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Arthur Brooks: Free Enterprise vs. Big Government

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Commonwealth Club of California

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ozmo Avatar
Posted: 04.07.12, 02:57 PM
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.
antiguajohn Avatar
Posted: 09.13.11, 12:08 AM
Hi TomT, 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) antiguajohn
rtdnan Avatar
Posted: 12.26.10, 07:03 PM
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.
TomT Avatar
Posted: 12.03.10, 12:17 PM
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".
abpccpba Avatar
Posted: 12.02.10, 06:32 PM
Earn Success! Ha

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