Unleashing Capitalism: Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How to Fix It
Paperback, 248 Pages
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This volume of original research contains specific policy reform proposals for promoting prosperity in West Virginia. The authors present the case for why state policy should focus more heavily on promoting long-run economic growth. The authors review the scientific evidence on which policies best promote growth and conclude that a policy climate consistent with capitalism, or ‘economic freedom,’ is the best way to accomplish growth and higher living standards. These policies work because they result in increased capital formation, higher labor productivity, and reduced levels of wasteful rent-seeking and lobbying activity. This volume concludes with a set of specific growth-oriented policy reforms that address the broad spectrum from tax policy to legal reform to the security of private property rights. We hope that readers of this volume will come away with a better understanding of capitalism’s true potential to generate long-run economic progress.
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May 17, 2009"Back Cover Quote: Edward W. Younkins, Ph.D." “This book should be read by every politician, journalist, and businessman in West Virginia. The essays included in it do a fine job of explaining the measures that need to be taken in order to promote capitalism, business, and entrepreneurship in West Virginia. These actions include tax reform, advancing the security of property rights through limitations on the use of eminent domain, the reduction of regulations on business and labor, and much more.” —Edward W. Younkins, Ph.D. Professor of Accountancy and Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Capitalism and Morality, Wheeling Jesuit University, and author of Capitalism and Commerce
Dec 29, 2007Professor Sobel and his co-authors have provided a roadmap to increased prosperity and quality of life in West Virginia. They guide the layman to the realization that liberty and the economic system that flows from liberty, capitalism, hold the best promise for the people of the Mountain State. The experiment has been run. Collectivism in West Virginia has, predictably, failed. This book has the potential to re-educate and re-direct those who want to improve the lives of all West Virginians. Policy-makers, heed its lessons! Richard Kerr
Aug 4, 2007"Timely, smart, tough, optimistic" Nearly two years before his book appeared, Dr. Sobel discussed the foundation of these ideas with some of our State's best business, policy and education leaders at a roundtable of the nonprofit West Virginia Venture Connection (WVVC), of which I am the executive director. Dr. Sobel -- a nationally recognized economist and distinguished chair in entrepreneurial studies at West Virginia University -- had the courage to address chronic issues in our State's economy as well as the commitment to seek solutions. This could not be more timely as our State finds itself again at the bottom of the nation in economic development. It certainly takes no cultural apologist (histrionic or otherwise) to recognize the need for smart departures from a status quo that has continued to produce the same results generation after generation. No matter how tough it is to face change -- unless we want our children to continue leaving (as my father did from the... More > coal fields a generation before) for work elsewhere -- the global economy will leave us further and further behind. Fortunately, Dr. Sobel's work offers practical optimism that when educated, hard working people forge their own businesses free of social engineers, political opportunists and bureaucrats, a new generation of West Virginia children will have the health, education and opportunity they deserve.< Less
Jul 10, 2007"A Shrieking Propagandist" I had to read the book after hearing the author crack on West Virginia Public Radio, an interview that is archived at their site. When asked about his selective use of evidence and the ideological bias proclaimed in the book's title, Sobel's only recourse was to shriek "I'm an academic!" As a humanities PHD, I was embarrassed by his histrionics. Particularly noteworthy was an attempt to cover his raging political bias by retreating behind the academic curtain--as though academic disciplines, particularly the soft sciences of economics and sociology, aren't intrinsically political. Sobel is profoundly out of touch with academic realities if he is able to believe that academic argumentation isn't unavoidably political, particularly when it takes a stand on particular public policy points. Perhaps this remoteness from reality is why this book is self-published by a Republican (shhh!) think tank instead of being issued by an academic,... More > peer-reviewed press. He's also profoundly out of touch with Appalachian Studies, and chapter four (by a co-writer) is based on a scholar widely known as a "hack" for his reductive analysis of Appalachian culture. Anyone who has actually lived in the coal fields knows that chapter four is egregiously off the mark, if not deliberately deceptive. This book looks like a set of GOP talking points and is funded by industry through an ideological front-group. It isn't "objective" scholarship.< Less
Dec 31, 1969"Mountaineers Are Always Free!" I'm a displaced West Virginia gal who has two sisters who had to seek a "real" life outside the West Virginia borders. I'm the oldest of the three and in 1969 when my sister Lois graduated from high school she and I went to the Seat of Government (FBI)where we made a very good living. When our little sister Sally graduated from high school (I'm 7 years her junior)she also started working for the FBI who was still seeking its best workforce in the West Virginia hills (in my opinion--sorry, I've worked for lawyers and need to qualify my statements). Lois was strong enough to stay put in the D.C. area where she could make a good living, bear her children and give them a good life. My sister Sally and I lived together for many, many, many years where I was her only support. She suffers PTSD (and so do I) from a horrible childhood between two parents (a West Virginia dad and an Ohio mother). I also have PTSD but didn't know it until I... More > married in 2003 and moved away from West Virginia yet again. Sally and I took care of each other (Sally was my emotional strength and I her financial support)but we couldn't bear to be away from our beautiful hills and always returned time and again. Thank God that He was looking out for Sally because she got on Social Security Disability the first time she applied and didn't have to seek free legal counsel (like how--it took our Dad, a WWII flyboy a year or more to get his disability when he suffered a heart attack at just 41). She is still in West Virginia with the hills and Lulu has taken down her beautiful work, her poetry and her Portrait of Christ. She was self-published by Xlibris when Random House was starting another book company and published her Little Sallies of the Mind FREE. Anyway, I was searching today to see if Sally's work was still online and I found your book listed. I'm so glad you chose Lulu as your publisher, and I hope it gets the attention it deserves. I miss my hills in the flatlands of Illinois, but like they say "You can take the gal out of the country, but not the country out of the gal."< Less
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- The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia (Standard Copyright License)
- Russell S. Sobel
- August 5, 2007
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.66 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 8.5 wide x 11 tall
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