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Individual Wealth, Freedom Products of U.S. Capitalism

In this recent op-ed by Sen. Jon Kyl, he describes the “correlation between prosperity and economic freedom,” and he quotes one of our eight books, “Wealth and Justice:”
For most of human history, life was “bleak, cruel and short,” according to Arthur Brooks and Peter Wehner in their book “Wealth and Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism.” Life expectancy was low, infant mortality was high, disease was rampant and food was scarce. Only the wealthy were educated or lived in relative comfort. It was not until the advent of free enterprise — of American-style capitalism — that living standards began to improve dramatically. The close correlation between prosperity and economic freedom is not coincidental. Free markets are uniquely suited to lift people out of poverty and offer them a better life. “Markets, precisely because they are wealth generating,” noted Brooks and Wehner, “also end up being wealth distributing.” Indeed, by almost any universal measure, life has improved dramatically in societies that embrace the free market. … … Raising individuals out of poverty is a moral goal best achieved through the opportunities that can be offered only by a free-enterprise economy — the opportunity to pursue wealth and happiness on one’s own terms, the opportunity to start a small business without oppressive red tape, and the opportunity to succeed. Economic freedom promotes a culture of aspiration and mobility, which allows people to focus on their own advancement and their own success without needing to tear others down. If our goal is to lift others out of poverty by fostering a positive culture of achievement, we must eschew government overreach in favor of the free-market policies that have done so much to boost prosperity throughout the years — both at home and around the world.
Read the rest of the article. Learn more about our monograph series and read a review of “Wealth and Justice.”