Applying Economics to American History

In an entertaining 30 minutes, Tom Woods shows that higher standards of living and better wages for the workers is not due to government or unions, but rather to the free market (ie. capitalism).

It is the accumulation of capital which allows the production of capital goods (tools, machines, factories) which let us produce more goods more productively, thus raising our standards of living.
One great illustration is the number of hours of work needed to earn money to get goods. Compared to a century ago, it takes half the time for many goods (bread, oranges, jeans, etc.) and even less for others.

In the same streak, he rejects the notion that legislation, rather than capitalism, could be an effective means to fight poverty or child labor.

He also tells the story of some successful entrepreneurs (some nice people, some not) to point out the social benefits they brought about, in comparison with state-granted monopolies.

He finishes with enlightening tidbits of history: the actually not-so-wild Wild West and the idolized environmentalism of native american Indians (see Chief Seattle’s made-up speech).


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