The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace

Category: Religious Studies
Author: John C. Médaille
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by carsongross   2017-08-19
Capitalism is very simple. Capitalism as an economic system is essentially defined as the process of private expropriation of public wealth. Technically, the Earth is every creature’s inheritance but we in our late modern wisdom have conceded that only a select handful of people will get to profit from its resources while the rest are forced by either gunpoint or starvation to serve them forever or die.

Yeah, no.

Look, I'm not a rah-rah capitalism guy, but the fact is that the vast majority of wealth is based on human labor, the labor of individuals, applied to nature. While the latter certainly has a strong claim on being public wealth (a commons) the wealth produced by a human's labor belongs rightly to that person. (Economic rents then tend to concentrate that wealth, but that's a separate topic.)

There is an economic third way alternative to capitalist rent seeking and socialist totalitarianism: distributism. For a modern introduction to this idea, this is a good book:

Some people will be put off by the catholic moral basis, others by the term "Social Justice", but it's a good read for a different way to look at both the history of economics and the economic situation we find ourselves in today.