Tag Archives: greed

Book Review: Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem

In a presentation sponsored by the Heritage Foundation, Jay Richards presents the major themes from his excellent book, Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem.

In his book, Jay explores the question of why Christians should care about economics and why he believes capitalism is the best economic system we’ve come up with so far.

In his opening Jay makes the point that while many people talk about fighting poverty, few people employ their minds in coming up with permanent solutions. Instead, Jay argues, we are all too often content to dole out handouts to those in need. While that may be necessary in emergency situations, it is not a sustainable long term solution.

In his book Jay argues that capitalism is the best means of lifting entire nations out of grinding poverty. If we are serious about helping the poor, we should encourage the spread of free market principles so that others can enjoy the rich blessings capitalism is known to provide.

Jay’s book is centered around addressing eight myths about capitalism. These myths include:

  • Can’t we build a just society?
  • What would Jesus do?
  • Doesn’t capitalism foster unfair competition?
  • If I become rich, won’t someone else become poor?
  • Isn’t capitalism based on greed?
  • Hasn’t Christianity always opposed capitalism?
  • Doesn’t capitalism lead to an ugly consumerist culture?
  • Are we going to use up all the resources?

In the last question Jay makes the case that capitalism is the best economic system for protecting the environment.

Overall I’ve found Jay’s book to be one of the most helpful resources in explaining to both Christians and non-Christians why capitalism is the solution and not the problem.

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Book Review: The Virtues of Capitalism

The Virtues of Capitalism: A Moral Case for Free Markets was written to combat the popular notion, especially following recent economic events, that capitalism has failed and/or that it is somehow inherently immoral.

From the book’s Facebook fan page:

Capitalism brings out the best in people. It stabilizes society, fosters creativity, rewards initiative, promotes cooperation, engenders civility, and encourages personal responsibility. People who possess those virtues also make better neighbors and a better society.

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 the solution to financial disasters rather than the cause. Sure there are legitimate criticisms of the market system — and real limits to what it can and should accomplish — but, in the end, capitalism both depends upon and sustains classic Judeo-Christian virtues better than any of its rival systems. Thoughtful and engaging, The Virtues of Capitalism pushes against the tide of current public opinion and some of the administration’s proposed economic policies with a principled defense of capitalism.

The virtues outlined in the book are:

  • Creativity
  • Initiative
  • Cooperation
  • Civility
  • Responsibility

Additionally, I greatly appreciate how the authors address a common refrain from the Christian community wherein economic issues are said to be periphery and not something most Christians think they should be involved with. The authors rightly point out that the furtherance of moral issues requires money. And how our economics are structured determines how much or little we will be able to do about any particular issue.

The authors also have a helpful Youtube channel with video shorts designed to elucidate some of the points made in the book. I’ll likely post them later.

And finally, here is an interview with one of the authors, Scott Rae (part 1, part 2, part 3).

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