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Case for Legalizing Capitalism

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How legal is capitalism in the United States? This book smashes the myths.
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What's the "American system" of economics? Most people would say it is capitalism, which thereby deserves all fault when anything goes wrong. Well, Kel Kelly responds to this myth in this fast-paced and darn-near comprehensive treatment of the truth about the free market and intervention.

His thesis is that the problem isn't capitalism; it is that capitalism in the sense of a free market is not even legal in the United States. Sure, we have private property and some measure of commercial freedom, and enterprise thrives wherever it is permitted. But it is also strangled, hobbled, injured, and suffocated in nearly every aspect of American economic life.

He considers every important topic: banking, education, taxation, labor, environment, trade, war and peace, safety, medicine, drugs, and far more. He presents the reader with a basic explanation of how capitalism is supposed to work and how society functions when commerce is free. He then turns to all the areas of life that are distorted and destroyed by the great "helping hand" of government.

Kel Kelly had several ambitions in writing this book. He wanted a final and decisive answer to the constant attacks on economic freedom that have emerged since the housing bust. As in the 1930s, the enemies of capitalism are having a field-day with - but with bad analytics, bad economics, and a dreadful prescription that only makes matters worse. Also, Kel wanted to bring the energy, rigor, enlightenment, and fun of the website of the Mises Institute to the printed page.

In both respects, he has succeeded many times over. It is a book that every freedom lover can rally around and give to the deeply confused. And it is true that this book is very powerful: it can convince those who are looking for answers in the ever-lasting recession.

It moves the Austrian theory of the business cycle up front to present a popular understanding of booms and busts. Without understanding this point, there is scarce hope for figuring out the rest of the puzzle that is the economic stagnation of today. His entire treatment is, as Rothbard would say, "100% sound" in every area: it has that persuasive power that comes with telling it the way it is.


Average Rating:
(based on 5 reviews)

Showing 5 Reviews:

by Shane
on 5/22/2011
Mises Institute in one book
This book is one of my favorites from the Austrian collection. It basically takes every anti-capitalistic argument and refutes them with Austrian logic. I definitely agree with the other reviewer that this book could be the Economics in one lesson of our time. Please get this book. I cant tell you how many socialists I have made look stuiped with the knowledge of this book
by Ronald Shapiro
on 5/5/2011
from Charlestown, WV
The Case for Legalizing Capitalism
"The Case for Capitalism" is a quick and concise summation of the content of the Website not to mention Professor George Reisman's Scholarship in the Defense of True Capitalism and a True Free Market Economy. Honestly Kelly's book could easily become the "Economics in One Lesson - Henry Hazlitt" of our day.  I've recommended Hazlitt's book and will now recommend 'The Case for Legalizing Capitalism' as well. It's taken the best and has made it current to today in a highly readable style.
by Tom Dierl
on 1/13/2011
from Hayward, WI
The Case for Legalizing Capitalism
This is "the" book for making the case for economic freedom.  A misconception is that we have free markets.  We don't.  And Mr. Kelly makes the case brilliantly.  And he describes how free markets are not and could not be responsible for the boom and bust cycles.  It is refreshing and enlightening to know that there are others who understand the shortcomings of our regulated economy and have the courage and knowledge based in a logical argument to point the finger at the culprits.

Mr. Kelly makes his argument in a patient and coherent text.  He doesn't mince words.  The book is written for those who prefer common language.  It is not overly technical, but offers a sufficient case for capitalism.  Anyone curious about how the economy works and how we got to this point should read it.  I enjoyed the book so much, I bought six additional copies.  Thank you Mr. Kelly.  Awesome!!!
by Mart Grams
on 10/20/2010
from Wisconsin
Case for Legalizing Capitalism
Kel Kelly has done to the critics of capitalism what Hazlitt did to Keynes: took the arguments one-by-one, reviewed them and destroyed the "certainty" of their propositions. Taking each complaint of the critics laying them out and using logic and even data, to show the absurdity of the socialists' grand plan for takeover of our lives and the freedom of our system. 

First, he presents the reality that we are not a free country, either economically or poilitically. The problems that the socialists, his term for all that do not support a free market, present as failures of capitalism are problems created by interference and interventions in a truly free market. From wage controls, rent controls, taxation and regulations, and even wars, the government is at fault for all these issues. In addition, he demonstrates why all the "solutions" are merely more of the same. 

Many of his theses, remind one of Thomas Sowell's Vision of the Anointed, and the fallacies of the mainstream.
by Slim934
on 7/28/2010
from SC
Good, but be wary of the history
By-in-large, the book is very good.
The primary thesis of is to show that Capitalism in the U.S. essentially does not exist. Kelly goes through numerous examples to show how this is so, going from banking, regulation and trade and even war. The section on war I found to be the most interesting but at the same time one must be wary of some of the authors points.

The most disconcerting to me (and the reason I took one star off the book) was his extremely brief and simplistic treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflicts.  The entire narrative is Jews bad and mean oppressors, Arabs blameless victims.  There is no mention of the Nazi influences in that region beforehand which helped to stoke ideological flames against the Jewish population.  There is also no mention of the 1948 War initiated by all the surrounding nations against specifically the Jewish population. A more thorough and balanced examination I believe is warranted.

Outside this point the book is excellent. I still recommend it.
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ISBN 9781933550626
Binding PB
Page Length 492
Publication Date 2010
Publisher Ludwig von Mises Institute

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How legal is capitalism in the United States? This book smashes the myths.
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