July 21, 2011 1 Comment
I wish I had known of this video when we published "Luxuries into Necessities" last month.
It sometimes took many centuries until an innovation was generally accepted at least within the orbit of Western civilization. Think of the slow popularization of the use of forks, of soap, of handkerchiefs, and of a great variety of other things.
From its beginnings capitalism displayed the tendency to shorten this time lag and finally to eliminate it almost entirely. This is not a merely accidental feature of capitalistic production; it is inherent in its very nature. Capitalism is essentially mass production for the satisfaction of the wants of the masses.
– Ludwig von Mises, "Luxuries into Necessities"
That’s worth repeating:
Capitalism is essentially mass production for the satisfaction of the wants of the masses.
SMU professor Michael Cox has a couple of great lines in this video:
Things get better because, in order for me to succeed, I have to pay attention to your needs and wants. … I cannot make myself better off apart from making you better off as well.
Capitalism, paradoxically, starts with self-interest; but if it’s guided by freedom it maximizes social welfare.