Arthur Brooks in his book “The Road to Freedom,” argues that “free enterprise advocates need to build the moral case [for capitalism] to remind Americans why the future of this nation is worth more to each of us than a few short-term government benefits.” Brooks takes us down the road of moral freedom while associating it with capitalism. I think the connection between a free enterprise system and freedom of choice is strong, but I would hesitate to equate any type of morality with an economic system.
The Socialist left tries to equate a fair economic distribution of wealth as a moral necessity, however history tells us the unmoral capability of a Socialist system many times over. However, it is futile to say that capitalism is a moral system unto itself. In either case, it is the people that make an economic system moral or not.
Therefor I disagree with Brooks concerning his moral argument for capitalism, but I would agree that capitalism allows us a greater opportunity to create profit and then use that profit for good, which is what business as mission is all about.
My son just sent me a clip of Bill Moyers discussing capitalism’s zones of sacrifice. These are those areas within our nation that have no hope. The economic, political, and legal systems based in our utilitarian society have written these areas off, and the people are left to struggle within themselves. We have placed walls around these areas and have let them go. It is quite sad. Whether we are talking about the coal mining areas of West Virginia or PineRidge, South Dakota these individuals are viewed as hopeless.
It is interesting that the August National Geographic magazine’s title is “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse: Rebirth of a Sioux Nation.” It has several articles dealing with the PineRidge Reservation. There are several pictures of young people on the Rez dealing with the suicide of their friends. It discusses the closeness of the people, while they struggle with constant unemployment. And it talks about the exploitation of the people of PineRidge by the alcohol establishments in White Clay, Nebraska. It is a “zone of sacrifice.”
Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco have written a book entitled, “Days of Destruction – Days of Revolt.” Below is the description of the book from Amazon.com.
“Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels.”
This fascinates me, and I will be buying this book. Free Enterprise is an economic system, we will make it a moral event if we decide that business involves mission. In other words, act efficiently, and use profit for good. This is better than having the government take it from us to do the same thing.
And that is my thought for the day!