glyph 222: book . Karl Hess ... business, enterprise, entrepreneur, independence, capitalist, innovator, businessowner, children, youth, education, nonprofit, responsibility, leadership —glyph by Pat Wagner


Capitalism for Kids, by Karl Hess

the power of the individual to create positive change in the world

Capitalism for Kids: Growing Up to be Your Own Boss, by Karl Hess (1987)
Revised, Edited, and with an Introduction by Jane A. Williams (2005)

ISBN: 0942617355; Bluestocking Press, P.O. Box 2030, Shingle Springs, CA


An outstanding introduction to entrepreneurship. Stresses how a person can earn a profit in business while maintaining the highest possible standards of honesty and integrity. Includes a self-test to help the reader determine how enterprising he/she really is, as well as an excellent chapter on "Capitalism and Other Isms" that clearly defines capitalism, democratic socialism, socialism, and communism. Although written with young people in mind, many adults will benefit by reading this book, especially the section which was written specifically for parents and teachers. — from the Blue Stocking Press site)

When I want to explain to someone the power of the individual to create positive change in the world, I recommend this book. When a friend is horrified that a nice person like me would be a proponent of free markets, I suggest this book. When parents ask me for advice about a son or daughter who seems to reject conventional career paths, I recommend this book. When someone needs a concise and entertaining introduction to political theory, I recommend this book. And when I need to be reminded of the potential for people to be good, I reread this book myself.

Full disclosure: I am mentioned in passing in this book, and Karl was a friend. Nonetheless, this is the first book I recommend when a friend wants to start a business, or understand how businesspeople think. Too often, the business world is portrayed only as corrupt and greedy. The value of the business point of view - independence, personal responsibility, pride in work, customer service - are ignored. Although allegedly written for young people, it is rich in ideas that any adult would find useful. The information also applies to the nonprofit and public sector worlds as well. —Pat Wagner
entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated November 26, 2015

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