Tags: Forbes | wealth | free | markets

Forbes: To Spread the Wealth, Free the Markets

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012 08:00 AM

If a society wants to grow richer, it would do well to free its markets, says Steve Forbes, editor in chief of Forbes magazine and former presidential candidate.

When economists say innovation is important because it improves efficiency, they’re focusing on the wrong result, Forbes argues in his new book “Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets Are Moral And Big Government Isn’t,” co-authored by Elizabeth Ames.

“Free market creativity means producing abundance,” Forbes writes. “The distinction [from efficiency] is vital when it comes to appreciating why markets are moral.”

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: 50% Unemployment, 100% Inflation Possible

New technologies, for example, achieve a lot more than simply increasing worker productivity, Forbes maintains. “They produce more — more products and services for lower cost,” he says.

“In this way innovation improves living standards and, yes, to use that term statists love, ‘spreads the wealth.’”

Throughout history, technological advances have helped lead to inventions, such as railroads, that sparked huge economic growth, Forbes notes.

In modern times, the advancement of semiconductor chips has made extremely powerful computers affordable for the average consumer, he adds.

“Technologies out of reach for most people today end up at Staples or another big box retailer at cheap prices, if not tomorrow, then in the very near future.”

Still, there are plenty of economists who think the government has a major role to play in the economy. When it comes to technology, for example, many advances over the years have come as a byproduct of military projects funded by Uncle Sam, they note.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: 50% Unemployment, 100% Inflation Possible


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2012-00-21
Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012 08:00 AM
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