Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project

Explore Research

Filter By:

Topic

Type

Author

Section

Enter comma-separated IDs of authors
Enter comma-separated IDs of contributors

Support the Hoover Institution

Join the Hoover Institution's community of supporters in advancing ideas defining a free society.

Support Hoover

Commentary

In An Emerging New World, Choose Economic Freedom

by George P. Shultzvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, September 3, 2020

The world is on a hinge of history. The future is going to be different from the past in major ways. At the end of the Second World War, people such as Dean Acheson, George Marshall, and Harry Truman sat atop another hinge of history, though they may not have realized it at the time—you can know something is important without knowing exactly what it is that you are dealing with. But when they looked around at the devastation that had been wrought across the globe, with tens of millions of lives lost and the economies of allies and adversaries alike in ruins, they saw how the United States could work with both to help. 

The Case For Economic Freedom

Thursday, September 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. Recorded on Thursday, September 3, 2020.

Event
Commentary

Environmental Markets Vs. Environmental Socialism: Capturing Prosperity And Environmental Quality

by Terry Andersonvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Tuesday, September 1, 2020

It is hard to date the beginning of environmentalism. It might have started when the Reverend Thomas Malthus in 1798 penned An Essay on the Principle of Population. Therein he postulated that humans would continue to reproduce until the population demands exceed their ability to produce food, after which famine, disease, and pestilence would check population growth in a “Malthusian trap.” His postulate continues to permeate environmental thinking. For example, in the 1970s, the Club of Rome, armed with data and computers, predicted precise years when we would reach the limits of the world’s resources.

Essays

Obstacles To Free-Market Capitalism That Help Make Way For Socialism

by John B. Taylorvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Monday, August 31, 2020

In a book that George Shultz and I published this year, we explained why one must choose economic freedom, meaning basically the opposite of socialism. Economic freedom, or free-market capitalism, the term of art used in this important Human Prosperity Project, means a rule of law, predictable policies, reliance on markets, attention to incentives, and limitations on government.

Opportunity And Income Inequality

Thursday, August 20, 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, August 20, 2020 at 11:00 am PT.

Event
Commentary

Socialism And The Constitution

by Michael McConnellvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously described the US Constitution as “made for people of fundamentally differing views.” (Lochner v. New York dissent) By that, he meant that the Constitution does not commit the nation to any particular ideological or economic theory, including laissez-faire capitalism. Instead it leaves decisions about national policy to the democratic process, subject to the constraints of the Bill of Rights. Within the range of ordinary politics, Holmes was correct: Americans can decide, through their elected representatives, to have high taxes or low, generous welfare payments or a basic social safety net, government-owned enterprises or privatization, heavy-handed or light-touch regulation. That is the difference between democratic socialism and a largely free-enterprise economy.

Essays

Democratic Capitalism Exceeds Socialism In Economic Efficiency As Well As In Morality

by Ayaan Hirsi Alivia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Wednesday, August 12, 2020

As of 2020, many Americans—particularly but not exclusively the young—remain intrigued by socialism. Indeed, a 2019 survey found that socialism is as popular as capitalism among young American adults. Well-known political figures such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and others describe themselves as “democratic socialists” and advocate tens of trillions of dollars in new spending programs along with a massive expansion of state power over citizens’ lives.

Liberty And Federalism

Thursday, August 6, 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. Watch a video of the discussion below.

Event

False Promises: What Single-Payer Fails To Deliver

by Scott W. Atlasvia PolicyEd
Thursday, July 30, 2020

Though many believe socialized medicine will keep health care costs low, the costs of single-payer systems extend far beyond the taxes required to support it.

Commentary

The Humane Side Of Capitalism

by Russ Robertsvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, July 23, 2020

A lot of people reject capitalism because they see the market process at the heart of capitalism—the decentralized, bottom-up interactions between buyers and sellers that determine prices and quantities—as fundamentally immoral. After all, say the critics, capitalism unleashes the worst of our possible motivations, and it gets things done by appealing to greed and self-interest rather than to something nobler: caring for others, say. Or love.

Pages

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.