Arthur Brooks, an economist and president of the American Enterprise Institute, has written a new book called The Battle. He believes that America is in the midst of a new culture war, and the big question is whether America will retain our free enterprise identity OR succumb to European-style socialism. This battle between Free Enterprise and Big Government will shape America's future, and Arthur Brooks lays out the intellectual and moral map we need to win this war.
After examining public opinion surveys about taxes, business, capitalism and government, Brooks found that 70% of Americans prefer free enterprise over big government. Only a minority of 30% favor government interventions, yet that group is firmly entrenched in power centers that determine our nation's policies. How did the minority wrest control from the majority? And how can the majority regain its rightful leadership? The old economic arguments extolling the efficiencies of free markets won't win this battle, Brooks argues. Barack Obama and the 30% coalition won the 2008 election because they offered a false narrative to explain the financial meltdown because they distorted core American values like fairness and compassion. They believe income disparities are unjust and policies that redistribute income promote justice. Arthur Brooks contends that conservatives must learn to debunk these notions, and he provides the data and the rationale for doing so. Increased income that is not earned will not make people happy. Indeed, studies indicate that welfare recipients are far unhappier than equally poor people who don't receive government checks. It is earned success, the sense of creating value for oneself and others through hard work and merit that is central to human happiness.
This book by Arthur Brooks called The Battle is a concise account of the important struggle for America's future.
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