Free Markets and Education

Print or PDF
“If you are not a liberal at age 20, you have no heart; if you are not a conservative by age 40, you have no brain”, Winston Churchill

Churchill’s remark accurately describes the process under which young people (observing injustice and a wide disparity between the rich and poor) become susceptible to socialist and coerced redistributionist political policies. Then, as they get older, they tend to see that such policies invariably lead to less freedom, less wealth creation and greater poverty. Simply put, coerced sharing is counter-productive.

This flirting with anti-free market and coercive political policies can be largely reduced, if we seize upon young people’s idealism and show the benefits of capitalism, free markets, low government regulation, and lower tax rates by presenting the following:

  1. the goal of Enlightened Capitalism is creating the greatest wealth, but also distributing it most widely to the most number of people,
  2. ethical, honest and fair dealing in business is always in the best interest of the business owner, because it creates a world in which people can reliably flourish, and
  3. the more ethical, honest and fair business owners are, the less need there will be for government regulation.
  4. the more generous business owners are, the less need there will be for government entitlement programs that are saddling future generations with unsupportable debt, and also simply do not work.

Enlightened Capitalism can, then, be used to inspire young adults to enter business and fulfill their most generous impulses. In order to do this and practice Enlightened Capitalism, it is important that successful examples of Enlightened Capitalism be presented as often as possible in as many venues as possible. Moreover, these examples must clearly demonstrate the wide impact they have on those who are the beneficiaries of Enlightened Capitalism; so, examples:

  1. Milton Hershey’s Enlightened Capitalism practices created a prosperous company, a prosperous town, a prosperous theme park, and a school for disadvantaged students.
  2. Henry Ford created jobs for millions, but also established the principle of paying your employees enough so they can afford the employer’s product
  3. Harris Rosen (Florida’s largest hotel operator, after Disney) is perhaps the most efficient utilizer of Enlightened Capitalism. He has created employment stability, a living wage and a sustainable retirement for his least skilled employees (maids and maintenance) through profit sharing. He also provided superior health care to all employees that costs him a fraction of competing companies, established day care facilities in his employees’ neighborhoods which increased employee attendance, and established a college of hospitality for the University of Central Florida – all of which have increased the profitability of his business.

Please see the “Enlightened Capitalism Examples” page for more information.