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Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  517 ratings  ·  96 reviews
In Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the Solution and Not the Problem, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute Jay W. Richards and bestselling author of Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family, and Freedom Before It's Too Late and Infiltrated: How to Stop the Insiders and Activists Who Are Exploiting the Financial Crisis to Control Our Lives and Our Fortunes, defends ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 5th 2009 by HarperOne (first published 2009)
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W. Littlejohn
Jul 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book is laced with ironies. And not good ones, either. (By the way, I will admit up front that I did not finish this book.  I made it to the halfway point, and then determined that to continue, with no promise that I would ever be offered a coherent argument, was merely an act of self-flagellation. If you think that the second half would disprove anything I say in here, do let me know).  The author repeatedly adopts the stance, so attractive to American audiences, as the champion of common- ...more
Douglas Wilson
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
One of the best books I have read in some time. What a good business. A detailed review to follow.
Jeff Irwin
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book has remarkable insights into the nature of wealth creation. Each chapter debunks a myth associated with capitalism and shows why it really is the best system in a fallen world and should be better understood by Christians.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
This is a book written to enable Christians to turn their back on the poor and sick without feeling any guilt. If I would list every instance in which the author gets something wrong, misrepresents a concept, or just plain out right misleads the reader, I would have to write a document that would be longer than the book itself.
There are a number of instances in which the author makes outrageous claims without any substantiation. For example on page 23, he refers to the communal living of the ear
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very good factual rebuttal to common objections to Capitalism from the "religious" Left.
Mar 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
Though many things this book says are true, if you step out of its well-worn grooves of debate and take a broader look, it stands out as very secular, even pagan, for a professedly Christian book. This is fairly common for political conservatism. Though Christian political conservatives trumpet a biblical antithesis in many other areas of life, when it comes to politics they just give up and bow to the Enlightenment way, especially the American way (I did the same thing for several decades).

Jason Isaacs
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
In “Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism is the solution and not the problem” Jay Richards details and refutes eight common myths about capitalism. Richards is responding to the mounting arguments that the values of Christianity and capitalism are incongruous: a person cannot be a Christian and accept an economic system based on a profit incentive. He rebuts these claims through a combination of philosophic inquiry and personal experience.

Richards tackles some of the most common issues involved
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
What a great book! Everyone should read this, because it is a sensible, careful, thoughtful, Christian account of what capitalism is, and what is possible with it. It answers the common objections with clarity, and makes a great case for free-market capitalism, as well as showing that it is consistent with Christianity and the proceeding worldview. In fact, it shows how capitalism just fits with a faith in Christ.
Mike Kolsky
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A Christian defense of capitalism.

I enjoy a lot of the philosophy of Ayn Rand, but could never wrap my head around her insistence that selfishness and greed are virtues. They are not. Richards is very clear: selfishness and greed are NOT virtues, but capitalism is the only economic philosphy that succeeds and treats people justly in spite of greed. The only way a greedy businessman can succeed is to provide quality products at decent prices that customers choose.
Michael A.
May 02, 2013 rated it did not like it
I read a section and it was typical neoliberal/conservative garbage. You can pretty much guess the arguments he makes for each section if you've ever been into a political debate before.
Jul 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
A good book, and perhaps much needed, but for some reason not all that I had hoped it would be. The book begins well and even reminds me a lot of one of my favorite books of all time: Free to Choose by Milt and Rose Friedman. But somewhere it falls far short of that and in a way that I just can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps I expected the book to be the kind of thing I could loan to a Christian friend of different political perspective and hope that it could change his mind. When I finished ...more
Jul 11, 2016 added it
For most of this book I was open-minded and willing to suspend my judgment and I have not got the economic information or smarts to tell whether he is right or wrong, but he referred one too many times to his own personal experience as a former utopian. I sympathize. I have been through that and probably still am in some unsavory respects, but it shows he's not an expert speaking from oodles of knowledge and research, but from his own layman view of the basic arguments. That's already problemati ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This has been one of the most enlightening economics books that I've ever read. Particularly since it was written with the Christian perspective in mind, I found this economic apologetic in defense of capitalism to be tremendously refreshing. In my experience, most people are completely illiterate as far as economics is concerned. Many people prefer the 'sound bytes' that they hear on the media, from Marxist professors, or from the most popular celebrity without caring to challenge their Leftist ...more
Michael Smith
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Our current culture "believes" that Capitalism is bad. This belief is propagated by leftist professors and politicians looking to "do good" for others. The problem is that Capitalistic societies have done so much for the societies that actually practice it. The complaints seem to be coming from people who don't like capitalism but don't have a good alternative. In other words, I've never met a socialist or leftist who advocates for same, they only say how bad capitalism is. Only children make ar ...more
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was preaching to the choir but I would suggest it is one of the better treatise on the topic of Christianity and economic policy. I think many would see capitalism as a "frenemy" when it comes to a Christian worldview. Richards does a wonderful job seating the blame for the failed economic systems where it belongs; in the attempted manipulation and intervention by government. Richards doesn't advocate full fledged Libertarianism, but recognizes the dangers of a few "experts" making fin ...more
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for everyone, a very concise guide to thinking correctly about capitalism, money, greed and how all of this works for the believer. The analogies he uses are top notch. The explanations he gives for economic principles are simple and understandable unlike some of the more scholarly approaches to economics. Though he sites many different schools of thought.

He commits to the idea that Christians can enjoy the fruits of capitalism without feeling guilty. He believes that
Melissa Henderson
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book, as it dissolves the mainstream media's invented conflict between capitalist and Catholic values. This book takes all the things I believe to be true about being a good Christian and patriot (YES they go together!!!) and puts it together so beautifully... in such a way to promote a meaningful, thoughtful defense to free market capitalism and the limited role of government.
Brad Belschner
Oct 25, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: economics
I skim-read this, and didn't find anything beyond the same old capitalist responses that I'm used to.
I considered reading it more thoroughly for the purpose of writing a critical review, but then Bradford Littlejohn did it before me (see here).
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
felt like I got a good crash course in economics and made me think twice about a lot of things that I believe and why I believe them . . .
Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
Just what you want it to be: the basics done right. Easily readable, clear, and wise.

Also read Summer 2010.
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very much enjoyed this. One of the shortest, easily read books on economics ever, I would guess.
Sarah Myers
W. Bradford Littlejohn's review:

'Nuff said.
Dayo Adewoye
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A clear and powerful defence of the free market from a christian perspective.
John Gardner
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Can a Christian be a capitalist?

This is an important question, and it is how Jay Richards opens his book. Many Christians would, of course, answer “yes”, but how many are able to logically defend that answer from Scripture in the face of so many challengers who argue that free market capitalism is inconsistent with Christian charity? Don’t passages such as Acts 2:42-47 depict a form of Christian socialism in the early church?

Even many of the free market’s biggest supporters seem to confirm this
Jacob O'connor
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A revisit of the clearest and most instructive book on basic economics I've read. Richards gets extra credit for consulting the Bible in making his case. I've come to the conclusion that we can take nothing for granted. Every generation has to relearn the basics, and this includes economics.

New Notes, 6/6/17:

The Nirvana Myth (contrasting capitalism with an unrealizable ideal rather than with its live alternatives)

The Piety Myth (focusing on our good intentions rather than on the unintended cons
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was actually a very good book. Richards writes smoothly and conversationally. The book is polemical, but not nasty. Witty, but not condescending. Richards successfully refutes many of the more popular criticisms of Capitalism that you might hear on a college campus, or from those in the church (especially emergent-types). Richards does this by discussing eight myths about capitalism. He does this towards the end of eight chapters, the topics of which lead into the myth.

I was pleased to see
R.M. Archer
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found a lot of this book difficult to understand, but that was a "me" problem rather than a problem with the book or the writing. Overall, the facts and arguments are presented very well. This is an important topic to consider from a biblical standpoint, and though Richards uses more historical evidence than scripture itself on the whole (which seems fairly suitable for the topic), he seems fairly well-grounded in scripture and does a good job of addressing the issue.

(Just a note: Richards com
Donovan Richards
The Complicated Relationship between Money and the Church

The church holds a complicated relationship with capitalism. On one side, it praises business for its instrumental purpose within its walls. Business creates wealth which, in turn, funnels into Church programs through the donations of the congregation.

At the same time, business operates under self-interest, a seemingly anti-Christian position asserting “Greed is good”. What is the church to do? Free market wealth creation funds its project
Scott Kennedy
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Capitalism, the free-market - call it what you like, gets a rough time these days. It's blamed for a lot, and many Christians in my acquaintance are pretty hard on it, thinking it is incompatible with their faith. In Money, Greed, and God, Jay Richards argues that you can be a Christian and a capitalist. He then sets about exploding common myths about capitalism and providing a Biblical understanding of economics.

In myth one he argues that we shouldn't compare capitalism with unrealizable alter
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title is a bit misleading. It's roughly 90% a defense of capitalism, and 10% a discussion of how capitalism is not inconsistent with Christianity. I found that to be a good thing, that a Christian could discuss the merits of capitalism without playing the "God card."

Richards structures his book around objections that a believer might have to capitalism--he calls them "myths." So, Chapter 1 deals with the myth that socialism or communism is more "fair," or that early Christians were socialist
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Jay W. Richards has served in leadership positions at the Discovery Institute and the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

He has written many academic articles, books, and popular essays on a wide variety of subjects, from culture, economics, and public policy, to natural science, technology, and the environment. His pr

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