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.