The Establishment Of A Free Market Economy

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The establishment of a free market economy with the creation of joint-stock companies in the modern-day Netherlands during the 1500-1600s spelt the beginning of capitalism, an economic system which has, since this period, brought untold prosperity to billions throughout the world. Its proliferation throughout Europe is one of the primary reasons why in the centuries thereafter it became the sole hegemon on the world stage, with its greatest embracer, Great Britain, holding sway over a fourth of the globe by the mid-nineteenth century. Since these European centuries, liberal economic thought has spread throughout the world, with vibrant, flourishing economies sprouting in places from Singapore to Japan to even China, with its tentative economic liberalization being the direct result in hundreds of millions being lifted out of poverty. With such a good track record, one would be surprised that the bulk of the intelligentsia of this country is opposed to the continuation of a liberal, free market system. Indeed, in their papers on higher education in America, Mark Edmundson and William Deresiewicz indict the capitalist system as the bane of higher education, accusing the profiteering of private institutions as the primary reason why students are receiving a sub-par education. Using terms such as ‘consumerism’ and ‘neoliberalism’ pejoratively, they posit that each system has had an adverse affect on higher education, and present differing solutions to put an end to the problems
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