Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich: How the Bourgeois Deal Enriched the World

First Published: 2021-07-04

CATO Host Ryan Bourne

A Book Forum at The CATO Institute:

Why did the world get rich? Was it fossil fuels? Slavery? Perhaps imperialism? Or saving? Education, maybe? Property rights? Or even trade unions? No, say Deirdre McCloskey and Art Carden in Leave Me Alone and I’ll Make You Rich: How The Bourgeois Deal Enriched the World. Instead, they suggest the secret sauce was the idea of economic liberty—first in Holland and the Anglosphere, then in Sweden and Japan, then Italy, Israel, China, and India.

This change in attitudes and ideas—the welcoming of people “having a go” while being treated with equal dignity as individuals—not only provided a springboard to a vast in improvement living standards but it ultimately made us better people, too.

Grounded in McCloskey’s vast scholarship on “commercially tested betterment,” this entertaining new book draws on history, economics, literature, philosophy, and popular culture—everything from growth theory to the television show The Simpsons—to show both how we got rich and why most criticisms of the modern era of economic liberalism are misguided.

Join us on book launch day, October 30, for an online book forum, where the authors will present the key insights of their newest work and answer your questions on its implications.

Watch the video below:

Art Carden teaches economics at Samford University’s Brock School of Business and is a Senior Fellow with the American Institute for Economic Research. Twitter: @artcarden.

Visit Dr. Carden’s archive here…

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