LSE Business Review – Compassionate capitalism: Lessons from medieval Cambridge
Using recently discovered documents on medieval Cambridge we have investigated how money was made through property speculation and how the profits of successful speculation were spent. Property markets developed in medieval England when burgage plots were laid out in new or expanding towns by local landowners, with the king’s permission. Property was a desirable asset in medieval Cambridge, much as it is today! Medieval speculators invested in a variety of properties. Property hot-spots with high-rents can be identified in three parts of medieval Cambridge: at the road junction by the Hospital; west of the market; and near the river just south of the Hospital.
Map of medieval Cambridge showing property hotspots. Cambridge was home to several families who had acquired property through the military service of their Norman ancestors, including the Dunning family who owned 12 plots in 1279. Profits from the property market were recycled back into the community through donations to religious houses, hospitals and churches. Compassionate capitalism involved high levels of charitable giving to hospitals, monasteries, churches and colleges which helped disseminate the economic benefits of the ‘winners’ of the commercial revolution. The post gives the views of its authors, not the position of LSE Business Review or the London School of Economics.
She is a medieval historian by training and her publications include a co-authored book with Mark Casson on The Entrepreneur in History: From Medieval Merchant to Modern Business Leader – Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan – and articles in Urban History, Business History and the Economic History Review. John Lee is a Research Associate at the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York. Katie Phillips is an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded PhD student in Medieval Studies at the University of Reading.
Capitalism, Corporatism, Free Markets
At some point, a collective decision was made that the unions should be given such expanded powers that they could destroy the company if they wanted. The union doesn’t profit from increasing profits and building a healthy company, it profits from building an overstaffed company that exists to benefit its employees. The union would have been better served if it divvied up the right to collect a union payout from GM among the workers of the time and let them sell the claims. What would have been much more honest and worked better would have been outright nationalization of GM when the rules were set up that the UAW could destroy the company. The toxin in this case may be a lot of things but it is an abomination to a free market, and it has destroyed the American auto industry.
Far from vanishing, many of GM’s assets would be quickly purchased by competent foreign automakers eager to expand their capacity in what is the world’s largest auto market. Happily, the list of well-run car companies, from Toyota to Nissan to Porsche, is long. If GM is going to get federal money, it should go toward buyouts of long-term employees, and then let the market work to redeploy its assets toward more useful purposes than maintaining an expensive company-town welfare state, that makes cars on the side. Matt Welch says to the barricades to defend free markets. As Jonah says, markets are more than this information delivery system.
Liberty demands property rights which demand free markets. In the fifties he tried door-to-door in Lansing after moving to Michigan with his upper Midwest bride, but when he got an offer at A.C. Spark Plug in her home town he took it, and settled into a middle-class lifestyle, during the best years of the company, in which he raised his family.
Get Ready: Pope’s Arrival Will Commence a Week of Trashing Capitalism
RUSH: The pope, Pope Francis, took off from Cuba within the last, what was it, half hour. What’s really remarkable is that Obama and Moochelle are going to be there to greet the pope as he descends the stairs. Thomas Sowell has a column today about the pope and his arrival, but primary it’s about the pope’s message. Of course the pope believes that we’ve all done a rotten, horrible job of it, and that governments need to get bigger and they need to become populated with more and more compassionate people to find ways to get rid of poverty. The message of this pope and every other leftist in the world is that prosperity is causing poverty.
That’s why we need a great compassionate person like Obama or the pope to make sure that the pieces of the pie are not extraordinarily large for the undeserving and microscopically small for the truly deserving. He does not hold a single belief when it comes to such things as contraception, abortion, you name it, with the Catholic Church or with the pope. We’ve already read that Obama plans to hide the advancement of his agenda behind the pope. In the process make it look like this pope is abandoning his own church in favor of the liberal church. If the pope comes along and all of a sudden supports amnesty, which the pope is going to do.
I’ll just tell you, I read that the church needs – it might have been the Washington Post or it might have been the New York Times, I forget the news publication it was, but it said that the church, the pope is interested in immigration and amnesty and immigrants because they need to fill the pews, just like the Democrats need voters. The reason the Catholic Church, the pope is supporting our amnesty, immigration, is a desire to restock, if you will, the pews.