The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has an interesting new video making an intriguing case for the morality of free enterprise.
The video starts out with a simple story about the Smith family and their dog, Muffin. Muffin is beloved by the Smith’s, and the family is devastated when she is accidentally hit by a car, and goes to “doggy heaven.” Bizarrely, the family decides that the best use for their dead dog is to cook and consume her (strikingly similar to the childhood dietary practices of a certain U.S. president).
AEI President Arthur Brooks uses this story to make a case for how society perceives free enterprise as moral or immoral, and how that perception, “is very unlikely to be swayed by logical arguments.”
One example Brooks cites is the tendency for politicians to use examples of sick grandparents and impoverished children as debating points, thus attempting to make the issue of wealth redistribution a moral one.
In response to such arguments, Brooks cleverly lays out what he feels to be, “the Moral Case for Free Enterprise,” which has three principles:
1) Free enterprise safeguards lasting happiness
2) It promotes real fairness
3) It does the most good for the most vulnerable
In his argument, Brooks points out that while money doesn’t buy happiness, ‘earned success’ does.
According to Brooks, examples of earned success could include: owning a business, raising kids, or even making beautiful artistic creations.
Regardless of whether one’s success involves money, Brooks cites multiple studies that prove pan those who have not. He also notes the willingness to sacrifice as a key component of being successful
In defending the fairness of free enterprise, Brooks uses the clever example of grade redistribution amongst a class, so to have less disparity in between those who get As and those who fail.
Using a method that is nearly identical to wealth redistribution, Brooks demonstrates the incredible unfairness that comes with redistribution of nearly everything, including wealth and grades.
In his third point, Brooks highlights the fact that since 1970, the percentage of the Earth’s population living on less than $1 a day has declined by an extraordinary 80 percent.
According to Brooks, this amazing improvement in the quality of life for billions of people was not caused by United Nations or foreign aid, but rather by globalization and free trade, fundamental aspects of free enterprise.
“If we want more prosperity, and not just for us, but for people all over the world,” said Brooks, “Then we have to stand up for free enterprise.”