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The financial crisis caused many genuinely to reconsider the desirability and feasibility of capitalism. InWhy Capitalism?,renowned economist Allan Meltzer addresses what he feels are key issues that critics of capitalism routinely fail to adequately recognize . These include the power of incentives and capitalism's adaptability to varying morals, ideals, and cultures. Meltzer argues that while capitalism is not perfect, it is the best option for providing growth and personal freedom. Citing Kant, he stresses that most of the faults and flaws on which critics dwell are human faults and are not systemically inherent to capitalism. Other topics he addresses include the regulated welfare state and how it invites corruption, arbitrary decisions, and circumvention; and irresponsible deficit spending and the unsustainable, unfunded promises by politicians eager to please. Why Capitalism?is a short, powerful book that will raise the level of the current debate among politicians, scholars in the political sciences, and general readers interested in the political issues brought to light by the recent financial crisis, written by one of the strongest voices the public dialogue on the fundamental economic ideas on which the United States economy is based.
Allan H. Meltzer is Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of A History of the Federal Reserve, Volumes 1 and 2.