Lots of surprisingly kind words in my e-mail box over my column on capitalism. It seems there’s a lot of hunger out there for defenses of free markets to counter the widespread resentment of capitalism.
Still, one criticism I think is entirely fair: I didn’t acknowledge/stress enough how diluted and compromised American capitalism already is. Too true. But that’s no reason to throw another wet blanket on economic growth or compromise our free markets even more. Growth creates jobs. Growth makes it possible to cure diseases, protect the environment, and give opportunities to more kids that their parents never had (like really awesome holodeck games). Growth isn’t sufficient for all that, but it is necessary. I agree we’ve traveled too long in the wrong direction, but before you can turn around, the first order of business is to say “we’re going in the wrong direction.”
Bonus: I thought this piece on how to make countries rich, in Esquire, of all places, was pretty good.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t use this moment to once again plug Kling & Schulz’s From Poverty to Prosperity.