Here’s another great video from the American Enterprise Institute’s 2012 video contest to promote the moral case for free enterprise. Since the time of Adam Smith, free enterprise has always needed defenders. The history of America is unusual in its broad protection of economic liberty. Though imperfect at best, the record of immigrants striving to reach our shores proves that our forefathers’ defense of free enterprise created fertile soil for human flourishing.
For those who support free enterprise, I can think of no better summary than one proposed by F.A. Hayek in The Road To Serfdom. Hayek writes, “The fundamental principal that in the ordering of our affairs we should make as much use as possible of the spontaneous forces of society, and resort as little as possible to coercion.”
Arthur Brooks suggests that we should all focus on three moral benefits that are better protected by free enterprise than any other system:
- Free enterprise protects lasting happiness (earned success promotes self-worth)
- Free enterprise does the most good for the most vulnerable (no other effort has lifted more people out of economic poverty)
- Free enterprise promotes real fairness
These moral imperatives must at all times be protected against the natural impulse of a government bureacracy to reach into and choke the “spontaneous forces of society.” Will America always be an alluring example of economic freedom? What does it say about America that the wealthiest city in our country is now Washington, DC?