Book Review: Ralph Benko’s The Ten Commandments of Capitalism
By Faruk Okcetin, TES Contributor
Ralph Benko, the author of The Ten Commandments of Capitalism: The Secret Recipe for Equitable Prosperity, despite the title of his book does not pretend to be a divinely inspired prophet. Moses came down from Mount Sinai, locally called Jabal Musa, to provide humanity with the most basic principles of right and wrong. Benko, rather, gives us ten great ways to create a climate of equitable prosperity for all. Plus a reminder why “Thou Shalt Not Covet” is in the original Big Ten!
Everybody, friend and foe, talks about capitalism. Few seem to have a clear definition. Fewer still, even those who pay it lip service to capitalism, seem to know how to harness free markets for the general welfare.
Benko, co-founder and chairman of The Capitalist League, together with his co-author, Bill Collier, League president, gave capitalism its modern clear definition in their previous book, The Capitalist Manifesto. In brief, capitalism is an economic system whereby people can take their savings and invest in tools to make their enterprises, and society, more productive and prosperous.
Under socialism the government, not we-the-people, owns the means of production. History shows that the creativity and pluck of real owners, better than stewardship of civil servants, provides vastly superior benefits, to workers and investors alike.
Capitalism opposes The Communist Manifesto’s demand for class warfare. Capitalism, to quote President Kennedy, provides the “rising tide that lifts all the boats.”
Benko now has written The Capitalist Manifesto’s sequel, The Ten Commandments of Capitalism. It’s the recipe book of policies needed to empower free enterprise to propel America into a prosperous, free, and vibrant future. The United States now deals with the current great disturbance to the many freedoms which made it so exceptional in a world full of mediocrity. The Ten Commandments of Capitalism, provides shrewd guidance to our legislators and policy makers on how to recover from the negative economic effects of the pandemic and to prosper again. He provides a curated list of ten proven ideas for how we Americans can prosper and thrive just as we did … until the “Great Stagnation” hit around Y2K.
Benko was one of the principals of the original “supply-side revolution.” That group of economic policy entrepreneurs overcame ridicule to propel the USA from, per the St. Louis Fed, $2.7T/year in 1979 to around $21T today. The Dow went from 814 to 30,000. Benko was part of the tiny team mocked as “Voodoo Economists.”
This feisty little bunch produced, against massive establishment opposition, an epic wave of prosperity. Not just for America! That rising tide indeed lifted all boats worldwide, with world GDP growing from $11T to $88T. So, his recipe book isn’t some utopian fantasy. Benko knows whereof he writes.
Benko here has collected, and explains in clear terms, ten of the best, most generally accepted, free market ideas calculated to generate equitable prosperity. The common sense of these policies seems lost in the political food fight. These are common sense policies such as cutting marginal tax rates and indexing capital gains, making our officials accountable for all regulations with a big impact on the economy, defining the dollar in gold and making it convertible thereto, and putting Uncle Sam back to robustly investing in tech R&D as prescribed by America’s own dean of tech gurus the Hon. Norman Augustine.
Benko provides a clear roadmap back to the American dream. In addition to showing how capitalism can bring equitable prosperity to workers as well as investors, Benko’s guidebook also serves to educate those blinded by the allure of the illusory claims of socialism. Socialism a failed system cruelly glamorized in politics, Hollywood, and the establishment Media. The Ten Commandments of Capitalism also will serve as a guide for those who have neglected, or perhaps forgotten, the relevance of global Capitalism in achieving equitable prosperity for billions of souls. Under China’s leader Deng Xiaoping and his successors, for example, capitalism (by whatever name) pulled almost a billion Chinese out of destitution and near starvation.
The Ten Commandments of Capitalism takes vigilant account of the historical significance of free market principles. It outlines some exact methods which, if embraced, would achieve, as Adam Smith put it, universal opulence extending even to those with the lowest economic means. Moreover, these pages identify the great opportunities to create a climate of cooperation between the left and the right, most of whom have the same aspirations.
Benko, like capitalism itself, is a pragmatist rather than a dogmatist. The most important lesson here, perhaps, is Benko’s refreshing reminder that where we go from here is up to us. If we want to see our economic fortunes, and way of life, return to an even more prosperous course we, ourselves, must act in adherence to the key principles that generate equitable prosperity which may be found, in plain English, spelled out in The Ten Commandments of Capitalism: The Secret Recipe for Equitable Prosperity.
Faruk Okcetin is the co-chairman of the North Carolina Blockchain Initiative, the Principal of Phoenix Solutions, LLC; the 2021 North Carolina state director of the Capitalist League; and was the 2020 Republican nominee for Wake County NC, Board of Commissioners, receiving roughly a quarter million votes.