On January 17, Dr. Hicks gave a talk to the Bastiat Society in Panama entitled “The Morality of Capitalism.”
What makes free-market capitalism good? Advocates give many reasons. Friedman emphasizes its wealth-generating prowess. Rand cites its protection of economic liberties. Hayek emphasizes its coordination of dispersed knowledge. Others cite its cultivation of individuality, its lessening of racism and sexism, its encouraging of self-responsibility, its promotion of peace between nations, and so on.
I believe all of those claims are true—though there is lively debate among free-market advocates about which has priority in making the case for the morality of markets. In this talk, I will plunge into that debate and argue that the various claims about the virtues of markets are harmonious rather than divisive—i.e., that Friedman, Rand, Hayek, and others are each contributing an element of an overall case for the morality of free-market, liberal capitalism.
Note: The Bastiat Society is named for Frédéric Bastiat, the great nineteenth-century liberal public intellectual.