Wealth through Investing

Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century

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Capitalism Endures

When George Gilder first published Wealth & Poverty in 1981, the book was an instant classic, becoming the economics bible of the unfolding Reagan revolution. “Not since the Gilded Age of the late 1800’s has anyone advanced so enthusiastic an endorsement of capitalism and capitalists,” observed the New York Times.

Now, amid the Obama administration’s redistributionist zeal, industrial planning schemes, vandalistic energy policies, demonization of wealth-creating entrepreneurs, and Keynesian spending programs, Gilder returns to the fray with an updated edition of his famous tome.

Thirty years after his paean to free enterprise shocked the Washington establishment, have the collapse of Enron, the economic meltdown of 2008, the advent of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and other events caused Gilder to reassess his devotion to capitalism? In a way, they have. As Gilder states in this edition, “It is clear that we, the original supply siders, bear some responsibility for the failure to persuade. All these years later, it has become clear that we were not radical enough.”

Dissatisfied with half-hearted defenses of capitalism as the least bad system available, Wealth & Poverty passionately extols the morality, compassion, and efficacy of free enterprise. Buoyed by the collapse of communism but disturbed by the return of socialism under new guises, Gilder argues in a new prologue and epilogue that the solution to America’s current economic troubles cannot be found in warmed-over socialism, but in the generosity and economic vitality that can only be unleashed by the free market.

As President Obama’s policies lend Gilder’s arguments a shocking new relevancy, Gilder reminds us why the New Yorker called him a “scourge of feminists, unrepentant supply-sider, and now…a technology prophet.” Featuring a new foreword by Steve Forbes, this edition of Wealth & Poverty informs us that free enterprise is the core of freedom—and that nations which forget or ignore that historical lesson will not and cannot prosper.


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