Economics

Capitalism Classic

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classic

Everyone's chattering about reformulating capitalism, at the World Economic Forum, Davos, and elsewhere. But New Capitalism just might be like New Coke—much ballyhooed and a little different, but not necessarily better. Steve Forbes defends Capitalism Classic, suggesting that it's time to rediscover "the essence of entrepreneurial capitalism":

There are bull and bear markets. There are calamities that shake our faith. But the principles that support economic growth endure. Democratic capitalism requires:

The rule of law, especially property rights.

Money that is stable in value.

Low tax rates.

Minimal impediments to doing business and starting new businesses.

Reducing or removing trade barriers.

The blunt truth is that government spending is a poor substitute for private business and consumer investing and spending. Were it otherwise, the Soviet Union would have won the cold war and Japan, which had numerous government-funded stimulus packages in the '90s, would have escaped its 12-year recession.

As Joseph Schumpeter, the 20th century's foremost economist, observed, dynamic growth in the standard of living requires constant innovation and volatility. That's capitalism, and it works. It is our way forward.

NEXT: The First Rule About TARP II Is That There Are No Rules

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  1. *plugs ears*

    La la la – Keynsian stimulus – lalala

  2. Too bad Steve Forbes is such a weirdo. I remember voting for the goof back in the day.

    Capitalism will exist so long as one guy has some stuff, another guy has some crap, and the two agree to exchange a little crap for some stuff.

    Or, as Anthrax said, “You cannot kill/what doesn’t die.”

  3. Ah, the accidents of history.

    Imagine how different things would look if Forbes’ ideas and Obama’s campaigning skills were united in a single person. . . .

  4. Billy!,

    I thought that was Lovecraft.

    That is not dead which can eternal lie.
    And with strange aeons even death may die.

  5. Imagine how different things would look if Forbes’ ideas and Obama’s campaigning skills were united in a single person. . . .

    Funny that. The geeks grow up to be millionares and the prom kings want to run the world.

  6. The prom king world runners haven’t figured out we mostly go about our business without them.

  7. Funny that. The geeks grow up to be millionares and the prom kings want to run the world.

    And taxes are like wedgies.

  8. The prom king world runners haven’t figured out we mostly go about our business without them.

    Embargo . . It’s the only way to make Auntie understand.

  9. Is Forbes trying to argue that the US had low taxes and a free market during the Cold War?

    Oh maybe it was the glory of Reaganomics that won the Cold War for us.

  10. “Japan would have escaped its 12-year recession”

    If by recession, you mean the technical definition, two consecutive quarters of negative growth, Japan did not have a 12 year recession.

    Although piling up debt that vastly exceeds your GDP, ain’t no great shakes either.

  11. I hate to say it, but maybe there should be a moratorium on Coca-Cola references in KMW’s posts. Perhaps, next time, she could work in a reference to, say, Cheerwine, Big Red, Dr. Enuf, or Ale-8-One. 😉

  12. There are calamities that shake our faith.

    I read that as catamites. Yes, yes, there are.

  13. There will always be capitalism there is just no way around it.

  14. Embargo . . It’s the only way to make Auntie understand.

    Who run Highschooltown?

  15. wald0 = spammer

  16. I remember when capitalism used to be made with real money…

  17. Economics will only work when humans are removed from the economy. This is also true of political systems.

    Which is the core absurdity of participatory government. By giving more users hands on access to the operations of political power, all we do is create a giant mess.

    Down with humans!

  18. @Jeff P: really? Because I don’t. Gold isn’t real money. It’s a shiny rock that people arbitrarily decided to value.

    The gold standard is like fiat money, except the variations in supply are utterly out of control of the currency issuing agency.

  19. Not if the communist Obama and his ilk have anything to say about it.

    They are enemies of America and want to destroy it with their evil policies.

    They will reap what they sow. People in other countries may just roll over and accept their communist overlords, but freedom-loving people in America have nowhere to go. Thankfully we still have our guns and when our backs are against the wall with nowhere to run, the communists and their ilk won’t like the results.

    This is my warning: they can leave now and go to France or Canada and play our their communist fantasies. Stay here and keep pushing and see what happens.

  20. @JB: thank you. You made my comments about removing humans from the tiller of government and the economy seem sober and conservative.

    So long as there are folks like you, aluminum foil stocks will always be recession proof.

  21. Why is that so many of the people that get on the national scene that push at least somewhat in a more limited gov’t way are so nerdy or kooky (ie Forbes, Paul, Perot, Freidman, etc.)?

  22. WaldO,

    When your done fucking yourself, I could use a little lovin’ too.

  23. JB,

    Try not to pee yourself when they come for you.

    If only we could have that small-government-minded freedom-loving Bush back!

  24. Slogans for the future:

    Socialism, it’s the New Capitalism

    We have to destroy capitalism in order to save it.

  25. @Jeff P: really? Because I don’t. Gold isn’t real money. It’s a shiny rock that people arbitrarily decided to value.

    This is bullshit. There is still probably gold in circulation that was once used by Neanderthal man to make his mate stop grunting about how he fucked that chimp with the OK face but with hands capable of advanced tool usage. That is real worth.

  26. Gold isn’t real money. It’s a shiny rock that people arbitrarily decided to value.

    All money is a consensual hallucination, whether specie or fiat.

  27. The gold standard is like fiat money, except the variations in supply are utterly out of control of the currency issuing agency.

    So, in other words, it’s nothing like fiat money.

  28. Schumpeter is the 20th century’s foremost economist?

    What an odd view. In terms of the influence exercised over the discipline, Keynes is clearly the most influential economist of the 20th century. And, on the other side, Friedman has been far more influential than Schumpeter.

    In any case, the most influential working economist presently is Stiglitz.

  29. Don’t blame me. I voted for Steve Forbes.

  30. Radiohead had to destroy rock n roll in order to save themselves.

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