I learned a lot from Robert Sirico’s, Defending the Free Market. He explained how interest rates encourage responsible behavior (i.e., credit card rates should be high, for imagine how much Americans would borrow if these rates were artificially low); how important it is for the poor to retain their dignity by contributing what they can rather than merely receiving a handout; how competition and customers paying the true cost out of pocket (e.g., Health Savings Accounts) is the best way to bring down the cost of health care; and how we best help the poor in developing nations not by giving corrupt governments more money to spend on themselves but by encouraging them to develop an economy that creates jobs.
But the quote that made me laugh and made a great point was a line from Margaret Thatcher. She defended her economic policy by stating that the free market is necessary to create wealth which then can be used to help the poor. So rather than being mean spirited, capitalism is precisely what the poor need. Thatcher noted that “No one would remember the Good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions; he had money as well” (p 130).