The Bougie Case for Economic Freedom to Help the Poor

Via @JimPethokoukis retweeting @m_clem, I found Dr. Deirdre McCloskey’s insanely good paper The Great Enrichment Came and Comes from Ethics and Rhetoric.

There are several things I love about it. First, in it, McCloskey somehow manages to advocate expressly for what some might call privileges and others rights for the bourgeois by making the case for the poorest of the poor. This is, to my mind the best case to be made. What are property rights and why do they matter except that they *help people*? And preferably those who most need it.

Second, McCloskey makes a difficult-to-argue-against case for absolute optimism about the future of the poor and rich alike.

Third, I love McCloskey’s critique of the word “capitalism.”

It begins, “The word has led people astray. It should be replaced with the non-snappy but accurate ‘market-tested improvement and supply.'”

Mostly, though, it’s just fucking beautiful. She takes you on a journey through economic history in a fun, lively, engaging way. Give it a read.

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