Friday, December 29, 2017

Why I can never be a a true capitalist...



Why I can never be a true capitalist...
Letters to the Editor in today's WSJ



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 Peggy Noonan, in her Dec. 23 column, “This Tax Bill May Do Some Good,” slips off the rails of free-enterprise thinking when she implores business leaders to “see private interest as utterly aligned right now with public interest.” If they do not, “then they are as truly stupid and venal as their enemies take them to be.” 

I hope business leaders are strictly aligned not with Ms. Noonan but with Milton Friedman, that paragon of free enterprise. He once cautioned: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

Business leaders who make economic investments commensurate with risk and who operate safely and responsibly indeed do act in the public interest. The benefit to the public is an outcome—not a driver—of those business decisions. 

Bill Allman 
Newport Beach, Calif.


Ms. Noonan’s hope that the CEOs of the world should act as patriots first and business people second in response to the tax bill is misguided. As Adam Smith writes, these CEOs should focus not of the collective good, but on maximizing profit for shareholders. When we are all laser focused on our own economic self interest, the “invisible hand” guides us toward collective prosperity. In this way, to quote Gordon Gecko, “greed is good.” 

Ms. Noonan implies that a benevolent group of leaders must act in our collective interest for us to prosper and fend off the advancing tide of socialism on the Left. Why does her remedy to socialism sound a lot like socialism? 

Jeremy Zeichner 
Bloomington, Ind.

:-) הוצאה


Tuesday, December 26, 2017