Harvard Economist Debunks 3 Common Myths About Capitalism


By Learn Liberty

Not sure what to believe about Capitalism or not sure what it is? Dr. Jeffrey Miron from Harvard University breaks down 3 myths of Capitalism. LearnLiberty.org explores ideas for a free society.

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27 Comments on "Harvard Economist Debunks 3 Common Myths About Capitalism"

  1. yEshUA ImmAnUEl | April 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Reply

    “Hey you, look around!
    Can you hear that noise? It’s a rebel sound.
    We got nowhere else to go.
    And when the sun goes down, and we fill the streets,
    You’re gonna dance ’til the morning to the rebel’s beat.
    You can take everything from me, oh, yeah.
    You can take everything from me
    ‘Cause this is all I need.”

  2. yEshUA ImmAnUEl | April 16, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Reply

    “Fear neither poverty, hunger, disease, or age.”

  3. What a total CLOWN this idiot is!! He hasn’t a CLUE as to what capitalism really is. WHERE did he get his diploma from, a box of Cracker Jacks?? Capitalism is using some fictitious bookkeeping entries that were created out of thin air to justify the creation of even MORE of them!! This is what the banksters do, they set up a phony accounting system, and then use it to milk profits out of the people who were duped into using it! Anyone who has taken his classes needs to demand a refund, because if this is the kind of crap that spews out of his mouth at Harvard, they didn’t get what they thought they were paying for!!

    • Another “Harvard Man”. Spare us from these corporate lackeys. When corporations control the govt it’s not Capitalism. It’s Fascism. When corporations get govt subsidies and rebates it’s not Capitalism but Oligarchic Cronyism.
      Capitalism is a concept which has never worked in practice because it’s wasteful, destructive and anti-social.
      Need any more be said about Harvard than Dubya got his MBA there?

      • These would be the ‘White Shoe’ boys… that Gerald Celente refers to (lol)

      • Douglas Kelly | April 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Reply

        What planet are you from? Harvard may represent to you the elite fools that pretend to run our government or the criminals of Wall Street. But don’t blame Harvard. The Harvard Business School has some of the wisest and smartest teachers of marketing in the world. What a person does with a degree from Harvard is not Harvard’s fault, nor responsibility. .

        You have absolutely no understanding of economics, capitalism and especially of what fascism is.

        To address your uninformed and nutty definition of fascism first — Fascism is when the government owns the industries and businesses, everyone works for the government in these businesses. Additionally, fascism is governed by an oligarchy, or an elite group, who plans and controls all government and the people. (Sound familiar? If you like it, you must vote for Hillary) I suggest you look up fascism and do some research on it and other economic models. Please.

        China is a perfect example of mature fascism. China is not a communist country as it tried to be under Mao. That failed so badly, China was a basket case. So why do you suppose China is moving closer to capitalism and limited personal ownership of a business? Because fascism does not work in the long run. Hitler tried it in Germany, Franco tried it in Spain, Peron tried in Argentina, and the USSR tried it as well. For a variety of very sound reasons, it didn’t work at all. The most prominent reason however was the disincentive of the common people to work to strive for a better life. There is no “better life” in a fascist governed nation.

        When corporations get subsidies, as do farmers, and others, it is indeed corruption of our tax code (a joke in itself).It’s corrupt cronyism.– the kind that can be bought with enough money.. It is not capitalism. If these businesses cannot make it on their own without special tax breaks and subsidies written into the tax code, then they should go broke. Period. The banks that were bailed out because they were too big to fail was nothing but political collusion and our criminal governing fools enabling those who give them money for favors. Nothing is too big to fail in a free market. Failure of those who can’t cut it is a way of cleaning out the rubbish of our economy. That might sound harsh to you, but it is reality, and it works well if it’s left alone.

        I don’t know of anyone who would want totally unfettered capitalism. It has to be modified and held to market principles, or it will easily become a jungle. This is the downside of pure capitalism and it’s a big downside, because there would be no middle class under unfettered capitalism.

        But there has never been a totally capitalist nation because capitalism isn’t really an economic system as some think, It’s only the means for making an economic system function.. Every economic method or system must involve the trade for goods and services through a medium of exchange trusted by the people. And if it’s to be successful it must abide by real free market principles. If not, it cannot succeed. Currently, the US has huge problems with this due to the nearly total corruption of our government. And the result is that we, the citizens, are losing our trust in our so-called government.

        And about Dubya getting his MBA at Harvard. What of it? He also claimed he was a conservative, too. Dubya was an idiot and Cheney and Rumsfeld ran the show for him.

        • sharon sampson | April 17, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Reply

          You are incredible…or rather what you are saying. Oh my goodness. I am copying your comment, this is beautiful. Thank you so very much!

    • He certainly is Slick!

    • No, you’re describing corruption. High level corruption, yeah, but corruption, plain and simple. “Gaming the system.”

      What distinguishes capitalism from the merely competitive free market model — which I have no problem with — is the use of money to make money, as in the charging of interest, or the expectation of some other form of monetary return, such as dividend payments on stock ownership.

      And this money is received by the capitalist in return for what?— nothing productive. Nothing useful or entertaining. Nothing economically needed or wanted. The capitalist doesn’t really do anything. He doesn’t produce or create. He does no real, useful work. He doesn’t contribute equitably to the welfare of others as a result of his efforts to provide for himself. He takes WAY out of proportion to what he gives.

      There’s no equitable exchange of value. Not totally nonexistent, mind you, just all out o’whack’n balance.

      The “service” provided by the capitalist — in the purest sense of the word capitalism — is of minimal real value. He lends you a tool — such as a hammer — or an ingredient — such as the sugar that you’re short for your cookies — because that’s what money is: a tool or an ingredient. And then he’s so cheezy and chiseling as to demand that you return his hammer with a spare handle, or maybe 1 1/2 cups of sugar. (At an interest rate of about 10%, a 30 yr. home mortgage will result in the homeowner paying out about 2 1/4 times the original principal amount, ‘fore it’s all said and done, and paid up.) Thus, the capitalist is actually a drain on his greater economy.

      So, while this guy’s third point is right on the money, this guy’s first two points are nonsense, revealing a poor-to-nonexistent understanding of the core nature of capitalism.

      • But you have to start with the correct definition of what money is, an idea backed by confidence. I went into this in a fair amount of detail in my paper What is Money?, originally written in 1996. A few minor changes were made to it since then to clarify a few points some people couldn’t seem to grasp.
        Without 100% confidence in the medium of exchange that is being used as money, you get this thing they call inflation, which is just a gradual decline in the perceived purchasing power of that medium of exchange. The less the PPP it has in it, the more MOE is needed to buy the same amount of goods or services. That is why prices go up over time. Do you see this now? It’s just some simple math dealing with ratios. Less confidence, more MOE is needed to make the deal a fair exchange.
        Fiat paper currencies ALWAYS fail eventually, because they always lose their PPP over time. And they lose that PPP for several reasons, like the government fails (look at Venezuela today!), war and rumors of war, and just the knowledge that there is nothing of any intrinsic value backing up that MOE.
        Yes, you are 100% correct about capitalists being nothing but a drain on their own economy!! They eventually kill it off and all that they work to create evaporates back to where it came from due the criminality that was used to garner it in the first place! Go to the head of the class on that one, Sir!

        • Douglas Kelly | April 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Reply

          It would be a much more pleasant and productive, not to mention wealthier, life we could have if everyone understood what you’re saying. But with the education system we have and the lying federal government, there is hardly a chance of this understanding by the average person who is not immersed in it, and has no interest in the complexities of it. Ironically, there’s little interest in the very things that affect their daily lives and their futures.

          And worse, the politicians don’t even understand it themselves, so they are a poor means of correcting anything. All they understand is the reason they ran for office — power. Nothing else seems to concern them at all. Very saddening.

          • You’re correct, it is a shame that everybody is so dumbed down when it comes down to the things that really matter in life. But, there is plenty of interest in American Idol, football, Kobe’s last basitball game, etc.
            There are some politicians who do understand what I am saying, but they’re too involved in gaming the system and gathering up stuff to care about fixing anything. They want to get theirs while the getting is good and then get the heck out of Dodge.
            If we could just eliminate ALL politics and go with a strict merit based system of granting jobs, 98% of our problems would disappear overnight.

          • Douglas Kelly | April 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm |

            I’m a dyed in the wool, card carrying Libertarian. And I know that a certain form of anarchy; i.e., an extremely limited government; could work, but it will never be allowed to happen. It would upset the apple cart of those who have a vested interest in the status quo.

            Your last paragraph says it all. The politicians are too busy gaming the system, and then leaving at the right time so they are fixed and we are left holding the bag. I would offer as an example the strange resignation from office and subsequent disappearance of the two clowns who were the heads of the House and Senate Banking committees. Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Barney Frank. But not before they got the Dodd-Frank bill passed that turned the banking system into an insane upside-down process and a government-sponsored spy system on their depositors. I have no sympathy for bankers, but this has made transferring money and withdrawing one’s own money to be highly suspicious activities reported to the IRS and Treasury. When my assets are a bank’s liability, it is not a comfortable position to be in.

            Asset forfeiture is only one of many acts that banks can collude with our desperately financially needful government to deprive the depositors of their assets based on the so-called crime of stacking, several withdrawals of amounts of money less than $10,000. Central banks in Europe have done it several times.

            Beyond that I strongly believe that anyone who would do what is necessary to attain a national office is, by the nature of what they must do, psychologically unfit to hold the office. The result is that we are governed by quasi-sociopaths.

          • But here’s the rub, Doug. It’s not really ANYONE’S money! It’s a world wide fiat paper currency/electronic bookkeeping entry financial system SCAM that was concocted out of thin air, ergo, it really belongs to no one but the banksters, and they can make up any rules that they may feel like at any time. They just allow the crooked politicians to get involved in the process a little bit to stroke their ego and make them THINK that they have some kind of say-so in the deal. Now you know why the banksters are too big to jail. They are the ones who are really running the show now. Does the flap in Colorado with the GOP make sense now? That POS Chairman is in hiding because he gets a severe allergic reaction to pitchforks, torches, tar and feathers!
            If you make a sandwich in your own kitchen from your own ingredients, and you do not like the taste of it, who gets to say if you can throw it out or not? You? Your neighbors? Some bureaucraps? The Sandwich Police?
            Just yesterday I read again a piece by a guy named Bennett I think it was, about how political leaders and warmongers are all sociopaths. I just happened to come across it. It is somewhere on the Rense web site.
            In light of all this bull crap, you would probably like to read my latest paper called Pulling the Teeth Out of the Mouth of the Legal System.

      • Douglas Kelly | April 17, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Reply

        You’ve got it right. Most of what’s wrong with our economy and the world’s economy is due to those who make money but produce nothing. That doesn’t bode well for a free market system. It corrupts it and shreds the fabric of any economy. I’m not one to hate the rich simply because they are rich, because it all depends on how they became rich. If they became rich producing and delivering a necessary and viable product or service to the marketplace, then I believe they deserve what they earn from that. It’s an honorable way to earn money.

      • sharon sampson | April 17, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Reply

        amazing…this is beautifully said as well as the other guy. My goodness, I am still trying to understand that his first 2 points are nonsensical. Capitalism doesn’t work once one is not actively making a product and once one is using money itself to make money. Pioneer days maybe capitalism worked but now it is allowing all kinds of corruption. Huh.

  4. Beautiful Yugoslavia was a succefull socialist model:
    -all people had jobs
    -all people had free education of excellent quality
    -all people had FREE health assurance
    -all people had 4 week paid holidays
    -all people received FREE appartements from own enterpises
    -all people became owner of the enterpise (=succeful motivation)

    My beautiful country where people lived in peace was dismemebered and was bombed with US radioactive poison…. now, your fake specialist without brain with Harvard manipulation certificate can teach the world what right economy is?

  5. Ad hominems and illogical. What a surprise.
    Capitalism is demonized as the word includes the idea of money and of course money is controlled by international bankers, which are at the heart of the problem for usury, fractional-reserve banking, corruption, legal capture, but their policies directly oppose capitalism as their policies are completely interventionist backed up by threat of force and capitalism is non-interventionist and voluntary. In just the same way anarchy is demonized while it represents a social order without an imposed leader/structure/hierarchy aka people are free to interact voluntarily. Very few know that very same evil ‘capitalists’ have financed big governments the world over, which create the perfect environments for big or state businesses and are completely opposed to small independent businesses (works of Anthony C. Sutton).
    Democracy is today characterized by Marxism, which is cultural materialism (unnatural, non-spiritual; life based on material realm) and of course, the Marxist school systems control the meanings of words today and so we recognize the international ‘rule of law’ as it fails to protect those who need it most, defend equality as it elevates the political/financial class above the worker, promote our form of ‘democracy’ as it destroys nations, support public education as it destroys learning, praise interventionism as it misallocates resources and creates the inequality of wealth it is said to oppose, reject capitalism while it sets us free, and embrace the beneficent state that enslaves. Can you say spiritually, morally, and intellectually bankrupt? Can you see how the ‘common good’ and the ‘welfare state’ have been used to promote the ruling interests at the expense of the ‘worker’? Government, politics, and the state are tools that protect the rulers and the rulers hate freedom and the freedom to transact voluntarily, often referred to as capitalism, because it mitigates their control/power. If you want to know how capitalist the West is, simply look at the number of small businesses that are starting up and failing. Instead, there is more public policy to solve political problems, debt to solve debt problems, violence to solve violence, ignorance for ignorance, and people continue to think there is a way out on this current trajectory through the ‘democratic’ political process?
    What would you like to call a system of non-interventionist voluntary transactions? If you don’t want to call it capitalism out of cognitive dissonance, then call it freedom (anarchy is chaos, capitalism is predatory, so what can we call it?). Do you support freedom or wage and tax slavery(not capitalism) to the ruling parasites no matter their names (see list of -isms), individualism or the collectivist state, freedom of choice or the imposition of morality from above? Liberty is the ideal and anything that goes against it needs to be rejected.

  6. sharon sampson | April 17, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Reply

    Never have I read such intellectual and valuable comments than right here!! OK, you brainiacs! It is so obvious, must have some ideas how we humans could create a better more efficient and healthier government. Have any of you seen Zeitgeist Addendum the second Zeitgeist? Have any of you seen the Venus Project by Jacque Fresco a real social engineer? Please, those that are writing these incredible little essays on capitalism must have some idea for solutions…yes?

    • Zeitgeist = Technocracy = cheaters… I don’t trust them!
      Only a GIFT ECONOMY can heal our sick world: ALL FOR FREE TO ALL

  7. Without corruption, major corporations wouldn’t exist. They wouldn’t get a sufficient advantage over their competitors to grow to the size of Ford or IBM. .

  8. The problem with academics is that they can’t say the system is rigged / criminal which is what happened in 2007.

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