Free Enterprise Capitalism is not only the best way for free individuals to fulfill their potential, but is also the best way to both create maximum wealth and distribute it most broadly. A corollary to this is that low tax rates and minimum regulation will also create the greatest wealth and the broadest distribution of that wealth. Essentially, the only way that poverty is reduced and prosperity shared by the greatest number of people is for free markets to flourish. When the goals of free enterprise are clearly stated this way, we can unite a vast majority in support of it – social conservatives, libertarians, the economically unsophisticated – which is also the constantly shifting political middle – and liberals.
Those who advocate Capitalism (“true” capitalism, not crony capitalism or monopolistic capitalism) have won the economic debate over and over again. Free markets always create more wealth than highly regulated ones, and low tax rates always generate more productivity and more wealth. However, we repeatedly lose the political debate. Regulations always increase, tax rates always rebound from reductions, and crony capitalism along with government intrusion into the market place always increases. All of this is intended to create a “fairer” or “more equal” society. But, all it ever does is lower wealth, lower production and make everyone less wealthy (except, of course for the cronies and their business and government sponsors, but even they suffer through economic failure and social instability).
We are convinced that a fresh, concerted, multi-media approach advocating the true benefits of free markets can significantly contribute to shifting the political debate through putting free markets on “the side of the angels”. The best way to do this is to define Enlightened Capitalism and identify Enlightened Capitalists in ways that clearly demonstrate their benefits, followed by a coordinated advocacy and demonstration game plan. The result can be a permanent 65%+ constituency for political policies that support free markets. Enlightened Capitalism, properly presented, can remake the political debate.
STEP 1: Make it clear that we are unapologetically committed to practices that create the greatest prosperity for the greatest number, while also defending the right of individuals to spend their money any way they want, but add that mere accumulation of wealth is a short-sighted missed opportunity.
STEP 2: Eliminate associations that are easy marks for those who want to destroy free markets, e.g., 19th Century Robber Barons who relied on coercion to succeed, and today’s crony capitalists.
Then we will have the credibility to take the STEP 3: Celebrate true Enlightened Capitalists, while exposing and condemning crony capitalists who rely on government largesse to prosper:
- public employee unions, who not only destroy the economy but commit ultimate financial suicide because their compensation is not sustainable and will not be paid, and
- corporations which collude with government to waste taxpayer money.
Then we take STEP 4: A populist, intellectually based campaign to unite all behind Free Market policies:
- libertarians and “ordered liberty” philosophical conservatives are natural allies
- business owners and entrepreneurs are naturally sympathetic
- philanthropists will see their giving can have far more impact and will honor their “intent”,
- ordinary Americans will see that they gain from Enlightened Capitalism-created prosperity
- “liberals” who honestly care about their fellow men, will see that Enlightened Capitalists will help more people than any government program.