Capital vs Terror


The Economist profiles an economist: Hernando de Soto.

"He argues that capitalism will thrive, and overcome threats such as terrorism, only if legal systems change so that most of the people feel that the law is on their side. Creating this sense of inclusion requires many things, including marketing the idea aggressively to the poor. But one of the best symbols of change is a mass programme of giving full legal protection to the de facto property rights that are observed informally by the (typically poor) people now living beyond the formal law."

And his dogs are named Marx and Engels because "they are German, hairy and have no respect for property."

Reason ran an excerpt of de Soto's latest book, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else.

(Link via Arts & Letters Daily)


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  1. Despite Japan’s recession, capitalism seems to have done well there. Other East Asian countries have also done well. Furthermore, Brazil’s economy is the 10th largest in the world, though it too has its problems. I think that this whole idea of “Western exceptionalism” is bullshit. Japan proved it wrong in the 19th and 20th centuries, and other nations have been proving it wrong ever since.

    P.S. Capitalism has done well also in the Scandanavian countries and Italy, yet they lagged behind France, Britain, and the US for quite sometime until the 20th century. And look at Ireland and Spain – both nations were economic basket cases thirty years ago.

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