Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project

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Why A Universal Basic Income Won't Work

by John F. Cogan, Daniel Heilvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Though many believe that universal basic income (UBI) is an attractive alternative to current welfare policy, many features of a UBI would make it a destructive policy for the very recipients it intends to help.


The China Model: Not One To Emulate

by Elizabeth Economyvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 13, 2021

Though the Chinese model of governance is appealing to many authoritarian leaders, its absence of democratic norms and institutions encourages corruption and constrains healthy economic growth.


Why Political Freedom And Prosperity Go Hand In Hand

by Larry Diamondvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Socialism’s disastrous history shows us that political and economic freedom is the foundation for enduringly successful nations.


The Modern-Day Choice Between Free Markets And Socialism

by Michael R. Auslinvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

China’s economic gains have come at a substantial cost to its people and to its neighbors, leading other nations to look to democracy and markets to deliver prosperity.


The Economic Impact Of A Universal Basic Income

by John F. Cogan, Daniel Heilvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, January 14, 2021

At various times throughout our nation’s history, a wave of collectivist sentiment has swept the country. These waves, born out of a deep disenchantment with current circumstances, are often characterized by a fervent, but mistaken, belief that society can be improved by subordinating the interest of the individual to centralized government control. We are experiencing such a collectivist wave today. Riding atop this populist wave is a strong sentiment that government should use its power to tax to redistribute income from rich to poor. A popular policy instrument for this redistribution is the universal basic income (UBI).


Economic Growth: The Path To A Cleaner Environment

by Terry Andersonvia PolicyEd
Thursday, January 7, 2021

Environmental progress is more likely to occur in free-market systems due to their robust, tradeable, and enforceable property rights.


Taxation, Individual Actions, And Economic Prosperity: A Review

by Joshua D. Rauh, Greg Kearneyvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Wednesday, January 6, 2021

A move toward socialist, government-centered economic systems in the United States, as proposed by the political left, would require a substantial increase in government resources, which could only be brought about through significant increases in tax revenue. According to data from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (figure 1), the US government spent 38 percent of GDP in 2019, placing it above countries such as Ireland (25 percent), Chile (26 percent), Korea (30 percent), and Switzerland (34 percent), but significantly below most OECD nations. The countries that top the list are France (56 percent), Finland (53 percent), and Belgium (52 percent).


The China Model: Unexceptional Exceptionalism

by Elizabeth Economyvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Friday, December 4, 2020

At the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October 2017, CCP General Secretary Xi Jinping startled international observers by claiming that “the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see . . . blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence, and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing humanity.


Constitutional Safeguards Against Socialism

by Michael McConnellvia PolicyEd
Thursday, December 3, 2020

The US Constitution creates a balanced system of government that is uniquely equipped to resist socialism.

Impacts Of Government-Sponsored Programs

Thursday, December 3, 2020
Hoover Institution

The Hoover Institution presents an online virtual speaker series based on the scholarly research and commentary written by Hoover fellows participating in the Human Prosperity Project on Socialism and Free-Market Capitalism. Tune in on Thursday, December 3, 2020 a11:00 am PT.



Research Team

Speaker Series

Over the last century, free-market capitalism and socialism have provided the dominant interpretations, and conflicting visions, of political and economic freedom.

Free-market capitalism is characterized by private ownership of the means of production, where investment is governed by private decisions and where prices, production, and the distribution of goods and services are determined mainly by competition in a free market. Socialism is an economic and political system in which collective or governmental ownership and control plays a major role in the production and distribution of goods and services, and in which governments frequently intervene in or substitute for markets. Proponents of capitalism generally extoll the economic growth that is created by private enterprise and the individual freedom that the system allows. Advocates of socialism emphasize the egalitarian nature of the system and argue that socialism is more compassionate in outcomes than is the free market.  The Hoover Institution’s Socialism and Free-Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project investigates in an objective and scholarly manner the historical record to assess the consequences for human welfare, individual liberty, and interactions between nations of various economic systems ranging from pure socialism to free-market capitalism.