Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Murdoch Makes Moral Case for Capitalism

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is evidently a supporter of the Australian free-market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs.  So they called on him to give a speech at their 70th Anniversary dinner recently.

In his speech, Rupert Murdoch took the opportunity of insisting that conservatives forget about the efficiency argument for capitalism and concentrate instead on the moral case.  We will never win the argument on efficiency, he argued, because morality trumps efficiency every time.  We must insist on the (4:10 mark) "justice and fairness, yes, the morality of free markets."  At the 7:70 mark:
Crony capitalism is not capitalsm, it's cronyism.  So long as we allow the debate to be framed by people who think the market is efficient because it is based on a human failing  we are going to lose every argument.
So what moral argument did he make?  Simple.  He made the invisible hand argument, a staple of free-market apologetics since 1776 and Adam Smith.  But he made it very well, so here it is, at about the 8:00 minute mark.
The only way to uphold market freedom is to show the people that the market doesn't succeed because of greed.  In fact, it's just the opposite.  The market succeeds because it gives people incentives to put their own wants and needs aside to address the wants and needs of others.  To succeed you have to produce something that other people are willing to pay for.
And let's not forget the problem of the people that confuse being pro-free-market with pro-business (15:55 mark):
Many of the same people who appreciate that too much welfare can be bad for a single mother somehow believe that spending tax dollars on industrial hubs is an excellent investment.
Yes.  Rupert Murdoch, the prince of darkness, telling it like it is.

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