1. The John Templeton Foundation recently asked a number of prominent thinkers the following question: “Does the free market corrode moral character?” Answer that question.
2. Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009 said a “new era is starting” after the “definite defeat of capitalism.” 22 Is capitalism dead (or dying)? Explain.
3. Scholar Robert Skidelsky applauds capitalism for overcoming scarcity, organizing production, and lifting many out of poverty, but he thinks capitalism, at least in rich countries like the United States, has also produced a culture where our main occupation has become the production and consumption of unnecessary goods. He asks whether capitalism can succeed if it continues to produce “more of the same, stimulating jaded appetites with new gadgets, thrills, and excitements? . . . Do we spend the next century wallowing in triviality?” What do you think?
We certainly cannot understand America’s system of laws without a firm appreciation for the principles of capitalism from which those laws spring. We have embraced an evolving capitalist, democratic approach to life. Other cultures have placed less faith in the market and more in government planning.