Michael Novak A thinker who argued for the morality of free markets.

Novak was a giant of world thought, one of the most brilliant defenders of the free market and an opponent of crony capitalism, always bringing it back to what can we do to rescue people from poverty, always from the point of view of a devoted Catholic Christian.

(From The Wall Street Journal)

From this recognition sprang his most important work, “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism,” which changed America’s public debate when it was published in 1982. “Democratic capitalism,” he wrote, is “neither the Kingdom of God nor without sin. Yet all other known systems of political economy are worse. Such hope as we have for alleviating poverty and for removing oppressive tyranny—perhaps our last, best hope—lies in this much despised system.”

Too many religious leaders, Novak argued, have no understanding of how economies work, and thus they focus on redistributing wealth without regard for how wealth is created. As for business leaders, he encouraged them to think of their careers as a calling, and the rest of us to recognize that capitalists are “the main hope” for billions around the world still locked in poverty.

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