Introduction to the Dogma Premises of Capitalism


1. People are intrinsically selfish.

2. Social safety nets reduce productivity by making unemployment less onerous, thereby limiting the amount of discipline that owners can impose on workers to achieve maximum productivity.

3. People will not participate in group efforts except to the extent that they get a greater benefit than they would get from not participating.

4. Group projects cannot be trusted, because there will inevitably be opportunity for free-riders, and people will attempt to benefit from others’ labor without contributing commensurately themselves, thus dooming even well-intentioned projects that theoretically might create a net-social benefit.


5. Markets are effective to check abuse of power or inefficiency among private producers.

6. Competition ensures sustained excellence.

7. Firms will respond to the risk of bankruptcy by sustaining high efficiency.

8. Routine market distortions, such as market concentration, externalities, and public subsidy, do not seriously undermine capitalism’s effectiveness.

9. Centrally planned economies are inefficient.

10. Competition keeps markets competitive even when there are only 2-3 competitors because the profit motive is constant, regardless of the number of competitors.

11. Markets are the most efficient method for an economy to allocate resources and labor.

12. Capital markets ensure that investment is directed to the most profitable projects.

13. The most profitable projects are also the most socially worthy projects (as selected by the general population of consumers/purchasers, as if by an invisible hand)

14. Abuse of private power is self-correcting, because markets will punish unpopular behavior.

15. Markets are self-correcting in the sense that if a practice leads to a bad outcome (e.g., economic bubbles get created, or unsafe offshore drilling costs BP money, then other actors will be forced by the market to learn from experience and make sure it never happens again.  See Thereisnospoon, It’s Not That You’re Wrong, You’re Just Evil.


16. Better products or lower prices will lead to greater unit sales, and therefore more profits.

17. The only way to make a profit (consistently) in a market based on voluntary exchanges, is to give people what they want.

18. The profit motive ensures that owners will command maximum productivity from non-owners whom they control.

19. Greater profits to the owner will result in greater productivity by those whom the owner commands.

20. Taxes always reduce the efficiency of capitalism by reducing the profit potential of any project.

21. The private profit motive results in greater productivity than any other motivation.


22. Because the private economy is a manifestation of social freedom, government should be restricted to just the few functions it is uniquely suited for, and should not compete if a product or service can be delivered by private enterprise.

23. Government is intrinsically wasteful (except for universities, military, nasa, darpa, public utilities, bridges, roads, airports, police, prisons, fire protection, hospitals, and libraries).

24. Government can never be as efficient as a private business because there is no profit motive to ensure that government workers be as efficient and effective as possible.

25. Government-run projects necessarily fail compared to privately run projects because government projects lack a single owner invested in the overall success of the project.

26. Government is theft, because taxation is involuntary, whereas market interactions with private businesses are voluntary;

27. Government does not create jobs; only business creates jobs;

28. Government is manifestation of slavery; business is a manifestation of freedom;

29. Government (democracy) is theft by the majority from the minority;

30. Government functions should be privatized where possible to increase efficiency and decrease costs.

31. Democracy is ineffective to check abuse of power or inefficiency in government.


32. Non-owners benefit from owner profits because the firm is healthier and can provide better salaries and benefits, or at least continued employment.

33. Wealth disparities largely reflect individual choices to prefer leisure over industry, or vice versa.

34. Wealthy people are wealthy because they worked harder, or in any case contributed more to social net utility (and were in turn compensated for that).

35. Entrepreneurs provide more value to society than unskilled laborers.

36. Professionals who have trained for their jobs deserve higher compensation to make up for their years lost/invested in training.

37. Wealth results from hard work and/or special talents that have been applied to create something socially useful.

38. When the rich get richer, everyone benefits.

39. The advanced state of our current technology shows Capitalism’s effectiveness in driving innovation and increasing the standard of living, which could not have been achieved under another system.

40. Capitalist competition leads to more choices, and therefore more freedom.

41. Capitalism is a manifestation of economic democracy, because people “vote” with their dollars.

42. Economic growth is an indicator of improved social welfare.

43. Poor people are better off economically under capitalism than they would be under any alternative system.


44. Government Cannot Look After the Public Good

45. Capitalism Advances the Public Good Without Public Oversight

46. Capitalism Creates Freedom

47. Capitalism Creates Equality

48. Capitalism Is Empowering

49. Greed Is Good