FISCAL PODCAST with Yaron Brook: The Moral Case for Capitalism

Published January 17, 2012

The Ayn Rand Center’s Yaron Brook says to defend freedom in our personal and economic lives, we need to defend the morality behind acting in our own self-interest.

Heartland’s Steve Stanek and Yaron Brook discuss: 

  • How the minimum wage doesn’t work, but keeps low-skilled people out of work — and why people support a minimum wage because it seems “moral” and “makes us good people.”

  • How we won’t change for the better until we challenge the “morality” of an economic theory that demonizes “self-interest.” 

  • How we need to “win the moral case for capitalism,” as Ayn Rand espoused. “If we can think about morality,” Brook says, “then economics becomes easy.”

  • How Rand tried to redefine what “selfishness” what “self-interest” means. For instance: Did Bernie Madoff take care of himself? No, says Brook. He destroyed his life. “That’s not self-interested, it’s self-destructive.”

  • How Rand stressed that the highest moral “standard is your own well-being,” not collectivism, not “the other.” In short: how freedom is an individual value, not a collective value.

  • How Steve Stanek emphasises how if you don’t have economic freedom, you don’t have much freedom at all.

  • How the Founding Fathers were politically individualists, but from an ethical perspective, they were conventional altruists — especially Jefferson.

  • How the concept of “you are your brother’s keeper” is morally incompatible with individualism.

  • And how Ayn Rand needs to be taken more seriously as a moral philosopher.

Follow Yaron Brook and the Ayn Rand Center on Twitter, and follow on Facebook at Yaron Brook’s page, and also the Ayn Rand Center’s page.

Contact Managing Editor Steve Stanek at [email protected].