Titel: Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery
Autor/en: John Mueller
PRINCETON UNIV PR
August 2001 - kartoniert - 352 Seiten
Democracy is overrated. Capitalism, on the other hand, doesn't get enough credit. In this engaging and witty book, John Mueller argues that these mismatches between image and reality create significant political and economic problems -- inspiring instability, inefficiency, and widespread cynicism. We would be far better off, he writes, if we recognized that neither system is ideal or disastrous and accepted instead the humdrum truth that both are "pretty good". And, to Mueller, that means good enough. He declares that what is true of Garrison Keillor's fictional store "Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery" is also true of democracy and capitalism: if you can't get what you want there, "you can probably get along without it". Broad in scope and rich in detail, this book will provoke debate among economists, political scientists, and anyone interested in the problems (or non-problems) of modern democracy and capitalism.
Acknowledgments xi INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I Capitalism and Democracy: Images and Image Mismatches 5 Capitalism 6 Democracy 7 Ralph's Grocery 10 The Plan of the Book 12 CAPITALISM CHAPTER 2 Capitalism's Image 21 The Capitalist Virtues 22 The Capitalist Virtues and the Monopolist 38 The Essential Insincerity of Capitalist Morality 38 My Nice Guys Finish First 42 Extrapolating the Capitalist Virtues 43 Capitalist Culture, Capitalist Inequality and Unfairness, Capitalist Competition 45 The Profound Irrationality of Capitalism: Investors as Unintended Altruists 54 CHAPTER 3 Sources of Capitalism's Negative Image 57 Socialists and Communists 57 storytellers 58 Intellectuals 61 Religion 65 Aristocrats and the Honorable 66 Ineffective Capitalist Propaganda 68 Capitalists 70 CHAPTER 4 The Consequences of Capitalism's Image for Economic Development 72 The Unequal Rate of Economic Development 73 Superimposing the Capitalist Virtues 75 Virtue as a Business Innovation 77 The Rise of Business Virtue 83 The Relative Importance of Business Virtue in Economic Development 93 The Relevance of an Effective Legal System to Economic Development 95 CHAPTER 5 Development, Happiness, and the Rise of the Politically Incorrect One-Handed Economist 99 One-Handedness 100 Political Incorrectness 104 Four Economic Propositions That Have Become Increasingly Accepted 106 The Prospects for Massive Economic Growth 122 Economic Development, Professed Happiness, and the Catastrophe Quota 123 Development and the Quest for Happiness 132 DEMOCRACY CHAPTER 6 Images and Definitions 137 Defining Democracy: Responsive Government 138 Elections: Useful, but Not Essential 140 Political Inequality 145 Democracy in Practice: Coopting the Wealthy 147 Minority Rule and Majority Acquiescence 152 Democracy in Comparison 153 Democracy and Real People 161 CHAPTER 7 Consequences of the Democratic Image 164 Cynicism about the Democratic Process 166 Hyperdemocracy 185 The Rebellion of Minorities 187 The Trouble with Transitology 189 CHAPTER 8 The Rise of Democracy 192 A Democratic Dialogue 193 The Historical Movement of Ideas 195 The Correlates of Democracy 197 The Marketing of Democracy 202 Examining the Third Wave 212 The Future of Democracy 222 CONCLUSION CHAPTER 9 Democracy and Capitalism: Connections and Disconnections 231 Capitalism without Democracy, Democracy without Capitalism 231 Democracy's Connection with Capitalist Prosperity 234 Democracy's Connection to Capitalist Growth 235 The Connection of Democracy and Capitalism with Crime 238 Conceptional Connections between Democracy and Capitalism 240 APPENDIX An Inventory of Propositions 243 Notes 255 References 289 Index 317
"Many thought-provoking ideas are packed into this nuanced work, and Mueller's case is strong and well-documented."--Library Journal "Mueller is an entertaining guide through economic and political history, using references to Shakespeare, Adam Smith, Hume, Mencken and many more writers to produce deft explanations of complex ideas."--Publisher's Weekly "Mueller's provocative book deserves a wide audience... Mueller writes sharp, brisk, and witty prose that is unfailingly lucid."--Daniel J. Silver, The Weekly Standard