Arthur Brooks outlines a new culture war -– not the old struggle over guns or abortion or religion, but over two competing visions of America. In one, America continues as a unique and exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise. In the other, the U.S. moves toward a European-style social democracy characterized by increasing bureaucracies, income redistribution and government control of corporations. Brooks argues that free enterprise is not merely an economic system but an expression of American values and American culture, and he makes the case that free enterprise is the system that delivers the greatest levels of prosperity to the greatest numbers of people.
Arthur C. Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks is best known for his work on the junctions between culture, economics, and politics. Two of his popular volumes, Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism and Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America -- and How We Can Get More of It, explore these themes in greater depth. He is a self-described independent. His book, The Battle: How the Fight between Free Enterprise and Big Government Will Shape America's Future, was named WORLD magazine's 2010 "Book of the Year" in June 2010.
American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks accepts unemployment benefits as a "compromise" to offer relief to laid-off workers despite his objection to extending benefits for the long-term unemployed. He cites a study that found unemployment rates in the U.S. would be three points lower if benefits had not been extended.
Policy in which a government does not discriminate against imports or interfere with exports. A free-trade policy does not necessarily imply that the government abandons all control and taxation of imports and exports, but rather that it refrains from actions specifically designed to hinder international trade, such as tariff barriers, currency restrictions, and import quotas. The theoretical case for free trade is based on Adam Smith's argument that the division of labour among countries leads to specialization, greater efficiency, and higher aggregate production. The way to foster such a division of labour, Smith believed, is to allow nations to make and sell whatever products can compete successfully in an international market.
Free enterprise is a perfect term for market economics in the US. There are over 25,000 cities and 8,000 counties along with the 50 states. Almost all of these governments allocate hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars every year directly to business in the form of development incentives. These 'development authorities' regard job creation and tax base increases as the justification for this form of socialism. I do not contend this is wrong or not productive, but it is still pure socialism.
You make some good points, I would like to suggest you might also wish to watch this RSAanimate video of a talk by Dan Pink, "RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us", see video link;
Arthur Brooks is either ignorant of this research, or as most republicans ignore research which refutes their agenda.
Considering that the research was funded by that left wing institution, The Federal Reserve!
Scientia Non Domus,
(Knowledge has No Home)
Most people who work "earn" failure, not success! Even those who make a lot of money often feel like they are a failure or "haven't done enough" in some way or another. Wealthy people always seem to have more complaints than poor people.....their Mercedes is in the shop, so they "must" drive the Volvo; their son or daughter didn't get into an Ivy League school, so will "sadly" be forced to attend a liberal arts college; they don't like the layout of their house, so have "no choice" but to tear down 1/2 of it and rebuild.....and oh, what a mess that will be. And, they can never seem to find "good Help" - yet will repeatedly hire illegal aliens who can't speak a word of English. The woes of the wealthy are endless.
The argument sounds very Protestant. It turns economic success *but only through hard work* into a virtue by association with happiness. Happiness now is a function of success-through-hard work. The French are miserable elitists and the Spanish are lazy socialists. The rich are only happy if they've earned their success, so morally bankrupt European royals and elites are a bunch of miserable ... morally bankrupt Europeans. Once you get the idea of 'earned success' off the ground, with the help of data on lottery winners and people with inheritance (unearned wealth is hell-on-earth) the rest is all smooth sailing ... reiteration of Calvin. BTW. Are European lottery winners genetically better at coping with unearned income? The idle aristocracy spread their seed through illegitimate offspring with the housemaids perhaps.
The issue of taxation is a political issue to do with interests in a rational democratic system, not about how people feel about a tax, which is an ideology and therefore irrational. If it's not about your interests you have left rational discourse and joined the demagogues. If a tax makes you unhappy because it's the wrong 'idea' then that's probably because you've been brainwashed into believing some idea. Therefore you're neither free nor happy.
Using happiness as a justification for competitiveness, status envy, and the work ethic needs to address happiness research that contradicts this implication. The unemployed are not necessarily intrinsically unhappy ... if they're like non-starving sub-saharan Africans. They're unhappy in societies that deem the unproductive unworthy. Reinforcing competition for social status simply perpetuates this.
Any basic understanding of economics tells you that we live in a demand-driven economy and you can't consume status, so people are stimulated through advertising to over-consume stuff. So if you told them that it's status, or earned success, that makes them happy, the economy would collapse, as they'd stop consuming. America would turn into Japan instantly. Actually it's heading that way ... infrastructure spending as a way of stimulating the economy.
Promoting the work ethic as the road to happiness is just as ideological as Marxism when viewed in the context of the realities of current global economics. Bourgeois protestant work ethic of the early capitalism is an ideology that has had no basis in reality for at least a hundred years. The idea originates in Bourgeois culture and not genetics, and was tempered by Hegelianism. It was British liberalism that subsumed society to economics, again nothing to do with genetics or migration. It worked so long as they had an empire. It collapsed. Read Bertrand Russell's "In Praise of Idleness".