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Capitalism: The Engine Of Human Progress

Gary Wolfram,

A Capitalist Manifesto

It took six thousand years from the invention of the wheel until we developed the two-wheeled cart. … From the time of Moses to Wyatt Earp we moved from two-wheeled carts to four-wheeled carts — buckboards and stagecoaches. Yet Wyatt Earp, who is an adult when he participates in the gunfight at the OK Corral, sees the movement from four-wheeled carts to the Model T. My grandparents were born before man had ever seen powered flight, yet lived to see a time when you could buy a trip into space. The rapid increase in innovation and the wealth of the masses occurred because the West gradually developed the economic system of market capitalism and a compatible political system.

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The Birth of Liberal Fascism

Jonah Goldberg,

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left

The progressives [of Woodrow Wilson’s era] were the real social Darwinists as we think of the term today—though they reserved the term for their enemies They believed in eugenics. They were imperialists. They were convinced that the state could, through planning and pressure, create a pure race, a society of new men. They were openly and proudly hostile to individualism. Religion was a political tool, while politics was the true religion. The progressives viewed the traditional system of constitutional checks and balances as an outdated impediment to progress because such horse-and-buggy institutions were a barrier to their own ambitions. Dogmatic attachment to constitutions, democratic practices, and antiquated laws was the enemy of progress for fascists and progressives alike. . . .Today, liberals remember the progressives as do-gooders who cleaned up the food supply and agitated for a more generous social welfare state and better working conditions. Fine, the progressives did that. But so did the Nazis and the Italian Fascists. And they did it for the same reasons and in loyalty to roughly the same principles.

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The Gold Standard: How Britain Made Itself — And The World — Rich

Nathan Lewis,

Gold: The Once and

Future Money

From 1880 to 1914, British  exports of goods and services  averaged around 30 percent of  national income, a stupendous  figure. Britain had made itself  rich; now it was setting about  making the entire world rich. This was made possible, of course, by the world gold standard centered around London and the Bank of England. Investors, importers,  and exporters did not have to worry about foreign exchange  fluctuations; tariffs within the  empire were low; and Britain's  legal system, which it exported  to its colonies, reduced the  legal and political  uncertainties. The Bank of England's commitment to the  gold standard was unwavering,  and as a result it was able to  hold together the world gold  standard with only a pittance of  gold in reserves.  ... For decade  after decade, hard money  stayed hard; exchange rates  stayed fixed; interest rates  remained low; and gold  remained the basis of it all.

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The Gold Standard: How Britain Made Itself — And The World — Rich

Nathan Lewis,

Gold: The Once and

Future Money

From 1880 to 1914, British  exports of goods and services  averaged around 30 percent of  national income, a stupendous  figure. Britain had made itself  rich; now it was setting about  making the entire world rich.   This was made possible, of  course, by the world gold  standard centered around  London and the Bank of  England. Investors, importers,  and exporters did not have to  worry about foreign exchange  fluctuations; tariffs within the  empire were low; and Britain's  legal system, which it exported  to its colonies, reduced the  legal and political  uncertainties. The Bank of  England's commitment to the  gold standard was unwavering,  and as a result it was able to  hold together the world gold  standard with only a pittance of  gold in reserves.  ... For decade  after decade, hard money  stayed hard; exchange rates  stayed fixed; interest rates  remained low; and gold  remained the basis of it all.

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The Industrial Revolution: How the West Eclipsed Asia

Niall Ferguson,

Civilization: The West and the Rest

Like the French Revolution  before it, the British Industrial  Revolution spread across  Europe. But this was a peaceful  conquest. . . The first true  cotton mill, Richard  Arkwright's at Cromford in  Derbyshire, was built in 1771.  Within seven years a copy  appeared in France ... The  Americans, who had the  advantage of being able to  grow their own cotton ... were  a little slower: the first cotton  mill appeared in Bass River,  Massachusetts, in 1788.    ... In 1800 seven out of the  world's ten biggest cities had  still been Asian, and Beijing  had still exceeded London in  size. By 1900, largely as a  result of the Industrial  Revolution, only one of the  biggest was Asian; the rest  were European or American.

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India’s Failed Socialist Experiment

Thomas DiLorenzo,

The Problem With Socialism

India was once one of the  wealthiest countries on earth. Its  textile industry was the envy of  the world; it had sophisticated  financial markets, many talented  entrepreneurs, millions of acres of  fertile farmland, and plenty of  extravagant wealth. . . .  Unfortunately, in rebellion against  the traditions of its “capitalist-  imperialist” masters … it adopted  a homegrown version of Soviet-  style central economic planning.  Under Prime Minister Nehru …  India adopted a series of “Five-  Year Plans” modeled after the  notoriously failed Soviet Five-  Year Plans. … It was no more  successful in India than it was in  the Soviet Union as India, after  independence, became  synonymous with “poverty.” In  the 1980s, Indian Prime Minister  Rajiv Gandhi essentially gave up  on socialism and cut taxes and  deregulated and privatized  industries. The result was that  India’s economy finally became  revitalized and started to  create wider prosperity.

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Colonial Markets Helped To Undermine Slavery

Walter Williams,

Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? 


During colonial days, slaves learned skills and found that they could earn a measure of independence by servicing ships as rope makers, coopers, and shipwrights. Some entered more skilled trades, such as silversmithing, gold beating, and cabinetmaking.…

Many slaves exhibited great entrepreneurial spirit … After putting in a day’s work, some slaves were allowed to raise their own crops and livestock. These efforts allowed them to gain a presence in much of the marketing network on the streets and docks of port cities. . . . Market activity by slaves was so great that North Carolina whites mounted a campaign to stop slave “dealing and Trafficking” altogether.

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When “Globalization” Really Began

William Bernstein,

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

“Globalization,” it turns out,  was not one event or even a  sequence of events; it is a  process that has been slowly  evolving for a very, very long  time. The world did not abruptly  become “flat” with the invention  of the Internet, and commerce  did not suddenly, at the end of  the twentieth century, become  dominated by large  corporations with worldwide  reach. . .Today’s massive  container ships, jet planes, the  Internet, and an increasingly  globalized supply and  manufacturing network are just  further evolutionary steps in a  process that has been going on  for the past five thousand  years.

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Scandinavian Unexceptionalism

Nima Sanandaji,

Scandinavian Unexceptonalism: Culture, Markets and the Failure of Third-way Socialism

It is sometimes claimed that Sweden’s high growth rate is a result of social democratic policies. In fact, much of the development occurred between the time when free markets developed (circa 1870) and the start of the era dominated by social democratic rule (circa 1936). Between 1870 and 1936, Sweden enjoyed the highest growth rate in the industrialized world. However, between 1936 and 2008, the growth rate was only 13th out of 28 industrialized nations. 

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Free Trade: The Path to Peace

From the 1820s onward there developed a visionary programme to transform the world by means of free trade — the closest modern England ever came to a national ideology. As a children’s book put it, the aim was that “everybody may … be joined together in love and trade, like one great family; so that we may have no more wicked terrible battles, such as there used to be a long, time ago. ” 

- Robert Tombs
The English and Their History

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In Search Of History

Capitalism: The Engine Of Human Progress

It took six thousand years from the invention of the wheel until we developed the two-wheeled cart. … From the time of Moses to Wyatt Earp we moved from two-wheeled carts to four-wheeled carts — buckboards and stagecoaches. Yet Wyatt Earp, who is an adult when he participates in the gunfight at the OK Corral, sees the movement from four-wheeled carts to the Model T. My grandparents were born before man had ever seen powered flight, yet lived to see a time when you could buy a trip into space. The rapid increase in innovation and the wealth of the masses occurred because the West gradually developed the economic system of market capitalism and a compatible political system.

-- Gary Wolfram,

Shadow Stats Snapshot

ShadowStats alternate economic indicators are based on the methodology of noted economist John Williams, specialist in government economic reporting.

  • Unemployment:
    BLS: 4.7%
    Shadow Stats: 22.7%
  • Inflation:
    December Year-to-Year: 2.1% (CPI-U*)
    Shadow Stats: 9.8%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]