Re: BOOK: The Mystery of Capital

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sat Oct 20 2001 - 08:14:51 MDT

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> From: "Amara Graps" <>
> > It's a big deal if banks, mortgage companies,etc. inside and outside
> > of the owner's city, region, country ... recognize it as one's own
> > property.
> Yes, that would be necessary for real capitalism to emerge.

That's the key requirement, since a person's home is generally either
the only or the largest capital asset they ever acquire in their lives.
Preventing them from being able to leverage that capital is a great
damper on any effort to create a true market economy.

> > Owning your own home means absolutely nothing, asset-wise, if noone
> > around you accepts/recognizes it as your property. (That's one of the
> > big problems, as I understand it, about why these people, who do
> > indeed own their own property, cannot turn it into something of value
> > to their economic lives.)
> If these people can't own their own property, then they're not really living
> in a capitalist system, and therefore the sub-title of the book ("Why
> Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else") is erroneous,
> since capitalism is not actually in practice in these regions.
> Bottom line: this book sounds like a real stinker.

Its part of the non-trust mindset. For example, in some former communist
countries, housing became privatized, but home/apartment dwellers who
now 'own' their own homes are statutorily prevented from being able to
sell their own property (except to state agencies) because the state
doesn't trust them to be intelligent enough to deal well on the open
market (and doesn't trust that most people won't be pressured into
selling for lowball offers to mafioso). Of course, these people wouldn't
be intimidated by mafioso if they also had the right to keep and bear
arms, but thats a whole other story (as far as some people here are

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