1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Much better books available on the same subject, 8 Oct 2012
As someone who is a strong supporter of the free market I will start my review by warning people that this will not be an unbiased review. I was very excited to read this book. This was written by the author as a response to the anti-capitalist feelings that have become much louder and stronger during the recent recession and financial crisis so I was looking forward to hear what he had to say.
Sadly, I can honestly say that I do not believe that this book will bring any new converts to the free market, heck if I wasn't already converted it wouldn't have really convinced me.
Only the first chapter really addresses the question as to why capitalism is the best system despite it's flaws. The rest of the book focuses on specific issues such as welfare, foreign aid and debates that are currently happening in the American political scene at the moment. These chapters are unconvincing and don't seem to answer the central question that the author was attempting to answer.
The book doesn't flow very well and I didn't think the book had much of a structure, it just went from one subject to another with little rhyme or reason. The author also repeats himself quite a lot which got very irritating.
There were also points in the book where he seemed to contradict himself. One example I found particularly irritating. In the preface to the book the author argues that democracy refutes the criticisms made by anti-capitalists regarding the unequal income distribution. The author points out that democratic capitalism does not have this problem because in a democracy the voters can choose the level of income tax which is implemented or how much should be spent on particular welfare services. Yet almost in the next page the author condemns high levels of tax and income distribution as ways for governments to regulate capitalism. While I agreed with a lot of the points that the author made about high taxation and welfare I found myself asking "why say that voters deciding tax and welfare rates is a defence of capitalism then accuse both these things as a threat to the economic system?" I am not an expert in economics by any stretch of the imagination so I will be the first to admit that I may be picking the author up wrong but it just seemed counter-productive.
In conclusion I have to say that anybody who has reservations about capitalism will not be convinced by this book and supporters of capitalism will probably be frustrated at the authors failure to defend the system which has brought prosperity and increased living standards to millions of people around the world. I myself was hoping for a better defence of free market thinking, especially when that current thinking is under so much attack. For much better defences of capitalism I would recommend Guy Sorman's "Economics does not lie". DO not waste your time with this book.