To the editor:
I enjoyed reading about President Bush’s recent visit to Rochester in the June edition of the Catholic Courier (“Bush talks locally of Social Security”). However, one must assume that Father Brian Cool was taken out of context when he was quoted as saying that “for some people to make money in our economy, other people lose money.” As written the comment represents a profound misunderstanding of how free market economies increase living standards.
Consider the major software entrepreneurs. Did they make their billions primarily by taking it from typewriter manufacturers? No. Their innovations allowed untold millions of people to work more effectively and created whole industries where nothing existed previously, thus vastly increasing employment and living standards. This information revolution is now spreading to the developing world and is a major factor in the explosive economic growth of places like China and India. In short, these entrepreneurs did not get theirs by taking yours. They did it by increasing the size of the pie.
Free market economics is not a zero-sum game. For some startling examples of the long term benefits of liberal economic policies, please see “The Greatest Century that Ever Was: Twenty-Five Miraculous Trends of the Past 100 Years,” by Stephen Moore and Julian Simon, available at www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1223.
Mark C. Mitschow
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Courier stands behind the accuracy of the quotation.