The New History of Capitalism Is Bunk

Source: Cafe Hayek.

Don Boudreaux made a point on his blog yesterday that I meant to share: “Because distinctive American innovation in the first half of the 19th century – the half of that century in which slavery still existed in some of the United States – was aimed at economizing on labor, this innovation is not explained by the availability of artificially cheap labor in the American south. Indeed, the bulk of the 19th-century American entrepreneurs who innovated – the bulk of the Americans who are truly responsible for driving forward American capitalism – were driven to do what they did by the unusual scarcity in America of labor relative to land and other natural resources. If American capitalism were rooted in slavery, nineteenth century innovation would not have been aimed at economizing on labor but, instead, at using labor more intensely.”

Details at the link.

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