Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Prosperity Project Initiative

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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.

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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.


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.


Socialism vs. The American Constitutional Structure: The Advantages Of Decentralization And Federalism

by John Yoovia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Socialism is finally getting the American honeymoon it never got in the last century. But American federalism’s division of power between a national government and fifty sovereign states makes difficult, if not impossible, the unified economic planning necessary to supplant capitalism. Decentralization of power, the Constitution’s Framers hoped, would not just promote government effectiveness but would also protect individual liberty by encouraging Washington and the states to check each other.

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Laboring In Vain: How Regulation Affects Unemployment

by Lee Ohanianvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Many in the United States are proposing regulations that would make American labor markets more like Europe’s. But a comparison of European and US labor markets shows that the United States has delivered far better outcomes. Government regulations that increase the cost of working lead to higher unemployment and decreased prosperity.

The Human Prosperity Project on Socialism and Free-Market Capitalism Speaker Series

via Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Friday, July 10, 2020

The Hoover Institution presents an online speaker series based on scholarly research and commentary by Hoover fellows participating in the Human Prosperity Project on Socialism and Free-Market Capitalism.


The Costs Of Regulation And Centralization In Health Care

by Scott W. Atlasvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Thursday, June 25, 2020

Health care is universally among the most regulated sectors. In most nations, heavy regulation of the supply of health care goods and services care is coupled with marked centralization of the payment for medical care. The United States has a far less centralized but still highly regulated system characterized by its unique private components. More than 200 million Americans, including most seniors on Medicare, use private insurance. 


The Effect Of Economic Freedom On Labor Market Efficiency And Performance

by Lee Ohanianvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The labor market is the centerpiece of every economy. It determines how society’s human resources are utilized, both over time and across individuals, and how much workers are compensated for their labor services. In all countries, the labor market is the largest market in the economy, with workers receiving roughly 60 percent or more of the total income that is generated by market production. An equally important issue is how well the labor market functions. The difference between a poorly functioning labor market and a well-functioning labor market can mean millions of lost jobs and billions of dollars in lost incomes.

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An Untold Economic Miracle

by Edward Paul Lazearvia PolicyEd
Thursday, May 21, 2020

Focusing exclusively on income inequality obscures the benefits of market reforms that have lifted billions of people out of poverty.


Socialism, Capitalism, And Income

by Edward Paul Lazearvia Socialism and Free Market Capitalism: The Human Prosperity Project
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Proponents of free-market capitalism extol its high economic growth and freedom of choice. Advocates of socialism protest that capitalism is harsh and leaves too many behind. They argue that socialism is more benevolent. Most important is that if socialism is better for the poor, then low-income groups should fare better under socialism than under capitalism.


Robert Wesson Senior Fellow
Research Fellow
John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow
Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia
Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Rose-Marie and Jack Anderson Senior Fellow
Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Milbank Family Senior Fellow
Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow
Robert and Carole McNeil Senior Fellow
Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Distinguished Visiting Fellow
Senior Fellow
Senior Fellow
Tad and Dianne Taube Director | Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy
John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow
Senior Fellow
George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics
Visiting Fellow

Free-market capitalism and socialism are polar cases of government and economic form that have dominated the past century.

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 Prosperity Project on Socialism and Free-Market Capitalism 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.