Robert P. Murphy’s 12 step program

Posted by Jason | Posted in Economics | Posted on 04-11-2009

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Finally, I finished Robert P. Murphy’s “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism“.  It’s a small book, but I read too many books at once. The book was great for those average Joes, like me, who love the free market and want to defend it but don’t have the time to get a Ph.D in economics.

Robert explains why capitalism works best, why the government doesn’t, and why most government regulations have the opposite effect it claims to have.

The last section provides the reader with a 12 step program to help them break their government addiction. They are as follows:

  1. Admit that government “solutions” are a problem.
  2. Have faith that human beings can interact peacefully, and that economic blessings are available to all.
  3. Surrender to the fact that certain social ills cannot be eradicated by force or political “will”.
  4. Ask yourself, “Do I want to advocate self-sufficiency and voluntary means, or do I want to look to politicians every time I don’t like something?”
  5. Survey the past record of governments when it comes to economic “planning” or other alleged improvements.
  6. Learn to look for hidden costs of government intervention, rather than the superficial benefits.
  7. Understand the role of market prices (read my root causes of health care crisis blog), and why tampering with them interferes with the job they have to perform.
  8. Study history. Examine whether governments that violated private property rights stayed out of their citizens’ other affairs.
  9. Before condemning a market outcome as unjust, first understand why it occur (read my blog on mortgage crisis).
  10. Study other “spontaneous” social institutions, such as language and science, where no one is “in charge” and yet the outcome is quite orderly.
  11. When politicians propose a new program, remember how much they said it would cost at the outset. Compare that number to the actual amount spent.
  12. Go through the newspaper and discover how government meddling causes or exacerbates the conflict in virtually every story.

As you can see, if you follow Robert’s 12 step program, you will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that the free market handles our societal ills much better than government. These 12 steps are great, but you should read the book first. That way you’ll no why these 12 steps are right. It’s a quick read. Pick one up, and be prepared to defend free market capitalism.

Also, check out Robert’s blog Free Advice for more good info. This economist can even be funny sometimes.

**** Before the FTC cracks down on me. I just finished reading the book, and I paid for the book myself. Robert was nice enough to answer a couple questions I had. That doesn’t count as paid advertising does it? Guess it depends if Big O likes my blog.

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