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Capitalism, Democracy, and Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery
Democracy is overrated. Capitalism, on the other hand, doesn't get enough credit. In this provocative and engaging 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 sys ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 31st 1999 by Princeton University Press
(first published January 1st 1999)
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I really wanted this book to make its case well because I think it has an important thesis. The central idea of this book is that capitalism tends to have a worse reputation than it deserves and democracy had a better. In particular, "capitalism actually tends, all other things being equal, systematically, thought not uniformly, to reward business behavior that is honest, fair, civil, and compassionate" and "actual democracy, [is] notable chiefly for discord, inequality, apathy, hasty compromise ...more
I came to this book by way of Mueller's partial use of circus history to illustrate his points about capitalism. It's an approach in which I see a lot of potential and hope to use in my own writing. The problem with it in this case is that the author appears to be a lousy historian. He leans heavily on examples from poor and biased sources, most notably the outdated and exalting book _Those Amazing Ringlings and their Circus_ by Gene Plowden (published by Caxton Printers of Caldwell, Idaho in 19 ...more