…with help from entrepeneurial ingenuity, at that:
Capitalism Saved the Miners
The profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at the mine rescue site.
That’s right. In an open economy, you will never know what is out there on the leading developmental edge of this or that industry. But the reality behind the miracles is the same: Someone innovates something useful, makes money from it, and re-innovates, or someone else trumps their innovation. Most of the time, no one notices. All it does is create jobs, wealth and well-being. But without this system running in the background, without the year-over-year progress embedded in these capitalist innovations, those trapped miners would be dead.
Some will recoil at these triumphalist claims for free-market capitalism. Why make them now?
Here’s why. When a catastrophe like this occurs—others that come to mind are the BP well blowout, Hurricane Katrina, various disasters in China—a government has all its chips pushed to the center of the table. Chile succeeds (it rebuilt after the February earthquake with phenomenal speed). China flounders. Two American administrations left the public agog as they stumbled through the mess.
Private sector ingenuity and innovation, combined with the leadership needed (from the president of Chile, the miners themselves, the men who did the actual work – including Jeff Hart, the American who operated the drill for 33 days straight, the owners of the private companies who contacted the Chilean government to offer supplies and labor) is what turned this story into a gigantic success.
And UPS delivered the drill.
More from Daniel Henninger:
Contrast that with a liberal’s point of view.