Lawrence H. White '77, editor of The Harvard Political Review and a senior economics major, won $100 on July 27 as runner-up in an essay contest on the future of capitalism sponsored by The National Federation of Independent Businessmen.
The Federation required contestants to write on the theme "The Future of Capitalism: the Market Economy vs. the Planned Economy in America's Third Century."
Last year White wrote on the growth of bureaucracy and snatched the $1000 grand prize. He explained that last year's entry was "tighter" and more in tune with the judges' philosophies.
White is a libertarian and belongs to the "Sons of Liberty," the Harvard Libertarian society.
He supports capitalism, but with an "historical perspective." He lauds free markets as "remarkable instruments for economic guidance for entrepreneurs and businessmen."
However, he is wary of privilege. He said last week, "I'm in favor of allowing the greatest amount of competition possible, and that means the elimination of privilege, special exemptions, and subsidies...to say I'm in favor of competition, business and capitalism doesn't mean I'm in favor of Lockheed, for example, which is not even largely a free market firm."
In his $100 essay, White lambasted planned economy and saw no advantages in a central board of planners.
White printed his own $1000 prize essay which criticized bureaucracy and government planning in the Harvard Political Review, Spring '76. James M. Connor, associate editor of the Review, made a rebuttal in the Summer '76 issue.
Connor wrote, "There is no compelling reason to believe, as libertarians do, that a private business is clearly better able to make allocative decisions than is a government bureau...governmental intervention into economic activity may indeed limit the actions of some, but it safeguards the freedom of most.
This summer Lawrence White is extending his business experience and hiking his savings as manager of a go-cart track near his family's home in Moorestown, New Jersey.
When asked last week how he would spend his $100 prize, White laughed and said he had no definite plans but would "throw it in with his other summer earnings."
White lives in Adams House during school year. He intends to continue his economic studies in graduate school and teach and write in that field.