Wealth isn’t just there: it’s not a physical object. No one can simply divide it up at will; and above all, the total amount of wealth can grow over time. And as anyone with eyes and even a little historical knowledge knows, it has grown over time. It hasn’t stayed the same. If we want to understand wealth and poverty, we must discard the icon of a static and uncreated pie.
— Jay Wesley Richards, from Money, Greed, and God, kindle location 1423
Healthy capitalism isn’t governed by the law of the jungle, where the strong destroy the weak. As long as there’s scarcity, there will always be competition, but in a market economy marked by the rule of law, stealing, fraud, slavery, and kidnapping won’t be the typical way to get ahead. Instead, most people will try to meet the needs and wants of consumers. And everyone is a consumer. The logic of competition in a market is not about destroying enemies. It’s about serving consumers better than your competitors. Where prices can roam freely, goods, services, and information will generally be well distributed. In fact, for this purpose the market has no known competitors.
— Jay Wesley Richards, from Money, Greed, and God, kindle location 1354
For a market to work right, people need private property. That includes not just our stuff, but our labor, our time, and our ideas. So a society that respects private property must have laws against theft, fraud, kidnapping, and slavery. (Slavery is, among other evils, stolen labor.)
— Jay Wesley Richards, from Money, Greed, and God, kindle location 1193
A free market doesn’t guarantee that everyone wins in every competition. Rather, it allows many more win-win encounters than any alternative.
— Jay Wesley Richards, from Money, Greed, and God, kindle location 1173
If the government weren’t occupying most of the charitable ecosystem, charities would be profoundly different. The ecosystem would be filled with thousands of well-funded responsive charities accountable to their donors and communities. As it is, government has invaded the ecosystem, and mostly made a mess of it.
— Jay Wesley Richards, from Money, Greed, and God, kindle location 952
What we now know is that market economies work because they allow wealth to be created, rather than remaining a fixed pie. Economies need not be zero-sum games in which someone wins only if someone else loses. We have discovered an economic order that creates wealth in abundance—capitalism. And only the creation of wealth will reduce poverty in the long run.
— Jay Wesley Richards, from Money, Greed, and God, kindle location 173