Rich Karlgaard has a great essay about how capitalism is a powerful tool that creates the potential to do more good than any other economic system but that still depends on the morality of its wielders.

Money is good, therefore, because capitalism is good. It delivers the goods, literally, and better--broadly and individually--than does any other system. Hugo Chavez would argue that point, but he's nuts.

Can we go even further and say that capitalism is good because it is moral? Following that logic, can we say: The purer the form of capitalism, the more moral it is? Is capitalism perfectly moral--enough to sustain itself over many generations?

Yes, say Ayn Rand's followers. But most of us would not go that far. We think a capitalism that lacks outside moral influences and pressures, restraints and safety nets would, sooner or later, fail.

Bill Ziff, a successful magazine capitalist who died last year, spoke for most of us: "[Capitalism] is not in itself sufficient to create values. It depends on what human and religious values we, ourselves, bring to our affairs. Insofar as those values fail, we would all descend toward a lawless, inhumane, cutthroat society that will no longer harbor our civilization."

Well worth a read, especially if you're a Christian who is uncomfortable participating in a system that does occasionally get used for evil ends.

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