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OpenMarket: Morality of Capitalism

  • VIDEO: How to Become a Federal Criminal

    June 14, 2019
    Have you ever made an unreasonable gesture to a passing horse in a national park? If so, you are already a federal criminal. For the rest of us, there’s a new work of reference, humor, and legal theory from attorney Mike Chase titled “How to Become a Federal Criminal: An Illustrated Handbook for the Aspiring Offender.”
  • This Summer, Celebrate Lemonade Freedom

    June 12, 2019
    There is good news for young entrepreneurs coming out of the Lone Star State, as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently signed a bill allowing children to operate lemonade stands without needing a permit. Specifically, it “prohibits cities and neighborhood associations from enacting rules that block or regulate minors trying to sell nonalcoholic beverages on private property.”
  • Does Capitalism Destroy Culture?

    June 11, 2019
    Capitalism’s critics claim that the pursuit of profit can become like a black hole, consuming all of our attention and energy at the expense of culture. Some argue, for example, that the shopping activity that accompanies “Black Friday” comes at the expense of a traditional Thanksgiving. Many of us suspect that it would be better to be contemplative and thankful for our blessings, but who can resist a good deal?
  • Corporate 'Power' Is Limited and Temporary—Government Power Is the Real Threat

    June 6, 2019
    An Axios article today examines for-profit companies taking public positions on controversial political issues, carrying the headline “When companies act like governments.” Reporter Erica Pandey takes as her premise the idea that “Throughout the history of capitalism, wealthy and powerful companies have effectively acted like governments.” This is a problematic take that conflates the collective market power of a company’s customers and shareholders with actual coercive state power—two very different things.
  • This Month, Take Pride in Abundance and Opportunities of Capitalism

    June 4, 2019
    June is Pride Month, when gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and other not-straight people celebrate with a variety of events, including activism, parades, and concerts. As with any popular celebration, corporations and brands have become involved, creating special offers and limited-release products to cater to the enthusiasm. Not everyone is excited about this development, however.
  • Addressing the Gender Pay Gap: Culture, Not Legislation

    May 31, 2019
    Gender discrimination is a complex problem with a complex solution.
  • VIDEO: Ending Police Harassment of Small Business in India

    May 31, 2019
    Our friends at the Atlas Network have an excellent new video out about legal reform in India that is helping small businesspeople stand up to corrupt government officials and make an honest living.
  • Corporate Virtue in Eye of Beholder

    May 30, 2019
    The main impression I’ve gotten from much recent reporting on the ethical behavior and social responsibility of business is that its value depends greatly on one’s point of view.
  • VIDEO: What Is the 'Social Responsibility' of Business?

    May 24, 2019
    Recently I was in the audience for an interesting panel discussion, hosted by the Federalist Society, on corporate social responsibility. Should corporate managers only work to increase profit and shareholder value, the panel considered, or should they also work to benefit a broader group of stakeholders adjacent to the firm?
  • Chain Stores Are Part of Civil Society Too

    May 22, 2019
    I recently reviewed the book “Alienated America” by Washington Examiner editor Timothy Carney, and I’d like to return to one of the observations he made in a section titled “Walmart’s America.”

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