Capitalism vs. the Free Market – Sheldon Richman’s Full Lecture

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Lecture by Sheldon Richman given as part of The Future of Freedom Foundation’s “Economic Liberty Lecture Series” on March 1, 2010. http://www.fff.org

Sheldon Richman is editor of The Freeman, published by The Foundation for Economic Education in Irvington, New York, and serves as senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation. He is the author of FFF’s award-winning book Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families; Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax; and Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State.

Here’s a great short piece on the differences between capitalism and free enterprise from Rick Martin:

“When I tell people that capitalism and free enterprise are not the same thing, I typically get a deer-in-the-headlights look, followed by a clearly articulated “Huh?”  But they are not the same thing, and that is the subject of this piece.

Capitalism requires growth.  Free enterprise does not.  Capitalism can only be satisfied by “more.”  Free enterprise can be satisfied by “enough.”  Free enterprise can go on forever.  Capitalism cannot.

Free enterprise means that I am free to set up my own enterprise, say a general store, and the Federal Agents will not come knocking at midnight. As long as my expenses do not exceed my revenues, my enterprise can continue indefinitely without the need to increase my net worth.

Free enterprise requires freedom, but it does not require accumulation, or growth.

Capitalism, on the other hand, requires a return on investment (ROI).  It requires me to accumulate ever more capital. If I invest $100, by the end of the year, I had better realize a minimum of $106.  If I don’t, then my investment became negative, as the very roots of capitalism are planted in inflation.


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CIA's Clandestine War in Afghanistan (Full Version), 3.9 out of 5 based on 11 ratings
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CIA’s Clandestine War in Afghanistan (Full Version)

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During the Soviet-Afghan war, the CIA had a robust, clandestine presence in Afghanistan, providing money, weapons, and training to the Mujahadeen. Many of these same fighters would go on to fight against the Americans using the training an resources secretly given to them by CIA operatives.

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CIA's Clandestine War in Afghanistan (Full Version), 3.9 out of 5 based on 11 ratings
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