資本家或企業家 - 而不是資本主義的政治經濟制度作為道德理想的宣導者。事實上,資本主義體現了理性自利的提升生活、創造財富的倫理——利己主義、“貪婪”,如果你願意的話——這也許最明顯地體現在利潤動機上。只要這種人道倫理不被信任或鄙視,資本主義就會因任何社會經濟弊病而遭受不勞而獲的指責。二十年前社會主義政權的崩潰並不意味著資本主義最終因其許多美德而受到歡迎;這一歷史事件只是提醒人們資本主義的生產能力——這種能力早已得到證明,甚至被其最大的敵人所承認。今天對資本主義的持續敵意是基於道德上的,而不是實際的。除非理性的自我利益被理解為符合真正人性的唯一道德準則,並且對資本主義的道德估計因此得到改善,否則社會主義將繼續捲土重來,儘管它有深刻而黑暗的人類苦難記錄。