Economy: Pro-Capitalists .vs. Anti-Capitalists

An interesting article from Arnold Kling about the Great Depression and economic policy under FDR…  Below is a table that summarizes the two sides in the tug-of-war over capitalism.    Note: Under “Anti-Capitalist”, you can put Democrat in parentheses.

Issue Pro-Capitalist Anti-Capitalist
Market Prices valuable signals corrupt
Our Behavior in Markets rational, ethical greedy
Solve Social Problems spontaneous order deliberate planning
Social Heroes entrepreneurs policymakers
Wealth Acquisition positive-sum zero-sum
Business Success largely deserved comes from exploitation
Business Failure necessary disastrous

One comment

  1. It is shortsighted to take cheap shots at FDR out of the context of the time.

    Wealth had become so concentrated and human suffering so widespread under Coolidge and the scandal ridden Hoover administrations that Socialism was on the rise. People looked at Socialism and in some cases Communism as alternatives to Democracy and Capitalism. FDR came along at just the right time.

    There were also people like the America First group that thought FDR was wrong for supporting the UK against the Nazis and getting involved in WWII.

    People in red states still benefit today from programs he put in place to bring electricity, clean water, and public buildings to areas of the country that were like the third world before the New Deal.

    It is interesting to reflect on what the world would be like today if FDR had not been president at this critical time in history. He is one of the best presidents, that is why he is on Mt. Rushmore, between JFK and Clinton.

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