In the aftermath of the recent economic downturn, some observers leveled harsh criticism against free-market economies. In the spring of 2009, for instance, an article in the The London Telegraph insisted that the industrialized West must re-articulate its moral case for market capitalism. Additionally, numerous commentators proclaimed the days of unfettered markets to be over.
In this timely and balanced book, Austin Hill and Scott Rae agree with capitalism's critics that the economy is essentially a moral issue, but they argue that free markets are by-and-large the solution to financial disasters rather than the cause. Though they recognize that there are legitimate criticisms of the market system -- and real limits to what it can and should accomplish -- the authors further conclude that capitalism both depends upon and sustains classic Judeo-Christian virtues better than any of its rival systems.
Thoughtful and engaging, this book pushes against the tide of current public opinion and some of the administration's proposed economic policies with a principled defense of capitalism.
Hill and Rae shrewdly reveal the positive effects of religious and political traditions on economic performance. Even in the midst of the Great Recession, the authors show that capitalism in the United States is shaped by biblical values, and leaves man economically more and morally better than a mere "naked individual who was the sum of his individual appetites." Like Adam Smith before them, Hill and Rae rightly return moral sentiment to what makes for the wealth of nations. This vital message couldn't come at a more propitious moment -- as a needed guide to Americans as we begin to work our way back to a morally founded prosperity.
-Tony Blankley, columnist, The Washington Times
Freedom flourishes when individuals can succeed and see their entrepreneurial dreams turn into reality. Capitalism deserves the credit. The Virtues of Capitalism's examination of the importance of this foundation of the free market is a unique approach. The authors make a biblical and moral correlation, while explaining and discrediting recent attacks against a free society. Fans and skeptics alike will find a compelling read.
-U.S. Congressman John Shadegg, Arizona
Now, more than ever, the 'moral case for free markets' needs to be heard loudly and clearly. Not only do our broader liberties hinge on economic freedom, but our non-negotiable duty to help the poor depends on a robust market economy understood within a moral framework. With The Virtues of Capitalism, Austin Hill and Scott Rae have made a compelling and compassionate case.
-The Rev. Robert A. Sirico, president and co-founder of The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, and author of The Entrepreneurial Vocation
Capitalism has taken a beating in the popular press over the past few years, and that's a shame. Done right, capitalism captures the spirit of America by rewarding the diligent for their hard work and challenging the lazy to work harder. The Virtues of Capitalism takes an honest look at the system, celebrating its strengths and spotlighting its weaknesses. This should be required reading in every college in the country!
-Dave Ramsey, host of "The Dave Ramsey Show" and bestselling author of The Total Money Makeover
Everyone knows that free markets are more efficient than command-and-control economies where the government runs everything. But Austin Hill and Scott Rae make the important and persuasive case that capitalism is also more fair, more decent, more moral than any system that hands control to bureaucrats and politicians. They have made a valuable contribution to the most significant contemporary debates.
-Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk show host and author of The 5 Big Lies About American Business
Now that our Great Recession has given new hope to those who would toss out the engine of economic progress, The Virtues of Capitalism is especially timely. Hill and Rae readably and persuasively show how biblical wisdom and human experience both support free markets. Professors, students, and general readers looking for an alternative to propaganda should buy and read this book.
-Dr. Marvin Olasky, provost of The King's College, New York City, and editor-in-chief of World magazine
Austin Hill and Dr. Scott Rae follow in the footsteps of some of history's most profound philosophers in drawing the essential connection between freedom and that which is objectively good. From Adam Smith to Frederic Bastiat to Ludwig von Mises to Milton Friedman, some of our greatest minds have reached the inevitable conclusion that capitalism -- for all its perceived faults -- is our most morally correct and virtuous form of social organization. I applaud Austin and Scott for reinterpreting that truth for a new age and a new generation.
-Governor Butch Otter, Idaho
A fascinating read about the moral and ethical implications of our economic systems. Drawing a clear distinction between self interest and 'greed,' The Virtues Of Capitalism takes us to the very heart of who we are and the nature of our worldly pursuits.
-Geoff Currier, talk show host, 680 CJOB Radio, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Every community -- indeed every country -- needs creative business people who work hard and follow the rules. Whether it's the inventor, small business operator, franchisee, or corporate executive, we're all reliant on the willingness of business professionals to take risks with their time, talents, and money so as to create better products and services and, thus, employment opportunities that benefit the entire community. In The Virtues Of Capitalism, Austin Hill and Scott Rae have explained why our economic system must provide an environment of respect for worthy business people, and encourage this kind of creativity and healthy risk-taking. It is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of our economy, and our country.
-Matt McMahon, Outback Steakhouse Restaurants
For its people to truly to be free and prosperous, every society requires an economic system that both cares for and empowers its weakest members, while respecting its wealth creators. President Ronald Reagan made the political case for that structure. In The Virtues of Capitalism, Austin Hill and Scott Rae provide the moral basis for such a society.
-Hugh Hallman, JD; mayor of Tempe, Arizona, and co-founder of the Kazak-American Free University in Kazahkstan
As expected, Austin Hill and Scott Rae knock it out of the park. The Virtues Of Capitalism is an overdue contribution to the great debate of our time and reminds us of what our country ought to look like. Hill and Rae are second to none in laying out the case for capitalism, individualism, and in the final analysis, for America itself.
-Chris Plante, talk show host, 630 WMAL Radio, Washington, D.C.
Part history, part economics, part philosophy, and part contemporary events, The Virtues of Capitalism forces one to think deeply about both economics and personal values.
-Dr. Richard Rawls, Associate Professor Of History
Georgia Gwinnett College