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Known as the founder of communism, Karl Marx actually wrote more about capitalism, the system he opposed. According to Marx, capitalism was inherently unstable, ever lurching from crisis to crisis. He would have seen today's debt levels, rising inequality, and subprime mortgage crisis as its most recent lurch. But did he really have a system that could replace it?
For a generation, one central idea has dominated economics: the free market. Since the recent financial crisis, however, faith in it has been shaken like never before. Yet free-market champion Friedrich Hayek is emerging with his reputation enhanced. Just how free should the market be? Hayek would answer freer than any government has ever dared allow it to be.
After the 2008 crash, governments launched the biggest economic recovery effort in history. John Maynard Keynes would have approved. For Keynes, capitalism was brilliant, but left to its own devices could go seriously wrong. It was up to governments to make it work for their citizens--even if that meant spending money they didn't have.
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