A relação entre virtudes morais e a sociedade aberta (capitalismo de livre mercado) raramente é devidamente compreendida, tornando a leitura de Deirdre McCloskey civilizatória. Adicionalmente, Tyler Cowen discorre sobre como o capitalismo de compadres pode estar corroendo valores essenciais para qualquer país como ética do trabalho e cultura do empreendedorismo:
"The United States has always had a culture with a high regard for those able to rise from poverty to riches. It has had a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit and has attracted ambitious immigrants, many of whom were drawn here by the possibility of acquiring wealth. Furthermore, the best approach for fighting poverty is often precisely not to make fighting poverty the highest priority. Instead, it’s better to stress achievement and the pursuit of excellence, like a hero from an Ayn Rand novel. These are still at least the ideals of many conservatives and libertarians."
"...the problem is that higher status for the wealthy can easily lead to crony capitalism. In public discourse social status judgments are often crude. Critical differences are lost, like the distinction between earning money through production for consumers, as Apple has done, and earning money through the manipulation of government, which heavily subsidized agribusinesses have done. The relevant question, in my view, is not about how much you have earned but about how you have earned it. To further confuse matters, many right-wing Republican politicians supported corporate bailouts and corporate welfare far beyond what was necessary to stabilize the economy, in doing so further muddying the difference between productive and predatory capitalism."