• Steve Forbes talks at Notre Dame about morality of capitalism

    From (David P.)@21:1/5 to All on Wed Apr 13 00:24:49 2022
    Steve Forbes talks at Notre Dame about morality of capitalism
    by Kevin Allen, Nov. 7, 2015, South Bend Tribune

    Pop culture doesn't usually portray capitalism as a righteous system.

    Consider all the businessmen who are villains in movies and
    TV shows. It's a long list — from the jowly fat cat Mr. Potter
    in "It's a Wonderful Life" to the skeletal power-plant owner
    Mr. Burns in "The Simpsons."

    Steve Forbes, the publisher & 2-time presidential candidate,
    noted during a speech Thursday at Notre Dame that, in movies,
    businessmen end more lives than serial killers do.

    "The idea of having the word 'morality' associated with
    capitalism, free markets, free enterprise sounds a little
    strange because capitalism certainly in popular culture is
    never seen as a moral system," Forbes said. "It's seen as
    being based on greed. It puts profits before people. Markets
    are cold, heartless and hard. The strong crush the weak. The
    rich get richer and poor always struggle."

    But in real life, Forbes said, capitalism is moral.

    Free markets, he said, promote cooperation among people of
    different backgrounds. They turn shortage into abundance,
    luxuries into commodities.

    And the true source of capital, he added, is the human mind —
    the ingenuity that can take something like oil and make it valuable.

    "Unfortunately, some professors still say economics is the
    study of the allocation of scarce resources," Forbes told the
    roughly 250 people in the audience at the Hesburgh Library's
    Carey Auditorium.

    "That is utterly boring. Your heartbeat almost goes dead.
    There's nothing sexy in that. It turns off even nerds," he
    said, drawing laughs from the crowd. "What economics is really
    about is creating resources."

    He asked, "What is the difference between us living in the
    world today and people living in the Stone Age? ... The
    difference between us and them is we have more knowledge."

    Then what is the purpose of profit? Why should anyone charge
    more than what they need to cover expenses?

    Forbes said profit is more than just an incentive. A dynamic
    economy not only creates new resources, it destroys old ways
    of doing things. As a magazine publisher in the digital age,
    he has seen that creative destruction first-hand.

    "You need profit to replace what you destroyed," he explained.
    "You need profit to finance the huge advances that come with
    that creativity."

    Of course, there are Ponzi schemes, price gougers and polluters,
    but Forbes said certain examples of greed don't undermine
    capitalism as a whole.

    "This kind of misbehavior did not come with Adam Smith,"
    he said. "It's been with us since our creation."

    Forbes also took took the position that religion and faith
    are the reasons so many scientific advances have occurred in
    Europe and North America.

    "This is very politically incorrect, but since I'm not
    running for anything I don't care," he said. "The Judeo-
    Christian heritage opened up the pursuit of curiosity and
    experimentation in a way no other faith did."

    Forbes' speech, titled "The Morality of Capitalism," was
    sponsored by the Notre Dame Chapter of Young Americans for
    Freedom, the Potenziani Program in Constitutional Studies and
    the Tocqueville Program for Inquiry into Religion and Public Life.


    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)