Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
The classic book on the magic of capitalism to produce wealth is Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. God works through capitalism. Smith said in a famous passage that there is an "invisible hand" that works mysteriously in free enterprise, private property and competition. He says, "As every individual, therefore, endeavors as much as he can both to employ his capital in the support of domestic industry...every individual necessarily labours to render the annual revenue of the society as great as he can. He generally, indeed, neither intends to promote the public interest, nor knows how much he is promoting it .... and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention. Nor is it always the worse for society that it was no part of it. By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it." God works in mysterious ways. God made it that billions of people can concentrate on their talents and by doing so the work of the world gets done without some bureaucracy. God and Father hate bureaucrats. Government regulators can't keep up with and get in the way of capitalist's creativity.
Common sense says that if you just leave people alone, if you have the attitude of laissez-faire, people will die of starvation. Common sense also says the earth is flat. Freedom works. It is a law of nature as powerful as the law of gravity. The 19th century was close to being laissez-faire capitalism, and we had giants like Jefferson and Lincoln. Entrepreneurs like Edison gave us light, and the Wright brothers gave us flight. There was a burst of invention and wealth the world had never seen. God wanted the 20th century to continue being capitalist, but Satan brainwashed everyone through such socialists as Marx and Engels. America gave up their children to state schools and their local associations to help the poor to state welfare. Power went to the top instead of being at the bottom. Taxes went from 10% to 50%, and problems increased ten-fold.
Satan has everyone thinking they have gone "beyond" the Victorians. Libertarians teach that that view is wrong. Robert Ringer in Restoring the American Dream says that people are wrong in believing that capitalism was cruel to people in the 19th century. Mankind was going through a growth period and what capitalists offered was better than what they had without them. It was bad in the factories, but it was worse in the country. He writes, "The conditions of the factories, by comparison, were like the Promised land to him. Never before had he lived so well. People do not voluntarily leave one job for another if the new job offers lower pay, longer hours and inferior working conditions." Hayek in Capitalism and the Historians presents a truer picture of what happened during the Industrial Revolution than the common myth everyone believes. Hayek writes, "Who has not heard of the 'horrors of early capitalism' and gained the impression that the advent of this system brought untold new suffering to large classes who before were tolerably content and comfortable? ... The widespread emotional aversion to 'capitalism' is closely connected with this belief that the undeniable growth of wealth which the competitive order has produced was purchased at the price of depressing the standard of life of the weakest elements of society." Hayek goes on to explain how capitalism developed to produce an economic miracle and brought "enormous improvement" to the masses.
In Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World the author says,"The nineteenth century was the ultimate product and expression of the intellectual trend of the Renaissance and the Age of Reason, which means: of a predominantly Aristotelian philosophy. And, for the first time in history, it created a new economic system, the necessary corollary of political freedom, a system of free trade on a free market: capitalism."
"No, it was not a full, perfect, unregulated, totally laissez-faire capitalism -- as it should have been. Various degrees of government interference and control still remained, even in America -- and this is what led to the eventual destruction of capitalism. But the extent to which certain countries were free was the exact extent of their economic progress. America, the freest, achieved the most."
" Never mind the low wages and the harsh living conditions of the early years of capitalism. They were all that the national economics of the time could afford. Capitalism did not create poverty -- it inherited it. Compared to the centuries of precapitalist starvation, the living conditions of the poor in the early years of capitalism were the first chance the poor had ever had to survive. As proof -- the enormous growth of over 300 per cent, as compared to the previous growth of something like 3 per cent per century."
There is a mistaken notion that if you took the wealth from the rich and distributed it, everyone would have all they need. One man told this to John D. Rockefeller, one of the richest men in the world. He responded by taking out a silver dollar and threw it on the table saying, "Here's your portion." Marx hated the rich. Stalin killed them. There are not finite pieces of pie in economics. Because one man has more money than another does not mean he has taken from someone else.